Survey Shows 74 Percent Increase in U.S. Mosques in Past Decade

September 6, 2012 - 5:34 PM
Tennessee Mosque

In a Thursday, June 21, 2012 file photo, a worker walks out of the construction site of a mosque being built in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)

(CNSNews.com) – A survey conducted by a coalition of religious organizations shows that the number of mosques in the United States has grown by 74 percent in the past 11 years – up from 1,209 in 2001 to 2,106 in 2011.

The statistics were released earlier this year by Faith Communities Today (FACT), which is affiliated with the Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

The survey also reveals where those mosques exist, including the 10 states with the largest number of mosques – New York (257), California (246), Texas (166), Florida (118), Illinois (109), New Jersey (109), Pennsylvania (99), Michigan (77), Georgia (69) and Virginia (62).

Vermont has the least number of mosques, with one located in that state.

The survey also shows that most mosques are located in metropolitan areas, with Greater New York City ranked No. 1 with 192 mosques. Southern California (120), Greater Chicago (90), Greater Philadelphia (63) and Greater Detroit (63) rounded out the top five metropolitan areas for mosque population.

The survey, released in January, was the first of two reports on American mosques released this year.

The first survey, “Basic Characteristics of the American Mosque, Attitudes of Mosque Leaders” includes data on the growth of mosques in the U.S. and attitudes of their leaders.

One finding of the survey was a decrease in the number of mosque leaders who thought American society is hostile to Islam – from 54 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2011.

The survey also states that the “American mosque is a remarkably young institution,” with 76 percent of all mosques being established since 1980.

The second survey, “Activities, Administration and Vitality of the American Mosque” was released in May and focuses on “mosque activities, administration and vitality.”

The survey consisted of a count of all mosques in America and included a telephone interview with a mosque leader (imam, president or board member) from a large sample of mosques. The mosque count was conducted from February to July 2010, and the mosque leader interviews were conducted from August 2010 to November 2011.

A total of 2,106 mosques were counted. From this list, a random sample of 727 mosques was selected, and 524 interviews were then completed, which means that the margin of error for the survey is within the range of plus or minus five percent.

FACT announced in the second survey that a third survey would be issued on women in the mosque.