BBC & Open Uni debunk ‘Muslim Demographics’

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Debunking a YouTube hit

The BBC’s radio programme More or Less, produced in collaboration with the Open University, debunk the notorious “Muslim Demographics” video which has been a big hit on YouTube and has been reproduced on dozens of websites. The statistics are often unsourced and sometimes invented along with statements by official statisticians:

Of the video’s claims that 90% of Europe’s population growth since 1990 is due Islamic immigration, only a fragment is true. Immigration is the main driver of population growth according to EU statistics and in some exceptional years, 90% of population growth has been down to net inward migration.

But that includes all immigrants coming into the EU, not just Muslims.

It is the claims made about individual countries that are most striking. The video says that a typical French family has 1.8 children but that French Muslim families have 8.1 children.

No source is given for this information and the French government doesn’t collect statistics by religion. So it is impossible to say what the precise fertility rates among different religious groups in France are.

But no country on earth has such a high fertility rate and in Algeria and Morocco, the two nations which send the largest numbers of Muslim immigrants to France, the fertility rate is 2.38, according to the UN’s 2008 figures.

In the Netherlands, according to the video, half of all newborns are Muslim, and in 15 years half the population will be Muslim.

But the Dutch office of statistics estimates that Muslims make up only 5% of the population. For Dutch Muslim women to produce half the nation’s babies, they would have to be giving birth at at least 14 times the rate of their non-Muslim neighbours.

See my earlier entry for other flaws in this video. You will be able to listen to the programme on Radio 4 at 1:30pm today or on iPlayer, if you’re in the UK.

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