Number Of ‘Muslim’ Children In Britain Doubles In A DecadeThe number of children growing up as Muslims in the UK has almost doubled in a decade in what experts have described as an “unprecedented” shift in Britain’s social make-up. One in 12 schoolchildren in England and Wales are now officially classed as Muslim after a decade which saw the number of followers of Islam surge by just over 1.1 million, according to the most detailed study of its kind ever published. The report, presented to Parliament, concludes that Muslims could play a decisive role in the coming general election, expected to be the closest in recent times, making up a significant share of voters in some of the most marginal seats in the country. But the study of official census data by the Muslim Council of Britain also concludes that the Muslim population will continue expanding for “many decades” to come – something experts said could transform everything from social attitudes to foreign policy. Although immigration has driven growth in the past, it is the dramatically younger age profile of the Muslim population which could have the biggest impact in the future. Overall 2.7 million people living in England and Wales on census day in 2011 – and another 81,000 across Scotland and Northern Ireland – described themselves as Muslim. That is up from just under 1.6 million in 2001 – a 75 per cent jump. Among children under the age of five the rate of increase was more than 80 per cent. Strikingly, although just over half of Muslims living in Britain were born abroad, almost three quarters identifed themselves exclusively as British in the census. Significantly, Muslims make up more than a fifth of the population in 26 parliamentary constituencies and around 50 per cent in some areas. There are also 70 council wards with a Muslim population of 40 per cent or more. The report paints a picture of growing integration in many areas but stark challenges in others. Muslims are around twice as likely to be unemployed or homeless and almost a third of members of some communities have little or no English – a trait most marked among older people and new arrivals. FULL STORY