SHAFAQNA – According to Pew Research Institute, A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 1.6 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion. Shias are around 20% of the world muslim population. Most Shias (between 68% and 80%) live in just four countries: Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq. Shia Numbers are in the range of 320 Millions to 350 Millions and according to some estimates its in the range of 400 Millions. The bulk of the world’s Muslim population – more than six-in-ten (62%) – is located in Asia itself. In Middle-east, The Shia majority countries are Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Yemen and also there is a larger shia population in Syria and Turkey.
The Shia’s are around 20% population of Syria and Turkey. The Alevi constitute the second largest religious community in Turkey (following the Sunnis), and number some 25% (20 million) of the total population. There is also a Twelver Shia community which forms about 5% of the Muslim population. In South Asia, India the only non Muslim nation in the world with Shiite population of 4–5 percent of its entire population, has recognized the day of Ashura listed as Moharram as the Public Holiday in India. India also has the Birthday of Imam Ali as public Holiday in states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, whose capital Lucknow is considered as the centre of India’s Shiite Muslim community. The Birth date of Ali is not recognized by any country in any of its states other than India, Azerbaijan and Iran as public Holiday.
Shia population was also acclaimed publicly as second largest by the 14th Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh quoted in the year 2005[Source Wikipedia/Indian Express]. One of the lingering problems in estimating the Shia population is that unless the Shia form a significant minority in a Muslim country, the entire population is often listed as Sunni. Shiites are estimated to be 21–35 percent of the Muslim population in South Asia, although the total number is difficult to estimate due to the intermingling between the Islamic schools and branches and also practice of taqiyya by some of the Shia’s.
In terms of the world shia muslim population, Most People don’t know that about half the population of the core middle east are Shia. The nations where Shi’a Muslims form a dominant majority are Iran (95%), Azerbaijan (80%), Bahrain (75%) and Iraq (65%), a plurality in Lebanon (45%) and large minorities in Yemen (45%), Turkey (25%), Kuwait (35%), Afghanistan (20%), Pakistan (20-25%), Saudi Arabia (15%), India (20-25% of Muslims), UAE (20%), and Syria (15-20%). The world’s 1.6 Billion Muslim population can be approximately divided into the following main sects:
1) Hanafi Sunni Muslims : 35%
2) Shafei Sunni Muslim : 25%
3) Shia Muslims : 20%
4) Maliki Sunni Muslims : 15%
5) Hambali Sunni Muslims: 4%
6) Salafi Muslims : 1%
Most Indo-European people are Hanafi. Afro-Asiatic people usually aren’t Hanafi. The majority of East Africans, The Hui (ethnic Chinese mMslim), and the Malay are Shafei. Most Muslims in West Africa are almost Al Maliki, (including the Maghrib nations (North Africa), and other places where maghrib/berber/beurette culture has spread). If you look into the numbers, Salafis, a tiny puritanical minority of Sunnis, are found only in Saudi Arabia and a few Gulf states where they are the ruling elites.
Please use the world map to check the shia population in each country. We have compiled the data of over 55 countries and rank them based on the number of Shia people live in that particular country like Iran is rank as # 1, India as # 2, Pakistan # 3, Iraq # 4, Turkey # 5, Yemen #6 and so on.
Courtesy of the Shia World Forum in partnership with the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies