Where Do Most Muslims Live in America?

where do most muslims live in america

The United States is a highly diverse country, particularly when it comes to religion. Islam is a growing religion in America, and the American Muslim population continues to grow too.  

Pew Research Center estimates approximately 3.45 million Muslims lived in the United States in 2017, making up about 1.1% of the country’s total population. In addition, the Center forecasts that the Muslim population should reach 8.1 million by 2050.  

Determining precisely how many Muslims live in America is a challenge, partially because the U.S. Census Bureau does not ask questions about religion. As a result, there is no official government count of the Muslim population.  

Largest Muslim Populations in the U.S. 

The Muslim population is diverse, and the majority of the population are immigrants. The Pew Research Center also reports that 58% of U.S. Muslims ages 18 and over were born outside of the country. One in five U.S. Muslims was born in South Asia, 13% were born in the Asia-Pacific region, and 14% were born in the Middle East.  

Additionally, 60% of U.S. Muslim adults are under the age of 40. 31% are college graduates, and 11% have a postgraduate degree. About half are married.  

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Muslim Population by U.S. State 

According to Wikipedia, the U.S. state with the highest Muslim population concentration is New Jersey. The top 10 states with the largest estimated Muslim population concentrations include: 

  1. New Jersey – 3% 
  2. New York – 2% 
  3. Massachusetts – 1% 
  4. Virginia – 1% 
  5. Pennsylvania – 1% 
  6. Illinois – 1% 
  7. Delaware – 1% 
  8. Connecticut – 1% 
  9. Maryland – 1% 
  10. Michigan – 1% 

Muslim Population by U.S. City 

Again, according to Wikipedia, the U.S. metropolitan region with the highest Muslim population concentration is New York City. The top five cities with the largest estimated Muslim population concentrations include: 

  1. New York City, NY – 75,000 
  2. Houston, TX – 63,000 
  3. Philadelphia, PA – 30,000 to 50,000 
  4. Dearborn, MI – 29,181 
  5. Los Angeles, CA – 25,673 

Honorable mention – Paterson, NJ, in the New York City metropolitan region, was estimated to have become home to 25,000 to 30,000 Muslims as of 2011. 

It is important to note that every U.S. state and city is Muslim-friendly due to every U.S. citizen being afforded the right to religious freedom

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Choosing the Right Neighborhood for You 

When buying a house, it’s important to not only focus on finding the right house, but also finding the right neighborhood. A neighborhood can shape your homeownership experience for the better or the worse. 

Starting with a location known for having an established Muslim population can be a good start, but to find the best location, you’ll need to do some research and think about the factors that are most important to you. The following tips on how to choose a neighborhood can help ensure that you select the location that’s truly the right fit fo6r you and your family.  


Having a mosque nearby is not only convenient but can help you quickly feel like you belong to your new neighborhood. Mosques can serve as a way for you to connect with other Muslims, building important connections and relationships. Establishing those connections can help you to more easily settle into your new location, particularly if you’re making a large move and are unfamiliar with the new neighborhood.  

There are many benefits of praying at a mosque. The reward for praying in a congregation is 27 times more than the reward of praying alone. Praying in a mosque can also offer an escape from the chaos of daily life, and it can serve as a valuable opportunity to focus solely on your faith. It can provide you with a sense of safety, as well as a sense of being an important member of the Muslim community.  

>> Related Read – Can Muslims Get a Mortgage? 


If you have children or plan to have children in the future, it’s also important to consider the school district when choosing a new neighborhood. To get a sense of the quality of the school district, you can use online school rating systems, like those offered by the U.S. News & World Report

Buying a home in a good school district offers several advantages. A good school district will often provide your child with a better education than a lower-quality district will. Choosing a great district can be a long-term investment in the quality of your child’s education, and in their future too.  

But buying a home in a good school district can also help to stabilize your home’s value. Homes in school districts with higher ratings tend to have and maintain higher values than homes in districts with lower ratings. You may be able to get a higher price for your home when you’re eventually ready to sell, thanks to the appeal of the school district’s quality.  

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If you have school-age children, this is also a good time to research the school transportation options available. Look into factors like bus routes, the proximity of bus stops, and how long your child’s bus ride might be. Spending time researching these factors can help to confirm that the neighborhood is a good fit for your whole family.  


Consider the industries that are local to the neighborhood. Easy access to grocery stores, the pharmacy, department stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues can enhance your quality of life and your enjoyment of the neighborhood. Think about how the distance that you would have to travel to these amenities differs from the distance that you travel in your current location.  

It’s also important to look for a neighborhood that allows you to access employment. Do you plan to remain with your current employer, and if so, how will living in the new neighborhood impact your commute? If you plan to seek out a new job or change your career, look into the availability of relevant employers in the new neighborhood.  

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Spend some time thinking about the maximum commute that you are willing to make. Remember that your commute time affects more than your schedule. If you will be driving to work, a longer commute means greater wear and tear on your vehicle, and it can also result in an increase in your car insurance rates.  

Alternatively, you may want to research the availability of public transportation in the neighborhood. Consider factors like the types of transportation available, the closest stops, and the cost of the transportation. Look into whether routes will take you to your common destinations, and think about how long the trip would be.  

Multigenerational Living 

In some cases, the right home and neighborhood may need to accommodate multigenerational living. There are many benefits to this model, including valuable family support and a return to the teachings of the Islamic faith. Multigenerational living allows you to give back to your parents and loved ones, and it can be a rewarding arrangement.  

If you’re thinking of pursuing multigenerational living, either now or in the future, then consider the type of arrangement that would work well for you. Some families live together under one roof, while others live in the same neighborhood.  

Look for a neighborhood that will support the needs of every generation in your family. That means finding a balance between elements like a quality school district, the availability of plenty of employment opportunities, access to quality healthcare facilities, and more.  


A neighborhood’s rent and home prices will also help to determine whether the location is a good fit. Home prices can fluctuate depending on the neighborhood, and they tend to be higher in in-demand areas, like neighborhoods with good schools or with other appealing amenities like vacation attractions or good healthcare facilities.  

As you explore different neighborhoods, it’s helpful to research the average home costs. You can accomplish this by browsing listings on MLS.com. Pay attention not only to the property’s selling price but also to the tax rates.  

If you are looking to rent, research not only the typical rental costs but also what is traditionally included in the area. In addition to rent, you may be responsible for all utilities, as well as the first and last month’s rent. Look into the common rental terms and try to get a sense of whether rentals are readily available, or if they’re more difficult to come by in the neighborhood.  

>> Related Read – Is It Better to Rent or Buy Right Now? 

Don’t forget to also consider the overall cost of living in an area. You’ll find that the cost of living can vary significantly depending on the neighborhood and location that you’re considering. The cost of living, or the amount of money that you will need to spend to cover basic living expenses, is affected by the cost of food, housing, utilities, transportation, health, and miscellaneous items.  

The cost of living fluctuates, with events like the pandemic and fuel costs affecting everything from utility costs and the price of food. But the cost of living can also be location-dependent. For example, it costs far more to live in New York City than in Virginia’s small towns like Culpeper or Orange. 

If you’re planning to move to a new location, it’s important to assess the cost of living to determine whether the move is affordable, particularly if you plan to continue on with your current employment. If you’re moving to a location with a higher cost of living, you may need to find a position that pays you significantly more so that you can afford to live in the new area. This can add stress to a move, and you don’t want to find yourself financially overwhelmed soon after you’ve moved.  

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It’s helpful to start by determining your current cost of living, so you can better gauge how the move will affect your finances. To start, add up your monthly expenses, including fixed expenses like a mortgage, and variable expenses, like gas or groceries. These monthly, essential expenses are your monthly cost of living.  

Understanding how to assess the cost of living gets a little more challenging when you’re trying to determine the cost for a location that you don’t yet live in. In this instance, using a cost of living calculator can help.  

>> Tip – Use These Calculator Tools to Estimate How Much Home You Can Afford to Purchase and Determine Whether It’s Best for You to Rent or Buy. 

The Bottom Line 

Buying a home can be a highly rewarding and exciting experience, and it can change your entire family’s lives. As you move forward with your homebuying plans, you will need to consider the mortgage option that’s right for you. Guidance Residential can help Muslim homebuyers with an Islamic mortgage as well as with finding a local real estate agent (thanks to Guidance Home Services). 

Get Pre-Qualified Online in Fewer Than 10 Minutes, and We’ll Connect You with a Knowledgeable and Reliable Real Estate Agent to Ensure Your Homebuying Experience Goes Smoothly.