About 6% of Asian Americans now say their religion is Islam. An additional 3% say they feel close to Islam for reasons such as family background or culture, rather than religion.10
Some 13% of Indian Americans express a connection to Islam, including 8% who identify as Muslims, 3% who follow another religion but say they feel close to Islam, and 2% who don’t identify with any religion but express a feeling of closeness to Islam.
About a quarter of Asian Americans who trace their ethnic origin to South Asia have some connection to Islam (26%). And seven-in-ten Asian Americans who trace their ethnic origin to South Asian countries other than India have some connection to Islam, including 60% who say Islam is their religion. This is driven largely by Americans of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin.
Only about 2% of Asian Americans who trace their ethnic origin to countries in Southeast Asia say they are Muslims or feel close to Islam, despite the inclusion of Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia in this estimate.
Muslims make up only tiny shares of all Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese Americans.
Compared with other religious traditions, relatively few Asian Americans (3%) consider themselves close to Islam aside from religion. (The sample falling into this category is too small for further analysis; only respondents who identify as Muslim by religious identity can be analyzed in this survey.)
Importance of religion among Asian American Muslims
Six-in-ten Asian American Muslims say religion is very important in their lives, which is among the highest levels seen within any religious group large enough to be analyzed in the survey. About half (54%) say they attend religious services at least monthly, which is significantly higher than the attendance rate reported by Asian American adults as a whole.
Asian American Muslims, like Asian American Christians, are much more likely than members of other faiths to say religion is very important to them and to report that they attend religious services at least monthly.
Social and demographic profile of Muslims
About three-in-ten Muslim American adults are under 30, compared with 22% of all Asian American adults.
Muslims are also less likely than other Asian Americans to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. About a quarter of Asian American Muslims identify with or lean toward the GOP (23%), compared with a third of Asian Americans overall.
Muslims are also the least likely of all the large Asian American religious groups to say they would feel comfortable if a close family member married someone of a different religion. Just 40% of Muslims say this, compared with 77% of all Asian American adults.