Many political and cultural commentators are making noises at the moment about the population explosion of European Muslims, partly through immigration but mostly through the higher birthrate.
An essay by Vincensio Poggi, SJ, a professor of Near Eastern History at the Pontifical Insititute gives the ironic counterpart to this from the middle-late Ottoman period. Praising the Ottoman millet system for its success in holding together such a diverse empire and in ensuring some supression of ethnic and religious violence, Poggi notes that the Christians and Jews of Anatolia reproduced faster than the Muslims.
1520-35 / 358,000 Christians in
1570-80 / 571,000 Christians in
Growth rate of 9.8% as opposed to a Muslim growth rate of 9.3% [per what, Poggi doesn’t say, unfortunately for this tidy mind]
1831 – dhimmis constituted 11.3% of the population of Ottoman territories
1881 – this rose to 20.6%
1906 – 25%
‘Christians in the Second Ottoman Era’, in Habib Badr, ed., Christianity: A History in the Middle East (
Cynics among us might notice that the Muslims dealt with this by several significant culls. Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks did not do too well out of the final years of the Ottoman Empire or during the chaos surrounding the founding of the