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CAIR Welcomes New Report on U.S. Mosques Showing 31% Increase in Mosque Establishments, Expanded Mosque Budgets

(WASHINGTON, D.C, 6/2/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a new report on U.S. mosques that shows a 31 percent increase in the number of Muslim houses of worship nationwide since 2010.

[NOTE: CAIR is one of the primary sponsors of the report.]

The “American Mosque 2020: Growing and Evolving” is a comprehensive statistical study of mosques in the United States with the goal of providing a detailed portrait of the American mosque to dispel misconceptions and to help mosque leaders and congregants better understand their mosque for future improvements.

Mosque surveys were conducted in collaboration with a larger study of American congregations called Faith Communities Today (FACT), which is a project of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership (CCSP), a multi-faith coalition of numerous denominations and faith groups headquartered at Hartford Seminary. 

SEE: US Mosque Study 2020 Report

Key Findings

Full Report

“The increase in U.S. mosques, participants and budgets is a sign of a healthy democracy that upholds and guarantees the First Amendment to everyone, including American Muslims. We are pleased to be a co-sponsor of an important report that provides a snapshot of the current status of mosques around the nation and what needs to be done to improve the conditions and diversity of American Muslim communities,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The continued growth of American Muslim houses of worship and community centers also corresponds to the national increase in Muslim civic engagement and political organizing.” 


  • The Number of Mosques Continues to Grow: In 2020, the US Mosque Survey counted 2769 mosques, which is a 31% increase from the 2010 count of 2106 mosques. Undoubtedly, the primary driving force for the increase of mosques is the steady expansion of the population of Muslims in America due to immigration and birth rate.
  • The Number of Mosque Participants Continues to Grow: Jum’ah prayer (the weekly Muslim congregational prayer held on Friday) averaged 410 attendees in 2020, as compared to 353 in 2010, which equals a 16% increase.
  • Sharp Decrease in African American Mosques and the Number of African American Attendees: In 2020, African American mosques comprised 13% of all mosques, but in 2010 African American mosques accounted for 23% of all mosques—a 43% decrease; in 2020, African American Muslims comprised 16% of all attendees in mosques, but in 2010 that figure was 23%—a 33% decrease.
  • Conversions Decreased: The number of converts to Islam in mosques declined dramatically, from 15.3 converts per mosque in 2010. The average number of converts in 2020 is 11.3. The primary reason is the decline in African American converts, especially in African American mosques.
  • Neighborhood and Zoning Board Resistance to Mosque Development Has Increased: In the past decade (2010-2019), 35% of mosques encountered significant resistance from their neighborhood or city when they tried to obtain permission to move, expand, or build. In comparison, from 1980-2009 the average percentage of mosques that met resistance was 25%.
  • Mosque Income Continues to Grow: The average mosque budget in 2020 was $276,500 and the median budget $80,000. This is a substantial increase from 2010’s average budget of $167,600 and the median budget of $70,000. 
  • More Imams are Full-Time and Paid, and More are American-Born: Half of American mosques have a full-time paid imam as compared to 2010 when 43% of mosques had a full-time paid imam. Of full-time paid imams, 22% were born in America which is an increase from 15% in 2010.

Background on US Mosque Survey 2020:

The US Mosque Survey 2020 is a comprehensive statistical study of mosques located in the United States. It is an ongoing decadal survey which was conducted previously in 2000 and 2010. The results of the US Mosque Survey 2020 are divided into two reports.

Report 1 focuses on essential statistics, mosque participants, and mosque administration. Report 2, which will be released in late summer 2021, focuses on Islamic approaches in understanding Islam, perspectives of mosque leaders on American society, mosque activities, and women in the mosque.

Both reports are authored by Dr. Ihsan Bagby and jointly published by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Center on Muslim Philanthropy, and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU).

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.       

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,   

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