Note: NYC is always changing and religion is growing, so it is no surprise that the number of mosques in the city has increased since 2010. For our updated 2015 figures go to: "Mosque City New York. All-time record number of 285 mosques in New York City."
As of today, A Journey through NYC religions has counted 175 mosques in New York City. The most commonly used figure in current media reports is 100+ mosques, a figure that derives from a 1999 study.
The 2000 Religious Congregations and Membership Study estimated a mere 86 Muslim congregations. Ishan Bagby and his colleagues of the 2000 Muslim Mosque Study Project counted over 120 mosques in NYC. They expect to publish a new count in February 2011.
The total number of mosques in the city is certainly much larger than our count. The Moslem population by all accounts has been growing quickly. We will update our numbers from time to time.
There are no reliable figures for the population of Muslims in New York City. Estimates range from 200,000 to 1,000,000. Based on our study, we would estimate that there are about 600,000 Muslims in the city.
The diversity of the Muslim community of New York City is unique in the United States. In the city there are large numbers of Muslims from Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, India, Pakistan, Palestine, Turkey (and Kurdistan), Yemen and elsewhere. African Americans make up a significant portion of the city’s Muslims, and there are a few Spanish-language mosques. New York City also is the main entrepot of African Muslims, who then spread out to the rest of the country. One New York Muslim leader jokes, "We have become tabouli!" (a mixed salad of chopped onions, tomatoes and parsley).
In comparison Los Angeles, which has a large Muslim population, tends to attract those who have lived in the U.S. for a while. The Detroit area has a large concentration of Arab Muslims, particularly Yemenis (who are also found in large numbers in Brooklyn).
The 2007 Pew Survey of Muslim Americans estimated that there are 2.35 million Muslims in the United States with 65% being foreign born. African Americans make up around 20% of U.S. Muslims.
There is great controversy over those figures. In 2001 a National Opinion Research Center study concluded that there are between 1.5 and 3.4 million Muslims in the United States. The Mosque Study Project found that mosques report 2 million Muslims associating with their mosques (350,000 weekly attenders) and estimated that 6-7 million people identify as Muslims. The outsized estimate is a function of the method of asking mosque leaders to themselves estimate how many people identify with the mosque.
Whichever total population figure one uses, the Muslim population in New York City has been growing rapidly since the 1970s.
[Part III: http://www.nycreligion.info/?p=621 ]