Muslims came to the United States from different backgrounds for various reasons. The first known Muslims to arrive in the US were from Africa as slaves in the 17th century. The second group was Arabs immigrants in the 19th century mainly from Lebanon and Greater Syria. Today, Muslims account for 0.9% of the US population making Islam the third-largest religious group in the US after Christianity (70.6%) and Judaism (1.9%). The state of New Jersey has the largest Muslim population by percentage accounting for 3% of the state's total population.
States with the Largest Muslim Populations
New Jersey has the largest Muslim population by percentage. Muslims make up 3% of the state's total population. Arkansas, the District of Columbia, and New York follow with the Muslim population accounting for 2% of each state's population. Muslim populations in the remaining states account for 1% or less of the population.
Interestingly, New York leads as the state with the highest number of mosques, estimated to number 257 in 2011. New Jersey, on the other hand, had only 109.
The Oldest Mosque in the US
The oldest still-standing mosque in the US is located in Chicago, Illinois. The mosque was converted in 1922 listing it among the earliest mosques in the US as well as the oldest still-standing mosque. The oldest purpose-built mosque was built a decade later. The Mother Mosque of America was built in 1934 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The Largest Mosque in the US
The largest mosque in the US is the Islamic Centre of America in Michigan. The mosque accommodates more than 3,000 people. It was restructured in 2005 to cater to the increasing number of Muslims in the United States due to immigration. Mosques totaled about 2,100 in number by the year 2010. Since the distribution of Muslims is uneven, the high number of mosques are built to serve Muslims from various immigrant groups in areas with a high number of Muslims.