A report from an American think-tank has estimated 1.57 billion Muslims populate the world - with 60 per cent in Asia. According to BBC, the report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life took three years to compile, with census data from 232 countries and territories. It showed that 20 per cent of Muslims lived in the Middle East and North Africa. The data also showed that there were more Muslims in Germany than in Lebanon, and more in Russia than in Jordan and Libya together. Researchers analysed approximately 1,500 sources including census reports, demographic studies and general population surveys. Senior researcher Brian Grim told CNN that the overall figure was a surprise and said: Overall, the number is higher than I expected. The report, published on Wednesday, also found that Ethiopia has nearly as many Muslims as Afghanistan. Amaney Jamal, an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University, told an American news agency: This whole idea that Muslims are Arabs and Arabs are Muslims is really just obliterated by this report. Instead the report found that more than 300 million Muslims live in countries where Islam was not the majority religion. Of the total Muslim population, 10-13 per cent are Shia Muslims and 87-90 per cent are Sunni Muslims. Most Shias live in Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq. Europe is home to 38 million Muslims - around 5pc of its population with European Muslims making up slightly more than 2pc of the worlds Muslim population. More than half of the 4.6 million Muslims in the Americas live in the US - however they make up just 0.8pc of the population there.The Pew Forum has said the findings will lay the foundation for a forthcoming study that will look at how Muslim populations worldwide have grown and what they may look like in the future.