Action Alert!
Catholic World News

World's Catholic population continues to grow

May 05, 2014

The world’s Catholic population grew in 2013 by slightly more than the overall population, the latest Statistical Yearbook of the Church reports.

The number of Catholic priests also rose in 2012 (the last year for which final statistics are available), as did the number of deacons. However the number of women religious continued a long decline, and the number of seminarians, which had risen in recent years, fell off slightly.

The Yearbook records a population of 1.228 billion Catholics at the close of 2012. That count is probably low by several million, the book notes, because Church officials were unable to supply an accurate count of Catholics in nations where the Church suffers political repression, such as China and North Korea.


Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Savonarola - May. 05, 2014 7:58 PM ET USA

    The US portion of this is just not credible. Our dropout rate is shocking but the USCCB pretends we're OK on the numbers because so many of the immigrants, legal and illegal, are nominally "Catholics."