Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $40,680 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Worldwide Catholic population rises to 1.166 billion

Catholic World News - February 22, 2010

The world's Catholic population is now 1.166 billion, according to the latest Vatican yearbook. The figure shows an increase of 1.7% in 2007: the last year for which full statistics are available.

The 2010 edition of the Annuario Pontificio was presented to Pope Benedict XVI on February 22. The yearbook shows a rise in the number of Catholic priests during the first decade of the 21st century. Most of the growth in the clerical population has taken place in the southern hemisphere, however, while Europe has seen a marked decline in priests. In 2000, Europe accounted for 51.5% of the world's priests; today that figure is 47.1%, and falling.

The number of candidates for the priesthood worldwide also showed modest growth: from 115,919 in 2007 to 117,024 in 2008. Again the geographical distribution of that growth was highly uneven. Africa, Asia, and Oceania saw strong increases in the number of seminarians, while in Europe the number dropped by more than 4%. In the Americas, which are treated as one continent in Vatican statistics, the number of seminarians was essentially unchanged.

The number of women religious has fallen since 2000: from 801,185 to 739,067 in 2008.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($128,367 to go):
$150,000.00 $21,632.70
86% 14%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org 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!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics 2 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17
No, mainstream religious orders aren't attracting vocations as fast as younger traditional orders October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - 12 hours ago
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6