Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,642 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 ($124,732 to go):
$150,000.00 $25,268.34
83% 17%
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

Could respect for the papacy mean resisting the Pope? 5 hours ago
The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23

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 - October 20
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