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!

Progress toward our July expenses ($21,925 to go):
$35,000.00 $13,074.95
63% 37%
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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Making Moral Progress? July 3
Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision July 2
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited July 2
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15