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CATHOLIC CHURCH STATISTICS

31 December 2007 

 

WORLD POPULATION – CATHOLICS 

PERSONS /CATHOLICS PER PRIEST

ECCLESIASTICAL CIRCUMSCRIPTIONS – MISSION STATIONS

BISHOPS

PRIESTS

PERMANENT DEACONS

RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN, MEMBERS OF SECULAR INSTITUTES

LAY MISSIONARIES, CATECHISTS

MAJOR SEMINARIANS – DIOCESAN AND RELIGIOUS

MINOR SEMINARIANS – DIOCESAN AND RELIGIOUS

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND PUPILS

CATHOLIC INSTITUTES FOR HEALTHCARE, SOCIAL ASSISTANCE, CHARITY WORK  

CIRCUMSCRIPTIONS DEPENDENT ON THE CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELISATION OF PEOPLES 

OVERALL WORLD PICTURE

CATHOLIC CHURCH STATISTICS

Vatican City (Fides Service) – As every year in the month of October, in view of World Mission Sunday, Fides News Service offers, with the help of a few statistics, a panorama of Catholic missionary activity all over the world. Tables regarding members of the Church, church structures in the fields of pastoral care, healthcare, education and assistance are taken from the latest edition of the Church’s Book of Statistics (31 December 2007). Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year's figures, are marked increase  + or decrease –. in brackets  

World population

             On 31 December 2007 the world population was 6,617,097,000 with an increase of 74,273,000 units compared with the previous year. Population growth was registered on every continent including Europe, as it was noted in the previous year: Africa +16,865,000; America +11,327,000; Asia  + 43,304,000; Oceania +531,000; Europe +2,246,000. 

Catholics

On the same date Catholics in the world numbered 1.146.656.000 with an overall increase of 15.906.000 more than the previous year, in every continent as follows: Africa +6.612.000; America +5.535.000; Asia +2.428.000; Europe + 1,132,000 Oceania +199.000.

The world percentage of Catholics increased by 0.05 %, settling at 17.33%; by continent: increases were registered in Africa + 0,40; Asia + 0,02; in Europe + 0,03 and in Oceania - 0,17 . a slight drop in numbers was registered in America - 0,17. 

Persons and Catholics per priest

This year again the number of persons per priest in the world increased by 140 units, (average 12,879). The distribution by continent resembles previous years: increase in America, Europe and Oceania, decrease in Africa and Asia : Africa - 456; America +71; Asia - 794; Europe +53; Oceania +207;  

The number of Catholics per priest in the world increased by 34 units (average 2,810). Here too we have increases on every continent except Asia: Africa + 30; America + 31; Asia -20; Europe +22; Oceania +65.

 

Ecclesiastical circumscriptions and mission stations

The number of ecclesiastical circumscriptions increased by 13 to 2,936 with new circumscriptions created in: Africa +2; America +6; and Europe +5. Mission stations with a resident priest 1,016 (1,531 less than in the previous year) are decreasing on every continent.

Mission Stations without a resident priest increased in number by 5,159 units, to 124,642. Increases  registered on every continent were greater in America (+ 3,764), and Africa (+ 1,310); followed by Asia (+ 75); Europe (+6); Oceania (+ 4). 

 

Bishops

The number of bishops in the world increased by 48 units, to 4,946. Every continent, except America -2, registered an increase:  Africa (+ 19); Asia, (+12) and Europe (+13) Oceania (+6). The increase in  numbers regard both diocesan and religious Bishops: Diocesan bishops number 3,729  (40 more than in the previous year); Religious Bishops number 1,217 (increase of 8 units). The increase in diocesan bishops is registered on every continent: Africa (+12); Asia (+10), Europe (+15); Oceania (+3); whereas in America the situation remains unchanged. The number of religious Bishops increased slightly in Africa (+ 7); Asia (+2) and Oceania (+ 3), whereas the number dropped in Europe (-2) and America (-2).   

priests

The total number of priests in the world increased by 762 units, to 408,024. The only continents which registered a decrease were again Europe (-2,260) and Oceania (- 55 ), whereas figures grew in Africa (+1,180); America (+ 376) and Asia (+1.521).  Diocesan priests increased by 1,340 units, reaching a total of 272,431 with increases in Africa (+1,024), America (+853), Asia (+864) but showed a slight drop in Oceania (- 9), and again a decrease in Europe (- 1,392). The number of Religious priests decreased by 578 units to a total 135,593. Increases were registered as in recent years in Asia (+657) and Africa (+156), whereas numbers dropped in America (- 447), Europe (- 868) and Oceania (- 46).  

permanent deacons

Permanent deacons increased by 1,422 units to 35,942. The highest increase was registered again in America (+898) and in Europe (+472),  followed by Africa (+24), Asia (+ 20) and Oceania (+8). Diocesan Permanent deacons number 35,297, with increases on all continents (total increase 1,309 units): Africa (+ 28), America (+829); Asia (+ 23); Europe (+419) and  Oceania (+ 10).

Religious permanent deacons number 645, with an increase of 133 units more than in the previous year with increases in America (+69); and Europe (+ 53); but a decrease in Africa (- 4) and Asia ( - 3); Oceania (-2).

 men and women religious

The number of Brothers dropped by 151 units to 54,956. Situation: increase in Africa (+ 75); America (+ 111), Asia (+ 36); and Oceania (+ 19). The only decrease was registered in Europe (- 392). An overall decrease in the number of women religious (– 6,586), today 746,841, was registered by continent as follows: increase in Africa (+ 1,178 ) and Asia (+ 2,838) and decrease in Europe (- 5,843), America (– 4,650) and Oceania (– 109).  

members of secular institutes, male and female

            Members of male secular institutes number 665 with an overall decrease of 26 units. Numbers increased only in Europe (+ 15), the situation in Oceania remained the same with only one member of a secular institute. Numbers decreased in Africa (- 17), America (- 6), Asia (- 18).

Members of Female secular institutes decreased again this year, by 572 units to a total of 26,778 members. Decreases were registered in America (- 238), in Europe (- 415) and Oceania (-2) while numbers increased in Africa (+18), Asia (+ 65). 

lay missionaries and catechists 

The number of lay missionaries in the world is 250,464 units, with an overall increase of 33,696 units, distributed as follows: America (+31,417), Asia (+ 2,552) and Europe (+ 493). Whereas numbers dropped in Africa ( - 711) and Oceania (- 55).

Catechists in the world increased by 6,665 units to a total of 2,993,354. Numbers grew in Africa (+ 5,896), Asia (+ 14, 383), and Europe (+ 7,403), but dropped in America (- 20,071) and Oceania (- 946).

major seminarians

The overall number of major seminarians, diocesan and religious, rose again, although less than the previous year, increasing by 439 units to 115,919. Numbers grew in Africa (+ 695), Asia (+ 595), and Oceania (+ 5) but dropped in America (- 381) and Europe (- 475).

Diocesan major seminarians number 71,225 (653 less than the previous year) but Religious major seminarians increased to 44,602 (+1.092). Diocesan seminarians increased in Africa (+136) and Oceania (+ 5), but decreased in America (- 239), Asia (- 74) and Europe (- 481).

Religious Seminarians increased in Africa (+ 559), Asia ( + 669) and  Europe (+ 6). Numbers remained the same in Oceania (=) and dropped in America ( - 142).

minor seminarians

The number of minor seminarians, diocesan and religious, decreased by 671 units, to 101,978. Numbers grew in Africa (+782), Europe (+ 13) and Oceania (+ 49), but dropped in America (- 684) and Asia (- 831). Diocesan minor seminarians number 77,145 (- 1, 158), whereas religious seminarians number 24,833 (+ 487). The number of diocesan minor seminarians has decreased on every continent except Oceania ( + 63). Religious minor seminarians decreased in number in America ( - 136), Asia ( - 241) and Oceania ( - 14), but increased in Africa (+ 815) and Europe ( + 63).

Catholic schools

In the field of education the Catholic Church runs 67,264 kindergartens with 6,386,497 pupils; 91,694 primary schools with 29,800,338 pupils; 41,210 secondary schools (+274) with 16,778,633 pupils. The Church also cares for 1,894,148 high school pupils and 2,837,370 university students.

Catholic charity and healthcare centres

The Church runs 5,378 hospitals most of them in America (1,669) and Europe (1,363); 18,088 dispensaries mainly in America (5,663), Africa (5,373) and Asia (3,532); 521 Care Homes for people with Leprosy mainly in Asia (293) and Africa (186); 15,448 Homes for the elderly, or the chronically ill or people with a disability  mainly in Europe (8,271) and America (3,839); 9,376 orphanages, about one third in Asia (3,376); 11,555 creches ; 13,599 marriage counselling centres mainly in Europe (5,919) and America (4,827); 33.146 social rehabilitation centres and 10,356 other kinds of institutions. 

STATISTICS 

Source: Church’s Yearly Book of Statistics latest edition elaborated by Fides in brackets variations compared with previous year:  increase (+) decrease (-)

WORLD POPULATION – CATHOLICS    

Continent

Population

Catholics

Percentage

Africa

943,743,000 (+ 16,865,000)

164,925,000 (+ 6,612,000)

 17.48 % (+ 0.40)

America

907,393,000 (+ 11,327,000)

568,570,000 (+ 5,535,000)

62.66 % (- 0.17)

Asia

4,024,970,000 (+ 43,304,000)

120,894,000 (+ 2,428,000)

3.00 % (+ 0.02)

Europe

706,798,000 (+ 2,246,000)

283,240,000 (+ 1,132,000)

 40.07 % (+ 0.03)

Oceania

34,193,000 (+ 531,000)

9,027,000 (+ 199,000)

 26.43 % (+ 0.17)

Total

6,617,097,000 (+ 74,273,000)

1,146,656,000 (+ 15,906,000)

 17.33% (+ 0.05)

 PERSONS /CATHOLICS PER PRIEST 

Continent

persons per priest

Catholics per priest

Africa

27,230 (- 456)

4,759 (+ 30)

America

7,469 (+ 71)

4,680 (+ 31)

Asia

50,432 (- 794)

2,290 (- 20)

Europe

3,636 (+ 53)

1,457 (+ 22)

Oceania

7,312 (+ 207)

1,931 (+ 65)

Total

12,879 (+ 140)

2,810 (+ 34)

 ECCLESIASTICAL CIRCUMSCRIPTIONS– MISSION STATIONS 

Continent

Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions

 

Mission Stations

with resident priest

Mission Stations

without resident priest

Africa

516 (+ 2)

248 (- 1,329)

70,805 (+ 3,764)

America

1,072 (+ 6)

105  (- 79 )

12,668  (+ 1,310)

Asia

523 (=)

578 (- 114)

40,566 (+ 75)

Europe

746 (+ 5)

35 (- 8)

64 (+ 6)

Oceania

79 (=)

50 (- 1)

539 (+ 4)

total

2,936 (+ 13)

1,016 (- 1,531)

124,642 (+ 5,159)

BISHOPS

Continent

Total bishops

diocesan bishops

Religious bishops

Africa

657 (+ 19)

474 (+ 12)

183 (+ 7)

America

1,847 (- 2)

1,278 (=)

569 (- 2)

Asia

732 (+ 12)

539 (+ 10)

193 (+ 2)

Europe

1,576 (+ 13)

1,349 (+ 15)

227 (- 2)

Oceania

134 (+ 6)

89 (+ 3)

45 (+ 3)

total

4,946 (+ 48)

3,729 (+ 40)

1,217 (+ 8)

PRIESTS 

Continent

Total priests

Diocesan priests

Religious priests

Africa

34,658 (+ 1,180)

23,154 (+ 1,024)

11,504 (+ 156)

America

121,495 (+ 376)

79,654 (+ 853)

41,841 (- 477)

Asia

52,802 (+ 1,521)

30,991 (+ 864)

21,811 (+ 657)

Europe

194,393 (- 2,260)

135,971 (- 1,392)

58,422 (- 868)

Oceania

4,676 (- 55)

2,661 (- 9)

2,015 (- 46)

total

408,024 (+ 762)

272,431 (+ 1,340)

135,593 (- 578)

 PERMANENT DEACONS 

Continent

Total

permanent deacons

Diocesan

Permanent deacons

Religious

Permanent deacons

Africa

403  (+ 24)

381 (+ 28)

22 (- 4)

America

23,256 (+ 898)

23,000 (+ 829)

256 (+ 69)

Asia

163 (+ 20)

118 (+ 23)

45 (- 3)

Europe

11,848 (+ 472)

11,529 (+ 419)

319 (+ 53)

Oceania

272 (+ 8)

269 (+ 10)

3 (- 2)

total

35,942 (+ 1,422)

35,297 (+ 1,309)

645 (+ 113)

 BROTHERS AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS

Continent

Brothers

Women Religious

 

Africa

7,921 (+ 75)

61,886 (+ 1,178)

America

16,755 (+ 111)

206,509 (- 4,650)

Asia

10,041 (+ 36)

158,692 (+ 2,838)

Europe

18,693 (- 392)

310,138 (- 5,843)

Oceania

1,546 (+ 19)

9,589 (- 109)

total

54,956 (- 151)

746,814 (- 6,586)

 MEMBERS OF SECULAR INSTITUTES 

Continent

Members of secular institutes

Male

Members of secular institutes

Female

Africa

41 (- 17)

537 (+ 18)

America

193 (- 6)

5,738 (- 238)

Asia

24 (- 18)

1,726 (+ 65)

Europe

406 (+ 15)

18,734 (- 415)

Oceania

1 (=)

43 (- 2)

total

665 (- 26)

26,778 (- 572)

 LAY MISSIONARIES AND CATECHISTS 

Continent

Lay missionaries

Catechists

Africa

3,590 (- 711)

399,932 (+ 5,896)

America

229,639 (+ 31,417)

1,723,284 (- 20,071)

Asia

12,456 (+ 2,552)

312,553 (+ 14,383)

Europe

4,422 (+ 493)

541,828 (+ 7,403)

Oceania

357 (- 55)

15,757 (- 946)

total

250,464 (+ 33,696)

2,993,354 (+ 6,665)

 MAJOR SEMINARIANS – DIOCESAN AND RELIGIOUS  

Continent

Total

Major seminarians

 

Diocesan

Major seminarians

Religious

Major seminarians

Africa

24,729 (+ 695)

16,654 (+ 136)

8,075 (+ 559)

America

36,769 (- 381)

24,845 (- 239)

11,924 (- 142)

Asia

31,297 (+ 595)

14,966 (- 74)

16,331 (+ 669)

Europe

22,143 (- 475)

14,127 (- 481)

8,016 (+ 6)

Oceania

981 (+ 5)

633 (+ 5)

348 (=)

total

115,919 (+ 439)

71,225 (- 653)

44,694 (+ 1,092)

 MINOR SEMINARIANS – DIOCESAN AND  RELIGIOUS 

Continent

total

minor seminarians

 

diocesan

minor seminarians

 

religious

minor seminarians

 

Africa

48,812 (+ 782)

43,053 (- 33)

5,759 (+ 815)

America

15,982 (- 684)

10,973 (- 548)

5,009 (- 136)

Asia

24,038 (- 831)

15,117 (- 590)

8,921 (- 241)

Europe

12,813 (+ 13)

7,698 (- 50)

5,115 (+ 63)

Oceania

333 (+ 49)

304 (+ 63)

29 (- 14)

Total

101,978 (- 671)

77,145 (- 1,158)

24,833 (+ 487)

 SCHOOLS AND  PUPILS

 

INFANT

schools

 

children

PRIMARY

schools

pupils

SECONDARY

schools

PUPILS

High school

pupils

UNIVERSITY

Pupils

Africa

12,496

1,266,444

33,263

14,061,806

9,838

3,738,238

54,362

76,432

America

15,788

1,636,893

22,562

7,085,289

11,053

3,727,151

566,257

1,926,978

Asia

13,683

1,642,586

15,698

4,959,065

9,298

5,061,593

1,021,516

525,794

Europe

23,602

1,738,825

17,222

3,045,764

10,338

3,859,905

243,180

297,647

Oceania

1,695

101,749

2,949

648,414

683

391,746

8,833

10,519

total

67,264

6,386,497

91,694

29,800,338

41,210

16,778,633

1,894,148

2,837,370

 HOSPITALS/CLINICS, CHARITY WORK, WELFARE     

Continent

hospitals

Dispensaries

Leprosy

centres

Homes for the elderly, chronically ill, disabled

orphanages

Nursery

schools

Marriage

Counselling

centres,

other institutes

total

Africa

1,074

5,373

186

753

979

1,997

1,590

2,947

1,279

America

1,669

5,663

38

3,839

2,463

3,715

4,827

13,652

4,239

Asia

1,102

3,532

293

2,095

3,367

3,211

969

5,379

1,870

Europe

1,363

2,947

3

8,271

2,480

2,524

5,919

10,576

2,761

Oceania

170

573

1

490

87

108

294

592

207

total

5,378

18,088

521

15,448

9,376

11,555

13,599

33,146

10,356

 ECCLESIASTICAL CIRCUMSCRIPTIONS DEPENDENT ON THE CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELISATION OF PEOPLES 

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples is at the service of the Holy Father the Pope as the “central body for promoting, directing and co-ordinating” the activity of evangelisation of peoples and missionary cooperation throughout  the world (cfr,­ Ad gentes, 29; Pastor bonus, 85),

            The Church down through the centuries, in obedience to the command received from Christ, has always proclaimed the Gospel to all peoples. In order to fulfil her missionary duty, in the face of growing demand for evangelisation in the 16th century, the Church set up special structures. In 1622 Pope Gregory XV instituted the “Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide”, with the task of “preaching and proclaiming the Gospel and Catholic doctrine in all missions”, giving the Congregation decision making powers to guarantee rapidity and effectiveness. In 1627 Pope Urban VIII founded the Urban College of Propaganda Fide for the formation of secular clergy for the mission and the Tipografia Poliglotta (Printing Press) to print documents and books in many different languages.

            With the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus Pope John Paul II confirmed the general principle of jurisdiction laid down by the Second Vatican Council (cfr. Ad gentes, 29), which states: “The Congregation has the task of directing and co-ordinating activity for the evangelisation of peoples and for missionary cooperation” (85),

            The main duties of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples include: ensure fair distribution of missionaries; formation for local secular clergy and catechists; involve Religious Institutes, Mission Societies, and local Churches in the task of evangelising mission territories. 

Latest details (10 October 2009) of Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions under the care of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples  (CEP) : 

The CEP is responsible for a total number of 1,094

Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions  

Continent

AD

D

AT

VA

PA

M

AA

OM

TOTAL

Africa

87

378

-

14

9

1

1

3

493

America

7

31

-

45

-

2

-

-

85

Asia

76

333

1

15

36

3

4

2

470

Oceania

11

31

-

-

1

2

-

1

46

TOTAL

181

773

1

74

46

8

5

6

1094

KEY: archdiocese (AD), diocese (D), territorial abbacy (AT), apostolic vicariate (VA), apostolic prefecture (PA), apostolic administration (AA), Mission sui juris (M), military Ordinariate (OM) (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 15 October2009)

___________________________________________________________

Special Feature prepared by S.L. - Fides News Service 15 October 2009

 

 

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