Monday, February 22, 2010

Number of Catholics Increases Worldwide

by Steve Ray on February 22, 2010

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 21, 2010 ( The number of Catholics, including the number of priests and seminarians, is increasing worldwide, especially in Asia and Africa. These statistics are found in the 2010 “Annuario Pontificio,” or Pontifical Yearbook, presented Saturday to Benedict XVI by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and Archbishop Fernando Filoni, who is in charge of general affairs for the Secretariat of State.

In 2008 there were 1.166 billion baptized Catholics worldwide, an increase of 19 million (up 1.7%). Taking into account the increase in the world’s population to 6.7 billion, there is a slight growth in the percentage of Catholics who make up the global population (from 17.33% to 17.40%).

There was also an increase in the number of bishops, from 4,946 in 2007 to 5,002 in 2008 (up 1.13%). The growth in Africa (up 1.83%) and the Americas (up 1.57%) was significant, while in Asia (up 1.09%) and in Europe (up 0.70%) the values are below the overall average. In Oceania during the same period there was a 3% decrease in the number of bishops.

There was also a slight increase (around 1% between 2000 and 2008) for diocesan and religious priests, whose numbers grew from 405,178 in 2000 to 409,166 in 2008.

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Worldwide Catholic population rises to 1.166 billion
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.


Robust Growth in Catholic Church in America!

Washington D.C., Feb 21, 2010 / 07:47 am (CNA).- The Catholic Church’s membership in the United States grew at the “robust” rate of about 1.5 percent in 2008, according to National Council of Churches’ (NCC) new 2010 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

A slight loss in Catholic membership in the U.S. was reported in the 2009 Yearbook, but the NCC said the latest figure shows “robust growth.” The figures come from 2008 statistics. The growth outpaces the estimated U.S. population growth rate in 2008, listed as 0.9 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook.

There are now an estimated 68.1 million Catholics in the United States.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose members are known as Mormons, grew 1.7 percent to almost 5.9 million members. The Assemblies of God grew 1.3 percent to about 2.9 million.

Other denominations lost membership. The Presbyterian Church (USA) shrank 3.3 percent and now has about 2.9 million members. American Baptist Churches in the USA decreased two percent to 1.4 million, while the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lost 1.9 percent of its membership, which now stands at 4.7 million.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest denomination after Catholics, lost 0.24 percent of its membership and now stands at 16.2 million. It also declined in membership in the year prior.