VATICAN-ANNUARIO 2012 (450 words) xxxi
Vatican says number of Catholics, priests, bishops worldwide increased
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The number of Catholics in the world and the
number of deacons, priests and bishops all increased in 2010, while the
number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to
At the end of 2010, the worldwide Catholic population reached 1.196
billion, an increase of 15 million or 1.3 percent, slightly outpacing
the global population growth rate, which was estimated at 1.1 percent,
said a statement published March 10 by the Vatican press office.
Catholics as a percentage of the global population "remained stable at around 17.5 percent," it said.
The statement reported a handful of the statistics contained in the 2012
"Annuario Pontificio," a yearbook containing information about every
Vatican office, as well as every diocese and religious order in the
Officials of the Vatican Secretariat of State and its Central Office of
Church Statistics presented the first copy of the 2012 yearbook to Pope
Benedict XVI during an audience March 10.
Detailed statistics in the yearbook are based on reports from dioceses and religious orders as of Dec. 31, 2010.
The percentage of Catholics declined slightly in South America from
28.54 percent to 28.34 percent of the regional population, and dropped
considerably in Europe from 24.05 percent to 23.83 percent. The
percentage of Catholics increased in 2010 by just under half a
percentage point in Southeast Asia and Africa.
The Vatican said the number of bishops in the world increased from 5,065
to 5,104; the number of priests went from 410,593 to 412,236,
increasing everywhere except Europe.
The number of permanent deacons reported -- 39,564 -- was an increase of
more than 1,400 over the previous year. 97.5 percent of the world's
permanent deacons live in the Americas or in Europe.
The number of men joining a religious order showed "a setback," the
Vatican said, with an increase of only 436 male religious worldwide in
The number of women in religious orders fell by more than 7,000 in 2010,
despite showing a 2 percent increase in both Asia and Africa. At the
end of the year, Catholic women's orders had 721,935 members.
The number of seminarians around the world showed continued growth, from
117,978 at the end of 2009 to 118,990 at the end of 2010.
In the last five years, it said, the number of seminarians rose more
than 14 percent in Africa, 13 percent in Asia and 12.3 percent in
Oceania. Numbers decreased in other regions of the world, particularly
Europe, which saw a 10.4 percent drop in the number of seminarians
between 2005 and 2010.
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