Church Statistics and Church Mission

FIDES NEWS AGENCY

Summary statistics that reflect the Catholic Church's worldwide presence of service and apostolates. Also included are figures on the number of priests and bishops and totals for all the world religions.

At the beginning of the 3rd Christian millennium, Church statistics help us to draw some conclusions about two thousand years of evangelization among peoples.

At the end of 1997 the world population was 5,820,767,000 that is 80,677,000 than the previous year and what is more this increase was 27,961,000 more than the increase in the previous year. The population growth of 80,677,000 was by continent as follows: 59,241,000 in Asia, 14,978,000 in Africa, 7,006,000 in America and 326,000 in Oceania; but a decrease in Europe of 874,000. (Cf. Church's Book of Statistics 1997).

At the same date Catholics were 1,005,254,000, with an increase of 10,126,000 compared to the previous year, distributed by continent as follows: increase of 4,591,000 in America, 3,600,000 in Africa, 2,064,000 in Asia and 287,000, but a decrease of 27,000 in Oceania and 102,000 in Europe.

The percentage of Catholics in the world has decreased on the whole by 0.07%, although it has increased by 0.18% in Africa, 0.03% in Europe, 0.02% in America and 0.01% in Asia; and decreased only in Oceania of 0.40%.

The ratio of inhabitants and Catholics per priest has risen generally by 48 units. But while it increased in Oceania by 240, in America by 62 and in Europe by 21, it dropped by 1,591 in Asia and by 121 in Africa. In these two continents in fact the number of priests has grown.

But generally Priests have decreased, by 128 units (750 less Religious priests but 622 more diocesan priests) In Asia the number of priests increased by 1,037 (+ 714 and + 323 Religious); in Africa by 600 (+749 diocesan but less 149 Religious); decreased in America by 69 (+ 509 diocesan but less 578 Religious); decrease in Europe of 1,664 (- 1,306 diocesan and 358 Religious) and in Oceania by 32 (- 44 diocesan and + 12 Religious.

Religious men have decreased generally by 757 units despite an increase in Asia by 119, in Africa by 97. Because they decreased by 538 in Europe, 317 in America and 118 in Oceania.

Women Religious have decreased considerably by 9,382 units: while they increased by 1,664 in Asia, and by 97 in Africa they decreased in Europe by 8,175 and by 4,064 in America.

Catechists have increased generally by 434,388

Major seminarians have increased generally by 2,647: increasing by 1,904 in America, by 922 in Africa and by 673 in Asia, but decreasing by 788 in Europe and 64 in Oceania.

Minor seminarians decreased generally by 2,741 because while they increased by 2,185 in Africa they decreased by 2,123 in America, 1,720 in Europe and by 1,074 in Asia and 9 in Oceania.

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CATHOLICS IN THE WORLD AND ON THE INDIVIDUAL CONTINENTS

  Population Variations Catholics Variations

World

5.820.767.000+ 80.677.0001.005.254.000 + 10.126.000

Africa

756.896.000+ 14.978.000 112.871.000 + 3.600.000

America

788.153.000+ 7.006.000 495.756.000 + 4.591.000

Asia

3.562.142.000+ 59.241.000105.294.000 + 2.064.000

Europe

684..421.000- 874.000283.313.000 - 102.000

Oceania

29.155.000 + 326.000 8.020.000 - 27.000

 

% of Catholics Variations Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions Variations

World

17,27% - 0,07% 2.789 + 13

Africa

14,91% + 0,18% 474 + 5

America

62,90%+ 0,02% 1.034 + 3

Asia

2,96% + 0,01% 484 + 5

Europe

41,39% + 0,03% 720 = =

Oceania

27,54% - 0,54% 77 = =


Inhabitants per Priest

Variations

Catholics per Priest

Variations

World

11.270 + 48 2.487+ 13

Africa

29.942 - 1214.465 + 37

America

6.567 + 62 4.131 + 41

Asia

56.781 - 1.591 2.604 - 16

Europe

3.207 + 21 1.328 + 10

Oceania

5.883 + 240 1.580 + 5


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BISHOPS
(bracketed variations compared with last year)

 

Total

Secular Religious

Native

Foreign

World

4.420 (+ 45) 3.299 (+ 49) 1.121 (- 4) 3.707 (+ 43) 713 (+ 2)

Africa

562 (+ 18) 410 (+ 8) 152 (+ 10)435 (+ 12) 127 (+ 6)

America

1.659 (+13)1.133 (+ 20) 526 (- 7)1.354 (+ 17) 305 (- 4)

Asia

617 (+ 15) 442 (+ 16) 175 (- 1)528 (+ 18) 89 (- 3)

Europe

1.464 (=) 1.236 (+ 4) 228 (- 4) 1.312 (- 5)152 (+ 5)

Oceania

118 (- 1) 78 (+ 1)40 (- 2) 78 (+ 1) 40 (- 2)



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PRIESTS
(bracketed variations compared with last year)

 

Total

Diocesan

Religious

World

404.208 (- 128) 263.521 (+ 622) 140.687 (- 750)

Africa

25.279 (+ 600)14.873 (+ 749) 10.406 (- 149)

America

120.013 (- 69) 73.495 (+ 509) 46.518 (- 578)

Asia

40.441 (+ 1.037) 23.789 (+ 714) 16.652 (+ 323)

Europe

213.398 (- 1.664)148.595 (- 1.306)64.803 (- 358)

Oceania

5.077 (- 32) 2.769 (- 44) 2.308 (+ 12)

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BROTHERS, SISTERS, CATECHISTS
(bracketed variations compared with last year)

 

 

Brothers

Sisters

Catechists

World

58.210 (- 757) 819.278 (- 9.382) 2.019.021 (+ 434.388)

Africa

7.083 (+ 97) 49.854 (+ 1.161) 329.775 (+ 4.926)

America

17.426 (- 317)240.858 (- 4.064) 1.071.707

Asia

7.274 (+ 119) 127.969 (+ 1.664) (+ 330.638)

Europe

24.460 (- 538) 388.693 (- 8.175) 188.985 (+ 5.686)

Oceania

1.967 (- 118) 11.904 (+ 32) 399.485 (+ 76.727) 29.069 (16.411)


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SEMINARIANS


  Seminarians: Major Variations Seminarians: Minor Variations

World

108.517+ 2.647 106.210 - 2.741

Africa

19.078 + 92243.469+ 2.185

America

34.947 +1.904 22.425 - 2.123

Asia

25.842 +67322.329 - 1.074

Europe

27.853 - 788 17.541 - 1.720

Oceania

797 - 64 - 64 446 - 9


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SCHOOLS AND PUPILS

The Church's work in education reaches a total 47,187,187 pupils (increase of 587.769 units in 1996)
not counting students formed in professional schools.

 

 

Infant (pupils)

Institutes Elementary (pupils) Institutes

World

5.112.57058.22425.441.83786.505

Africa

781.536 9.8679.285.102 29.543

America

1.117.95414.786 7.321.40522.411

Asia

1.373.087 9.700 4.199.371 13.622

Europe

1.810.755 23.283 3.416.138 18.363

Oceania

29.238588 552.900 2.566

 

 

High School (pupils)

Institutes

Univ. (students) Institutes

World

13.881.90934.8491.411.6892.033.318

Africa

2.050.0806.26524.09327.188

America

3.676.8949.493 458.2311.276.849

Asia

4.199.3717.931725.905474.465

Europe

3.614.82610.425 196.918250.365

Oceania

340.738 735 6.542 4.451


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HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL/CHARITABLE CENTERS

  Hospitals Dispensaries

Leper Colonies

World

5.188 17.157825

Africa

808 4.191372

America

1.864 5.676 84

Asia

1.0273.198361

Europe

1.362 3.917 6

Oceania

1271752

 

 

Homes Elderly + Handicap

Orphanages

Children's Homes

World

12.2098.246

11.911

Africa

455729 1.645

America

3.1662.2805.297

Asia

1.222 2.9682.485

Europe

7.092 2.0432.402

Oceania

274 226 82

 

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RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD
At the end of 1997, according to approximate statistics,
the religions of the world population of 5,820,767,000 were as follows:

CHRISTIANS: 1, 994,754, 000 of whom 1, 005, 254 000 are Catholics

MUSLIMS: 1,088,500,000

NO RELIGION: 998,500,000

HINDUS: 801,500,000

BUDDHISTS: 396,500,000

ATHEISTS: 244,500,000

NEW RELIGIONS: 154,500,000

TRIBAL RELIGIONS: 95,500,000

SIKHS: 22,500,000

JEWS: 21,500,000


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

ZENIT is an International News Agency based in Rome whose mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media.

Copyright 1999 ZENIT


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