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THE STATISTICS OF THE CHURCH: the number of Catholics is growing worldwide
The Pontifical Yearbook 2021 and the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2019 were published in March. According to the data reported, the number of Catholics in the world increased to an amount of 1,345 million. The statistical data, referring to 2018 and 2019, show that the number of Catholics increased in Africa, Asia, Oceania and in the Americas. On the other hand, Europe mark a slight decline compared to the population that has an almost zero trend.
All over the world the number of priests increased going from 414,065 to 414,336, 271 units more.
The number of deacons also marked an upward trend in 2019 with a growth of 1.5%, going from 47,504 in 2018 to 48,238 units.
On the other hand, the number of candidates for the priesthood is showing an ongoing downward trend worldwide with a 1.6% decrease, going from 115,880 units in 2018 to 114,058 in 2019.
In America, Europe, and Oceania the number of women in religious orders decreased, going from 641,661 women in 2018 to 630,099 in 2019. The number of brothers in religious orders is also continuing its decline worldwide from 50,941 in 2018 to 50,295 in 2019.
From the data reported we can draw important information on the Catholic Church in the world. Statistics picture the current distribution of the Church in the different areas of the planet, highlighting the social and cultural trends differentiated in the various geographical areas and providing a broader view also to those involved in this industry.
National Catholic Reporter