VATICAN CITY APRIL 7, 2017 (CISA) – New statistics released by the Vatican’s Central Office for Church Statistics show that Africa has had the highest growth rate of baptized Catholics compared to other continents.
The Annuario Pontificio 2017 released on April 6, show that the population of Catholics in Africa grew by 19.4 percent, whereas a decline has been experienced in other continents like Europe.
The statistics showed that the global Catholic population has risen from 1.272 billion in 2014 to 1.285 billion in 2015. This is a one percent growth making the catholic population 17.7% of the total global population.
Countries with the highest number of Catholics were Brazil (172.2 million), Mexico (110.9 million), Philippines (83.6 million), USA (72.3 million), Italy (58.0 million), France (48.3 million), Colombia (45.3 million), Spain (43.3 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo (43.2 million) and Argentina (40.8 million). The number of Catholics in these ten countries, total up to 717.9 million which is 55.9% of global Catholic population.
The number of clerics in the world was 5,304 bishops, 415,656 priests and 45,255 permanent deacons, adding up to 466,215.