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Rome Reports

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Vatican statistics: number of priests declining for the first time since 2010


The Vatican has presented the "Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2017," with up-to-date statistics on the status of the Catholic Church in the world.

Baptized Catholics make up 17.7 percent of the world's population, or 1,313 million people. 

Out of these, 48.5 percent live in the Americas, 21.8 percent in Europe. Then, 17.8 percent live in Africa, 11.1 percent in Asia and 0.8 percent in Oceania.

The number of Catholics in the world has increased by 1.1 percent since the previous year. On the continental level, the Catholic population has increased by 2.5 percent in Africa and 1.5 percent in Asia. In the Americas there is a 0.96 percent increase and in Europe the growth is almost non-existent, with only 0.1 percent.

For the first time since 2010 the number of priests has decreased from 414,969 in 2016 to 414,582 in 2017.