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Rome Reports

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Vatican publishes new statistics: six in every 10 people in the Americas are Catholic

According to Vatican statistics, there has been a large increase in the number of baptized Catholics worldwide. 

It's a rise from 1.254 billion in 2013, to 1.329 billion, in 2018. It means that Catholics made up a little under 18 percent of the global population.

Breaking that up further, the Americas had the highest number of Catholics, with an average of 63.7 for every 100 inhabitants. Europe, Oceania and Africa followed with 39.7, 26.3 and 19.4, respectively. The lowest number was in Asia, with only 3.3 Catholics per 100 inhabitants.

There was also a decrease in the number of seminarians around the world, except in Africa, where this number increased. In 2013, there were over 118,000 seminarians, whereas in 2018, the total was down to a little less than 116,000. 

After a small increase of 1,400 priests around the world from 2013 to 2015, this number dropped between 2015 to 2018. The exceptions were Africa and Asia, which saw a rise in its ranks of priests. The numbers in the Americas have hovered right around a total of 123,000.

Religious women has seen an overall 7.5-percent decrease from 2013 to 2018. 

In absolute figures, that's a drop from almost 694,000 in 2013 to less than 642,000 five years later. 

The drop is especially evident in Europe (-15 percent), Oceania (-14.8 percent) and the Americas (-12 percent).