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2024 Pontifical Yearbook and 2022 Statistical Yearbook: Catholic Church statistics

Published by the Vatican Printing Press

The 2024 Pontifical Yearbook (orig. Annuario Pontificio 2024) and the Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2022 (orig. Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2022) published by the Vatican Printing Press (Libreria Editrice Vaticana – LEV ) are  now available.

The Pontifical Yearbook 2024 – Catholic Church Directory, in its 2.400 pages, lists every diocese and bishop in the world, all Roman Curia offices and their personnel, the diplomatic corps at the Holy See, the world’s religious orders, pontifical academies and universities, statistical summary regarding the life of the Catholic Church worldwide, for the period ranging from December 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023.

The Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2021 is filled with statistical data to assess the main trends affecting the evolution of the Catholic Church worldwide, between 2021 and 2022.

Those are the most meaningful

  • More Catholics, fewer vocations The number of baptized Catholics has increased globally, rising from 1.376 billion in 2021 to 1.390 billion in 2022, with a relative increase of 1.0%. Africa recorded an increase of 3%, with the number of Catholics rising from 265 to 273 million in the same period. Europe shows a situation of stability (in 2021 and 2022 Catholics amount to 286 million). The Americas and Asia recorded a significant growth in the number of Catholics (+0.9% and +0.6%, respectively), a trend entirely in line with the demographic development of these two continents. Oceania reported stability, with lower absolute values.
    At the same time, the trend of priestly vocations is still declining: in 2022, men preparing for the priesthood numbered 108,481, with a variation of -1.3% compared to the situation a year earlier.  Of the 108,481 seminarians worldwide, Africa was the continent that showed the highest number of seminarians, with 34,541 men. It was followed by Asia with 31,767, the Americas with 27,738, Europe with 14,461, and Oceania with 974 major seminarians.  Vocational crisis is particularly evident in Europe (-6% seminarians), Asia (-1,2%) Americas (-3,2%)
  • Fewer priests and more permanent deacons  The year 2022 marked a further decrease in the number of priests compared to the previous year, continuing the downward trend that has characterized the years since 2012. The global number of priests in the world in 2022, compared to that of 2021, decreased by 142 priests, going from 407,872 to 407,730. Africa and Asia showed a sustained dynamic (+3.2% and 1.6%, respectively) and the Americas remained almost stationary. Europe, with the greatest weight on the total, and Oceania registered negative variation rates of 1.7 and 1.5 percent, respectively. The number of permanent deacons continued to show significant increases by 2% compared to a year earlier, going from 49,176 to 50,150 deacons.
  • Decrease in professed religious The number of non-priest professed religious men contracted at the global level.There were 49,774 religious men in 2021, falling to 49,414 in 2022. The decline was attributable, in order of importance, to the European, African, and Oceanian continents. In Asia, on the other hand, religious men increased considerably, and to a lesser extent in the Americas. Professed religious women, who exceeded the number of priests across the world by almost 47%, went from 608,958 professed women in 2021 to 599,228 in 2022, with a relative decline of 1.6%. Africa was the continent with the largest increase in religious women, (+1.7%), followed by Southeast Asia, (+0.1%). All the other continental areas showed a decline: South and Central America (-2.5%), Oceania (-3.6%), Europe (-3.5%) and North America (-3.0%).



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