2015 Catholic Church statistics

The latest edition of the ‘Church’s Book of Statistics’ was released to coincide with World Mission Sunday. The book details members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and education.

World population

To 31 December 2013 the world population was 7,093,798,000 with an increase of 70,421,000 compared with the previous year. Population growth was registered on every continent above all in Asia and Africa followed by America, Europe and Oceania.


On the same date Catholics in the world numbered 1,253,926,000 with an overall increase of 25,305,000 more than the previous year. The increase affects all continents especially America and Africa followed by Asia, Europe and Oceania.

The world percentage of Catholics increased by 0.09 %, settling at 17.68%. By continent: increases were registered in Africa, America, Asia, Europe. A slight decrease was shown in Oceania.

Persons and Catholics per priest

This year the number of persons per priest in the world increased by 180 units, average 13,752. The distribution by continent: increase in America, Europe and Oceania; decrease in Africa, Asia.

The number of Catholics per priest in the world increased by 54 units, average 3,019. There are increases in America, Europe and Oceania; decrease in Asia and Africa.

Ecclesiastical circumscriptions and mission stations

The number of ecclesiastical circumscriptions are 8 more than the previous year to 2,989 with new circumscriptions created in: Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

Mission stations with a resident priest number 1,871 and increases registered in Africa, Asia and Oceania  Decreases in America and Europe. Mission Stations without a resident priest increased in number by 3,074 units, to 133,869. Compared to the previous year, increase is registered in Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. The number dropped only in Europe .


The total number of Bishops in the world increased by 40, to 5,173. Contrary to previous years where Diocesan Bishops increased in numbers, while Religious Bishops decreased, this year they both increased. Diocesan Bishops number 3,945, while Religious Bishops number 1,228. The increase in diocesan Bishops is registered in all continents except Oceania. The number of religious Bishops increased on every continent: Africa, America, Asia, Europe, while Oceania showed no variation. Continue reading


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News category: Features.

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