Over the previous century, the variety of Catholics roughly the globe has an ext than tripled, indigenous an approximated 291 million in 1910 to almost 1.1 billion together of 2010, follow to a substantial demographic study by the Pew study Center.

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But end the exact same period, the world overall population also has risen rapidly. Together a result, Catholics have made up a remarkably steady share that all human being on Earth. In 1910, Catholics consisted of about half (48%) of all Christians and 17% the the world’s full population, follow to historical approximates from the world Christian Database. A century later, the Pew research study study found, Catholics still comprise about fifty percent (50%) that Christians worldwide and 16% the the total an international population.

What has readjusted substantially over the previous century is the geographic circulation of the world’s Catholics. In 1910, Europe was home to around two-thirds of every Catholics, and almost nine-in-ten live either in Europe (65%) or Latin America (24%). Through 2010, by contrast, only about a quarter of every Catholics (24%) to be in Europe. The biggest share (39%) were in Latin America and also the Caribbean.


Rapid expansion has developed in sub-Saharan Africa, which today is residence to about 171 million Catholics (16%), up from an estimated 1 million (less than 1%) in 1910. There additionally has been rapid growth in the huge Asia-Pacific region, wherein 131 million Catholics (12%) now live, increase from 14 million (5%) a century ago.

North America’s re-superstructure of the an international Catholic population has increased more slowly, from around 15 million (5%) in 1910 come 89 million (8%) together of 2010.

Though the middle East and also North Africa space the ancient cradle the Christianity, the center East-North Africa region is house to less than 1% that Catholics today, about the exact same as in 1910.

How did the re-publishing of Catholics in various regions adjust between 1910 and 2010?

While there to be dramatic shifts in the local distribution of the Catholic population between 1910 and 2010, several of this change is early out to different rates of overall population growth. Europe, because that example, was house to 24% the the people in the world in 1910; together of 2010, just 11% of the world’s populace lives in Europe. Meanwhile, Latin America and the Caribbean thrived from 4% the the global population in 1910 come 9% in 2010.

Another method to look in ~ the adjust between 1910 and 2010 is to to compare the section of each region’s population that is Catholic. Latin America to be the most heavily Catholic region in both years, however the share that the region’s populace that is Catholic lessened from about 90% in 1910 to 72% in 2010. Meanwhile, Europe’s population went from 44% Catholic to 35% Catholic. When both Latin America and Europe ended up being less heavily Catholic end this period, Latin America – which had actually much larger population growth – overshadowed Europe to end up being the region with the largest Catholic populace in thin numbers.


As a portion of regional population, the biggest growth arisen in sub-Saharan Africa, which go from around 1% Catholic in 1910 come 21% Catholic in 2010. The Catholic share of the population in the Asia-Pacific region grew native 1% to 3% throughout this period. Meanwhile, the Catholic share of north America’s populace grew from 16% come 26%.

How has the populace changed in heavily Catholic nations in the past decade?

In several nations with huge Catholic populations, the re-publishing of the populace identifying together Catholic has decreased over the last decade. Brazil has the biggest Catholic populace in the world, yet the re-superstructure of self-identified Catholics in Brazil reduce from about three-quarters (74%) in 2000 to around two-thirds (65%) in 2010. Mexico, the nation with the second-largest Catholic population in the world, walk from about 89% Catholic in 2000 come 85% Catholic in 2010.

What carry out we know around the U.S. Catholic population?

The United says is house to about 7% of every Catholics in the world. Together of 2010, an approximated 23% the U.S. Adults and 24% of the full U.S. Populace (adults and also children) are Catholic.

The Catholic population in the U.S. Has undergone part striking demography shifts despite hovering about a quarter of the population for numerous decades. For example, the Catholic population has lost an ext members 보다 it has obtained from spiritual switching. In fact, one-in-ten adult in the United states is a previous Catholic, according to the Pew research Center’s 2009 report “Faith in Flux.”

In addition, the Catholic population in the U.S. Has actually been greatly shaped by immigration and includes a climbing share that Latinos. Much more than fifty percent (52%) of all migrants to the United says are Catholic. That the approximated 75.4 million Catholics in the United states in 2010, 22.2 million to be born outside the United claims (30%). By comparison, slightly more than 13% the the all at once U.S. Populace is foreign-born.

Three-quarters (76%) the Catholic immigrants living in the U.S. Room from Latin America and the Caribbean, while around 10% have come indigenous Asia-Pacific and around 10% have come native Europe. In recent Pew Research center surveys of adult Catholics, 60% space non-Hispanic whites, 33% are Hispanic and 7% are other minorities, consisting of Asians.1

Which countries have the many Catholics now?


Which nations had the most Catholics in 1910?



Data for 1910 come from the human being Christian Database (Brill 2013) and also are based upon historical church membership data standardization by Todd M. Johnson and his colleagues at the center for the research of an international Christianity in ~ Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in south Hamilton, Mass.

All the other demographic data in the report were compiled through the employee of the Pew research Center and also are based mostly on censuses and nationally representative surveys. European approximates were developed in collaboration with researchers at the international Institute for applied Systems analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.

This report updates 2010 Catholic populace estimates published by the Pew Research facility in its 2011 report “Global Christianity: A Report top top the Size and Distribution the the world’s Christian Population.” The update 2010 Catholic population total (1,078,790,000) is slightly lower than the estimate published in the 2011 “Global Christianity” report (1,094,610,00). Some country estimates different for two reasons. First, new data has become available, such together the 2010 census in Brazil. Second, approximates that relied on enlarge data, such together the 2001 census in Austria, have actually been updated based upon the populace projections because that the all at once Christian populace reported in the Pew research study Center’s 2012 report “The global Religious Landscape: A Report ~ above the Size and Distribution the the World’s significant Religious teams as of 2010.” Detailed source lists and complete methodological discussions are contained in the appendices of these Pew Research facility reports. The projections in the “Global spiritual Landscape” report were made in participation with IIASA researchers. Migration estimates are attracted from the Pew research study Center’s an international Religion and also Migration Database.

The Vatican Publishing house publishes a “Statistical Yearbook that the Church”, which consists of Catholic populace estimates. Pew Research’s census- and survey-based estimates for 2010 might vary from numbers reported in the “Statistical Yearbook.” because that example, the “Statistical Yearbook” has a greater total Catholic population (1.196 billion) and higher estimates the the Catholic populations of Brazil (163,269,000) and Mexico (99,635,000). By contrast, Pew Research analysis of 2010 census data argues there space 126,750,000 Catholics in Brazil and also 96,450,000 Catholics in Mexico.

Defining Catholics

The Catholic Church contains the global body of churches in complete communion v the bishop the Rome, the pope. This churches incorporate the western (or Latin) church and also 22 eastern Catholic churches. Every of these churches has a distinctive hierarchy and traditional liturgy, prayers and religious observances. The west (Latin) church is the biggest of this churches. Amongst the significant branches that the east churches are the Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Byzantine and Chaldean.

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Estimates for the number of Catholics in this report likewise include members that some reasonably small Catholic teams (such together the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church) that are not in communion with the bishop that Rome.