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An ordination ceremony to the priesthood and transitional diaconate at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, in 2022 (Melbourne Catholic)

The Holy See has published the 2024 Pontifical Yearbook and the 2022 Statistical Yearbook of the Church, detailing the numbers of bishops, priests, men and women religious, and deacons throughout the world. Source: Vatican News. 

The Pontifical Yearbook offers information regarding the life of the Catholic Church worldwide for the period December 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023.

During this period, nine new Episcopal Sees and one Apostolic Administration were established; two Episcopal Sees were elevated to Metropolitan Sees and one Apostolic Vicariate to an Episcopal See.

The Statistical Yearbook of the Church is filled with data to assess the main trends affecting the evolution of the Church worldwide. 

The number of baptised Catholics has increased globally, rising from 1.376 billion in 2021, to 1.390 billion in 2022, with a relative increase of 1.0 per cent.

The year 2022 marked a further decrease in the number of priests compared to the previous year, continuing a downward trend 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. The number of permanent deacons increased in 2022 by 2 per cent compared to a year earlier, going from 49,176 to 50,150 deacons. 

The number of non-priest professed religious men fell from 49,774 religious men in 2021 to 49,414 in 2022.

Professed religious women exceeded the number of priests across the world by almost 47 per cent but are in sharp decline. Globally, they went from 608,958 professed women in 2021 to 599,228 in 2022, with a relative decline of 1.6 per cent.

The decline in priestly vocations since 2012 continued over the 2021-2022 period.

In 2022, men preparing for the priesthood numbered 108,481, 1.3 per cent fewer than the previous year. 


New Church statistics reveal more Catholics, fewer vocations (Vatican News)