35 million Catholics in Poland

How Many Catholics Are There?

How Many Are There?

There are over one billion Catholics on Earth and the majority live in Brazil where there are over 126 million. However, the highest percentage of Catholics is is in Poland where 92.2% of the population is Catholic. There are over 35 million Catholics in Poland. According to data of the Pew Research Centre, there are 1.078 billion Catholics in the world, which is over 15% of the entire global population. The ten countries with the highest number of Catholics are: Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, the United States, Italy, Columbia, France, Poland, Spain and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although Poland is 8th in terms of numbers of believers, it is first with regards percentage of the population. Other countries include: Mexico (85%), Columbia (82.3%), Italy (81.2%) and Brazil (65%). Despite the fact that over 75 million Catholics live in the US, putting it in 4th place in the world, Catholics make up only 24% of the society. Recently, BBC journalists attempted to discover if Vatican estimates on the number of Catholics in the world were genuine. Many experts believe that the number of baptised people alone is an unreliable basis for estimating the number of Catholics. The Vatican counts every registered baptism and then subtracts the number of deceased people to reach their number. Some sociologists stress that the number of Catholics should be calculated by considering those who identify themselves with the Church. This is why the data of the Pew Research Centre shows such a marked difference to the Vatican estimates.

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  1. Jim · January 16, 2014

    Hmm. I suspect that might mean the number of people baptised as Catholics; the numbers who practice Catholicism (however we may wish to define that – regular attendance at mass, etc.), and the numbers who have a theological understanding of C. in contrast to anything Protestant (transubstantiation etc.) are probably considerably lower. I have a sneaking suspicion that a great number of Poles are merely ‘cultural’ or ‘family’ Catholics; and that another substantial number are genuine atheists, but are afraid to ‘come out’. Those latter two groups might even be a plurality, if not a majority. Not forgetting the Protestants (always remember, Buzek and Małysz come from Protestant backgrounds), the Orthodox, and the six or eight Tatars and the four or five Jews still left in the country. Dobry Polak to dobry katolik? Not so much, perhaps. 😉


    • Raf Uzar · January 17, 2014

      Agreed. The Vatican only takes baptisms into consideration, which means nothing nowadays.


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