Vatican City, Oct 16, 2020 / 12:00 pm
The number of Catholics worldwide increased by almost 16 million in a year to 1.33 billion, according to statistics highlighted by the Vatican ahead of the 2020 World Mission Sunday.
The figures, shared by the Fides News Service Oct. 16, showed that there were 15,716,000 more Catholics at the end of 2018 -- the most recent year where numbers are available -- compared to 2017.
This took the overall number of Catholics to 1,328,993,000, compared to 1,313,278,000 the year before.
The growth was spread across all inhabited continents, with an increase of 94,000 in Europe, 9.2 million in Africa, 4.5 million in the Americas, 1.8 million in Asia, and 177,000 in Oceania.