Vatican City, Feb 2, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Leonardi Sandri, Substitute for General Affairs, presented to Pope John Paul II the first copy of the 2004 edition of the “Annuario Pontificio,” or Pontifical Yearbook, which this year reveals, among other figures, that half of the world’s Catholics live on the American continent.
The figures, based on data from 2002, indicate that there are 1,071,000,000 baptized Catholics in the world, who make up 17.2% of the world population.
Their distribution by continent is 50% in America, 26.1% in Europe, 12.8% in Africa, 10.3% in Asia and 0.8% in Oceania.
With respect to the population, the percentage of Catholics is: 62.4% in America, 40.5% in Europe, 26.8% in Oceania, 16.5% in Africa and 3% in Asia.