Brazil’s Changing Religious Landscape
As young Catholics gather in Brazil, awaiting Pope Francis’ visit in celebration of World Youth Day, an analysis of census data finds that the share of Brazil’s population that identifies as Catholic has been dropping steadily in recent decades. Over the same period, the percentage of Brazilians who belong to Protestant churches has been rising.
Latin America’s Catholics in the Spotlight as Pope Francis is Installed
Latin America’s share of the global Catholic population has increased over the past century, according to Pew Research Center estimates, but the portion of the region’s population that is Catholic has declined.
The Global Catholic Population
Over the past century, the number of Catholics worldwide has more than tripled. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly from 1910 to 2010. As a result, Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of all people on Earth, though their geographic distribution has changed substantially.
Table: Religious Composition by Country, in Numbers
The Global Religious Landscape
A country-by-country analysis of data from more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers finds that 84% of adults and children around the globe are religiously affiliated. The study also finds that the median age of two major groups – Muslims (23 years) and Hindus (26) – is younger than the world’s overall population (28), while Jews have the highest median age (36).
Table: Estimated Number of Immigrants by Religious Affiliation
Table: Estimated Number of Emigrants by Religious Affiliation
Catholics in Mexico and Cuba
Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Latin America March 23-28 for a much-anticipated visit to Mexico and Cuba. An infographic based on data from a 2011 demographic study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life explores information on Catholics in Latin America, with a particular focus on the Catholic population in Mexico and Cuba.
Table: Christian Population in Numbers by Country
Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population
A comprehensive demographic study finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread, and no single region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.