The number of Catholics in the world is now 1.16 billion, according to the just released Statistical Yearbook of the Church published by the Vatican and comprising information from 2000 through 2008.
The number of priests worldwide increased slightly over this nine-year period from 405,178 to 409,166. Non-ordained religious men decreased from 55,057 in the year 2000 and 54,641 in 2008. Women religious continue to outnumber priests by almost 2 to 1 but their numbers have fallen from 800,000 in 2000 to 740,000 in 2008.
With an 11.54 percent increase in Catholics, we can rest assured that new vocations to religious life are in the making!