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Summary

Nearly a third of the world identifies with Christianity — 31.5 percent or 2.2 billion people.1 Christianity, Islam and those who have no religious affiliation are the three largest religious populations worldwide.2 Nearly 36 percent of Christians live in North America, Europe has the next largest Christian population, accounting for just under 26 percent of the world’s Christian population.3 The United States, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Germany, the Philippines, China, Ethiopia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have the highest Christian populations in the world.4 In Sub-Saharan Africa, Christians accounted for just 9 percent of the population in 1910, yet in 2010, 63 percent of people in the region were adherents to Christianity. The Asia-Pacific region also saw an increase in Christianity over the last century. Just 3 percent of the Asian-Pacific population adhered to Christianity in 1910, while 7 percent identified as Christian in 2010.5 Of the global Christian population, 50.1 percent is Catholic, 36.7 percent are Protestant, 11.9 percent are Orthodox and 1.3 percent are another Christian denomination.6 There are approximately 1.2 billion adherents of Catholicism around the world, 41 percent of which live in Latin America.7 Brazil has the highest Catholic population in the world with between 123 and 150 million Catholic citizens. Italy is home the highest number of Catholics in Europe, 57 million.8 Africa has seen the highest increase in Catholic adherents since 1970, Europe has seen the largest decrease in Catholic population. Just 7 percent of the world’s Catholics live in North America.9 The Pew Research Center’s studies show Catholicism tripling in the last century, rising from 291 million Catholics worldwide in 1910 to 1.1 billion in 2010.10 However, the prevalence of Catholicism has remained fairly stable, accounting for approximately half of all Christians and 16–17 percent of the global population between 1910 and 2010.11 The more significant shift in Catholicism is geographic, with 24 percent of Catholics residing in Europe in 2010 compared to 65 percent in 1910.12 Show References
1 http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/ 2 Ibid 3 http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/ 4–6 Ibid 7 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-21443313 8–9 Ibid 10 http://www.pewforum.org/2013/02/13/the-global-catholic-population/ 11–12 Ibid
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