From the CNS story by John Thavis:
"The Vatican said the number of Catholics reached 1.166 billion, an increase of 19 million, or 1.7 percent, from the end of 2007. During the same period, Catholics as a percentage of the global population grew from 17.33 percent to 17.4 percent, it said.
"The number of priests stood at 409,166, an increase of 1,142 from the end of 2007. Since the year 2000, the Vatican said, the number of priests has increased by nearly 4,000, or about 1 percent."
The statistics from late 2008 also showed the breakdown of new vocations, with the number of seminarians in the Americas remaining at the same level, while numbers grew in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Europe showed a decline of 4.3 percent.
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