Number of seminarians declines for 4th straight year

The number of major seminarians worldwide has declined for the fourth consecutive year, according to statistics released by the Vatican on April 6.

The number of major seminarians worldwide rose from 63,882 in 1978 to 110,553 in 2000 and peaked at 120,616 in 2011—an increase of 89% in the 33 years after the beginning of St. John Paul II’s pontificate.

The number, however, subsequently declined to 120,051 (2012), 118,251 (2013), 116,939 (2014), and 116,843 (2015). The Holy See Press Office provided a geographical breakdown of the seminarians in 2015:

Asia: 34,741
North and South America: 33,512 Africa: 29,007
Europe: 18,579
Oceania: 1,004

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of major seminarians from Africa increased by 7.7%. In Europe, the number decreased by 9.7%.

­Catholic Culture

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