Reversing Decline, Slow but Steady Growth in the Number of Priests
The Vatican released some numbers about Catholicism worldwide. They conclude that the number of Catholics worldwide held steady at 17.3% of the global population as of 2007. That is about 1.14 billion Catholics. As for the number of priests, "Since 2000, the number of priests has gone up by several hundred each year. The two decades before that had witnessed a marked decline." The number of priests in the hopper also seems to be increasing, though there are regional declines, "Worldwide, the number of candidates for the priesthood rose by just under one-half of a percentage point, although Europe and North and South America registered small declines."