The Roman Catholic Church: facts and figures

The Catholic Church has around 1.2 billion members around the world, a million men and women of the clergy and around 3,000 ecclesiastical divisions, according to the latest figures from the Vatican.

The increase in baptisms from 2009 to 2010 was particularly high in Africa with a rise of 6.14 million, followed by the Americas with 3.99 million and Europe with 894,000 more Catholics.

The number of Catholics per priest has increased to 2,900, also indicating a decline in vocations.

The only decrease in that proportion was in Asia.

The number of Catholic bishops meanwhile increased by 39 to reach a total of 5,104, while the number of priests increased by 1,643 to 412,236.

The number of male clergy who are not priests has increased to 54,665, while the number of nuns decreased to 721,935.

The number of lay missionaries around the world is 335,502, with an increase of 15,276.

The Church manages a total of 70,544 kindergartens, 92,847 primary schools and 43,591 secondary schools.

Charities run by the church include 5,305 hospitals including 1,694 in the Americas and 1,150 in Africa.

The Church also has 18,179 clinics including 5,762 in the Americas, 5,312 in Africa and 3,884 in Asia.

It also manages 17,223 homes for old people, the terminally ill and the handicapped, most of them (8,021) in Europe and the Americas (5,650).

It also runs 9,882 orphanages -- a third of them in Asia.