See the latest Pew Research Center reports and data on the world’s largest religious group.
Graphic: Conclave Elects Pope
Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio hails from Argentina and becomes the first Latin American pontiff.
“Strong” Catholic Identity at a Four-Decade Low
The percentage of U.S. Catholics who consider themselves “strong” members of the Roman Catholic Church has never been lower than it was in 2012. The decline is starker when compared with Protestants.
Graphic: Geography of the Conclave
Just as the world’s Catholic population is spread across the globe, the cardinal electors gather from all regions to elect the next pope.
Views of the Catholic Church’s Problems and Contributions
U.S. Catholics see sex abuse as the church’s most important problem and charity as its most important contribution.
Religious Observance Among European Catholics Holds Steady
Pope Benedict XVI was dedicated to combating secularization, but there was no marked resurgence of faith in Europe.
U.S. Catholics Divided On Church’s Direction Under New Pope
Three-quarters of American Catholics have a favorable view of Pope Benedict XVI, but many also express a desire for change.
The Shifting Global Catholic Population
Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of the global population over the past century, but their geographic distribution has shifted significantly during that time.
Pope Benedict Over the Years: News Coverage by the Numbers
Pope Benedict XVI, the spiritual leader of some 1 billion Catholics worldwide, announced on February 11 that he will retire from his post by the end of the month, citing weakness and age. It will make him the first pope to resign in 600 years. Perhaps the most visible religious figure in the world, Pope […]
Pew Research Resources on Pope Benedict XVI
The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life has a variety of resources on Catholicism and Pope Benedict XVI, including public opinion polls, research studies, event transcripts and interviews.