CBCK News


Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2011 Published


The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (President: Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il) published Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2011 on April 13, 2012.

Quoting the analysis on the Statistics made by the Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea, the General Secretariate of the CBCK made the following summary: continuous trend of aging in the Church; declining Sunday Mass attendance and sacramental life; decreasing number of baptized infants and children who received their First Holy Communion and decreasing number of children attending Sunday school in their parishes (all of which are considered as indicators of communication of the faith to the next generation); animating foreign mission activities.


According to the Statistics, as of December 31, 2011, the number of Catholics in Korea was 5,309,964, an increase of 2% (104,375) over the last year. This accounts for 10.3% of the total population. The total number of Catholics in Korea has slightly and consistently increased at a yearly average of 2-3% during the past 10 years. It has passed the 10% mark of the total population since 2009. By gender, the number of the male faithful was 2,193,464 and the number of the female faithful was 3,095,332, 41.5% and 58.5% respectively of the total Catholics in Korea.

Of the 15 dioceses and the one military ordinariate in Korea, the Archdiocese of Seoul was the most populous with 27% of the total Catholics in Korea, followed by the Diocese of Suwon (14.8%), the Archdiocese of Daegu (8.8%), and the Diocese of Incheon (8.6%). The combined number of the faithful in Seoul, Suwon, Incheon and Uijeongbu accounted for 55.4%. This indicates that most of the faithful reside in metropolitan areas. In terms of the percentage of the Catholic population compared to the local population, the Archdiocese of Seoul represented 13.6%, followed by the Diocese of Cheju 11.9%, the Diocese of Cheongju 11.0%, and the Archdiocese of Daegu and the Diocese of Suwon 10.4%.


According to the Statistics, the number of newly baptized in 2011 was 134,562, a decrease of 4.3% from the previous year. By gender, newly baptized men represented 73,228 and women 61,334. The number of infants baptized amounted to 25,717, an increase of 7.5 % over the previous year.


The Statistics also indicates that the number of clergy in Korea in 2011 amounted to 4,655, with 34 bishops including one Cardinal. There were 4,455 Korean priests and 166 foreign priests. Among the priests, 3,817 were diocesan priests, 647 were religious priests and 156 were missionary priests.(The numbers here do not match. this should be corrected.) 141 priests were ordained in 2011, an increase of 3.3% from the previous year. The number of the faithful per priest was 1,149. The number of seminarians was 1,587, a decrease of 5.2% from the previous year (1,413).

The number of parishes in 2011 was 1,647, an increase of 38 over the previous year, while the number of mission stations was 793, a decrease of 20 from the previous year.


With regard to men and women religious, there were 1,521 men religious, including novices, religious in temporary and perpetual vows as well as foreign religious, while there were 10,146 women religious.


The number of marriages celebrated in the Church amounted to 20,429 in 2011 and of this number 12,361 were marriages between a baptized and a non-baptized person. The number of the faithful who received the Sacrament of Confession was 5,133,665, a decrease of 2.5% from the previous year. The average rate for Sunday Mass attendance was 13.2% (1,231,140) of the total Catholics in Korea.



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