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Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2017

 

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (President: Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong) published Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2017 on April 11, 2018.

 

On the basis of the compiled data collected from 15 dioceses and the Military Ordinariate in Korea, 7 Catholic universities, and 167 men and women religious institutes in Korea, the Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2017 shows the annual statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea as of December 31, 2017. These statistics will be helpful to better understand the present situation of the Catholic Church in Korea and also be a useful point of reference for pastoral ministries.

 

The following is a summary of the meaningful statistical results:

 

According to the Statistics, as of December 31, 2017, the number of Catholics in Korea was 5,813,770, an increase of 1.3% (71,821) over the previous year. It amounted to 11.0% of the total population of Korea, 52,950,306 (51,778,544 residents based on the resident registration; 1,171,762 foreigners). The total number of Catholics in Korea has slightly and consistently increased since 2005. Especially since 2009, the rate of Catholics in Korea has kept going over the 10% mark towards 11%.

 

By gender, the number of the male faithful was 2,469,148 and that of the female faithful was 3,334,622, respectively 42.5% and 57.5% of all Catholics in Korea. The ratio of the male faithful was slightly higher than that of the female faithful until 0-29 years of age, but the percentage of the female faithful was higher in all ages from 30 years of age.

 

By age group, the percentage of the faithful aged 55-59 accounted for 9.9%, followed by that of the faithful aged 45-49, 8.9% and then those aged 50-54, 8.7%. The number of the faithful in their 10s accounted for 381,234, or 6.6% in the total Catholics in Korea. The number of people over 65 years of age accounted for 1,070,262 or 18.4% increase in comparison with 17.4% of the previous year.

 

Of the 15 dioceses and the Military Ordinariate in Korea, the Archdiocese of Seoul was the most populous with the number of the faithful standing at 1,527,951 or 26.3% of the total Catholics in Korea. The Archdiocese of Seoul was followed by the Diocese of Suwon (900,746 or 15.5%), the Diocese of Incheon (510,923 or 8.8%), the Archdiocese of Daegu (503,551 or 8.7%), the Diocese of Busan (454,890 or 7.8%), the Archdiocese of Gwangju (362,923 or 6.2%), the Diocese of Daejeon (324,998 or 5.6%), and the Diocese of Uijeongbu (304,048 or 5.2%). Adding up the number of the faithful in national capital areas, i.e. Seoul, Suwon, Uijeongbu, and Incheon, the number amounts to 3,243,668 or 55.8% of the Catholics in Korea.

 

With regard to the increasing number of the diocesan faithful, the Diocese of Daejeon and the Diocese of Uijeongbu were ahead of others with the rate of 2.2%, followed by the Diocese of Cheju (1.9%), the Diocese of Suwon (1.8%), the Diocese of Chunchon (1.5%), and the Diocese of Incheon (1.4%).

 

In terms of the percentage of evangelization, namely of the Catholic population in comparison with to the local population , the Archdiocese of Seoul was ahead of others with the rate of 15.0%, followed by the Diocese of Cheongju (11.8%), the Dioceses of Cheju and of Incheon (11.6%), the Archdiocese of Daegu (11.1%), and the Archdiocese of Gwangju (11.0%).

 

The number of parishes in 2017 was 1,734, a slight increase of 15 and the number of secondary stations was 737, a slight decrease of 4 from the previous year.

 

The Statistics also indicated that the number of clergy in Korea in 2017 amounted to 5,318 priests and 42 bishops including 2 Cardinals, 5,360 in total . There were 5,160 Korean priests and 158 foreign missionary priests, with an increase of 3.2% and a decrease of 3.7% respectively in comparison with the previous year. Among them, 4,386 were diocesan priests, 781 religious priests, and 151 missionary priests. The number of seminarians was 1,319, with a decrease of 7.2% from the previous year.

 

There were 1,593 men religious, excluding novices, while there were 10,143 women religious. The number of novices in total was 394.

 

According to the Statistics, the number of the newly baptized in 2017 was 96,794. This indicates a decrease of 12.9% (14,345 in number) from the previous year. By gender, the newly baptized men and women represented 51,396 and 45,398, with a decrease of 15.7% (9,541 in number) and a decrease of 9.6% (4,804 in number) respectively in comparison with the previous year. The number of children baptized amounted to 21,530 or 22.2%, whereas that of adults baptized amounted to 69,754 or 72.1% (here, children refer to infants and intellectually handicapped persons who are not able to receive the catechesis).

 

The number of the celebrations of the Sacrament of Matrimony amounted to 15,842 in 2017, with a decrease of 8.6% from the previous year. Of this number 9,842 cases were marriages with a dispensation, and 32 cases were mixed marriages.

 

The number of Sunday Mass attendance was 1,130,599 at the rate of 19.4% among the total Catholic population in Korea. The number of the faithful who received the First Communion was 19,904. The number of the faithful who received the Sacrament of Confession was 4,462,566. The number of those who received the Sacrament of Confirmation was 46,880.

 

 

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748 Results of the 2018 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK 2018.04.25 398
747 Message of the President of the CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People: Praying for the Success of the Inter-Korean Summit 2018.04.25 474
746 Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018.04.25 373
745 Message for the Month of Mission 2017 2017.10.01 1897
744 Appeal of the Catholic Church in Korea for Peace on the Korean Peninsula 2017.08.22 2220
743 Message to the 19th President of Korea 2017.05.10 2146
742 The 25th Catholic Mass Communications Awards Ceremony 2016.01.29 5945
741 The 21th Korean-Japanese Bishops’ Exchange Meeting 2016.01.29 5257
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739 On-Sight Exposure for Bishops in 2015 2015.11.16 5261
738 National Common Educational Materials for Marriage Preparation 2015.11.16 5071
737 A Special Seminar on the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy 2015.11.16 5283
736 A Joint Statement on the Construction Plan of Gondola Lifts in National Parks 2015.11.16 4435
735 Academic Seminar on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Evangelium Vitae 2015.08.07 2969
734 The CBCK Committee for Social Communications, a Seminar on “Family and Media.” 2015.08.07 3114
733 A Seminar on “the Pastoral Care for the Sacramental Life of the Divorced and Remarried” 2015.08.07 3032
732 The Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea published Life and the Family 2015.08.07 3162

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