Spain

In recent decades, as it moved to shed the legacy of Franco’s years of dictatorship and found a newly integrated place in the European Union, Spain has undergone remarkable cultural and religious change. Once the most solidly Catholic of countries, Spain today retains relatively high levels of nominal membership, but in many other regards is remarkably secular. Many of those who claim Catholic affiliation seldom attend church.

While those who track church attendance and other measures might see decline, a number of important feasts and devotions suggest the opposite. Long lines of pilgrims wait to see the Black Madonna of Montserrat, in Catalonia, and pilgrims visit all day at sites like the cathedral in Zaragoza, home to Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Holy Week in Seville, a centuries-old tradition that one might expect to be much diminished in a secular environment, is a remarkably vibrant event that takes over the city for more than a week. The confraternities that organize the processions are a deep part of the religious and social fabric of the city, and carry on their activities all year long. Read more...

    Religious Affiliation
    Chart source: Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, 2010
    Total Population
    46,397,452 1
    Urban
    80.30% 1
    Rural
    19.70% 1
    Immigrants as % of Population
    12.7% 2
    Homicides
    0.66 per 100,000 people (global median 6.9) 3
    Level of Public Corruption
    41 (1=lowest, 176=highest corruption) 4
    Gender Equality in the Economy, Health, Education and Politics
    29 (1=most equal, 144=least equal) 7
    Fertility Rate
    1.34 births per adult woman 5
    Children Who Do Not Live to Age 5
    0.40% 5
    Life Expectancy at Birth
    83 years 5
    Adult Literacy Rate
    97.75% 5
    Internet Users
    76% 5
    Gross National Income per Capita
    US$29,440 5

    These statistics are derived from the Vatican's official publication, Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2020 (Vatican City: Librera Editrice Vaticana, 2022). The numbers may differ from data reported by other sources on this site.

    Baptized Catholics
    44,136,000
    Baptized Catholics as % of Total Population
    93.25
    Baptisms per Year (Under age 7)
    135,546
    Baptisms per Year (Over age 7)
    9,885
    First Communions per Year
    187,310
    Confirmations per Year
    108,132
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Primary Schools
    559,580
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Secondary Schools
    584,330
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Higher Education
    133,893
    Church Marriages per Year
    25,732
    Church Marriages in Which Both Spouses are Catholics
    25,142
    Priests
    19,852
    Women Religious (Nuns & Sisters)
    38,258
    Catholics per Priest
    2,223
    Parishes
    22,895
    Catholic Hospitals
    65
    Homes for Aged, Handicapped, Invalids
    816
    • 1 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Online Edition.
    • 2 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2015 revision.
    • 3 United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Homicide Statistics 2015.
    • 4 Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
    • 5 UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2016.
    • 6 Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2020 (Vatican City: Librera Editrice Vaticana, 2022).
    • 7 World Economic Forum, The Global Gender Gap Report, 2016.