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VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2010 (VIS) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to the Spanish cities of Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona, due to take place on 6 and 7 November, statistics have been published concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2009, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.
Spain has a surface area of 505,992 square kilometres and a population of 45,929,000 of whom 42,470,000 (92.5 percent) are Catholic. There are 70 ecclesiastical circumscriptions and 22,674 parishes. Currently there are 124 bishops, 24,849 priests, 54,599 religious, 2,786 lay members of secular institutes and 101,261 catechists. Minor seminarians number 1,943 and major seminarians 1,963.
A total of 1,596,429 students attend 5,585 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Spain include 93 hospitals, 72 clinics, 788 homes for the elderly or disabled, 435 orphanages and nurseries, 301 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, 3,036 centres for education and social rehabilitation, and 400 institutions of other kinds.