Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Mexico today for his first visit to a Spanish-speaking country in Latin America. Mexico accounts for 8.8% of the world’s Catholics, the second largest Catholic population in the world after Brazil (which the Pope visited in 2007). More than eight-in-ten (84.9%) Mexicans are Catholic.

The pope will head to Cuba next week, a country which has about 5,820,000 Catholics. Catholics make up a little over half of the country’s population.

There are approximately 432 million Catholics in Latin America, representing 39% of the world Catholic population.

For a report on the world’s Christian populations, including interactive maps and sortable data tables, go to the Global Christianity page of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.