Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will step down has all eyes on the Catholic Church — and his replacement. And while the status quo is likely to remain unchallenged, it's interesting to think about where the next pope will come from and what that says about the Church's worldwide following. This map from the Washington Post helps — you can see where the world's practicing Catholics reside, where their numbers are growing and shrinking based on population changes, and how those numbers reflect the potential successors to the papacy. For instance, you can see that in Catholic-heavy areas like Latin America and Europe the religion's followers are shrinking, whereas numbers of Catholics are growing in places like Africa. That said, Latin America and Europe still hold the majority of the world's Catholics. Canada — the home country of one successor favorite, Marc Ouellet — also has a growing number of Catholics.
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