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Catholics across the globe

According to the CIA Factbook, the Catholic church is the world's oldest established western Christian church and the largest single religious body in the world.

The 2011 Pontifical Yearbook revealed that the number of Roman Catholics across the globe is roughly 1.5 billion, a figure that has decreased since 2008. The following are the countries with the most Catholics across the globe.

* Brazil: Nearly 74 percent of Brazil's more than 185 million people are Catholic. With more than 135 million Catholics, Brazil is home to more members of the Catholic church than any other country in the world.

* Mexico: Mexico is home to more than 95 million Catholics, who make up more than 80 percent of the country's population.

* Philippines: The third largest Catholic state in the world, the Philippines are so heavily Catholic thanks in large part to Spain, a country that had hoped to spread Catholicism to the islands as part of their occupation several centuries ago. Spain appears to have been successful in that goal, as today there are more than 75 million Catholics in the Philippine Islands.

* United States: Among the most populated countries in the world, it's no surprise the United States is also one of the most Catholic. The country's more than 300 million people include upwards of 70 million members of the Catholic church.

* Italy: Though a relatively small country, Italy's population of about 60 million people is almost entirely Catholic. Ninety percent of the Italian population is Catholic.