Map Options

Color Scheme:
map placeholder
# of Popes

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

220

Click on a country for details.

Popes by Country 2024

The Vatican is a relatively secretive place. It is also where the Pope directs the Catholic religion from. When the current pope passes away, the College of Cardinals is responsible for selecting the next Pope. During this process, all of them will be asked to migrate to Rome, where they will meet together. Right now, there are approximately 200 Cardinals. More than 69 countries are represented, and approximately 120 of them will participate in the process of selecting the next Pope. This meeting is called the papal election, or the Conclave, and there is a lot of speculation about what happens behind closed doors.

Which Country Has Had the Most Popes?

Given that Italy is the home of Rome and the Vatican, it should come as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of popes have come from Italy. There have been a total of 266 popes during the life of the Catholic religion, and 217 of them come from Italy.

A distant second is France, which has had a total of 16 popes. These are the only two countries that have had more than ten popes.

Some of the other countries that have had popes include Germany, the Byzantine Empire, Israel, Greece, and Dalmatia (which is modern-day Croatia). The United States has never had a pope.

Who Was the Last Pope To Come From Africa?

It has been a long time since Africa had a pope. A total of three popes have come from the African continent, and all of them were associated with the Roman Empire. The last time the pope was from Africa was Pope Gelasius I, who acted as Pope between 492 and 496. Prior to him, Pope Miltiades was also from Africa. He was the pope from 311 to 314. Pope Victor I was also from Africa, and he acted as Pope from 189 to 199.

What Are the Responsibilities of the Pope?

Traditionally, the pope is looked upon as a successor to St. Peter, who was the head of the Apostles. According to the Bible, St. Peter was responsible for directing the rest of the Apostles, making sure they spread the word of the Lord.

Of course, the Catholic religion has changed somewhat during the past few centuries. Now, the Pope is the head bishop of Rome. He is seen to have complete and total jurisdiction over all matters related to the Catholic church. This includes morals, faith, government, and discipline. As the Catholic religion has evolved during the past few centuries, the responsibilities of the Pope have evolved as well.

Every Pope is different. The current pope is Pope Francis, and he has tried to modernize the Catholic church in an effort to maintain a significant following. While there are some Cardinals who have disagreed with his decisions, he is seen as a more accepting Pope than in the past, and this has drawn some people who had left the Catholic faith back into the fold of the Catholic religion.

  • Many regions in Europe have had different names and governments over the course of church history. For example, a pope born in modern-day Italy may have been a citizen of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, the Republic of Genoa, or several other previous countries during the time in which he was pope.

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

Country
# of Popes
Name At Time Of Popes Selection
Italy217Ostrogothic Kingdom, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire, Roman Empire, Republic of Genoa, Republic of Venice, Republic of Florence/Duchy of Florence/Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy, Italian Republic, Roman Empire
France16Kingdom of France, Holy Roman Empire
Germany6Holy Roman Empire, German Reich
Syria5Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Umayyad Caliphate
Greece4Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire
Tunisia3Roman Empire
Israel3Roman Empire
Turkey2Byzantine Empire
Spain2The Kingdom of Valencia (Crown of Aragon)
Portugal2Western Roman Empire, Kingdom of Portugal
Croatia2Roman Empire
United Kingdom1Kingdom of England
Argentina1
Poland1
Netherlands1Holy Roman Empire
Total266

What countries are most popes from?

The majority of Popes come from Italy. 217 Popes, of the total 266, have come from Italy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources