Changing Demographics

Changing Demographics

One point of interest that has captured our attention about General Congregation 36 is the growing presence of active members from provinces of the global south. For GC 35 this region already represented the majority (54%). Now, however, their percentage has increased to represent 59% of the Congregation. Among other aspects, this reflects the growing number of vocations in Asia and Africa in these past years.

Asia and Oceania have grown from 28% to 33%. A third of the Congregation comes from the East, mainly from the South Asia Conference, and to be more precise from the provinces of India. 72 members of the Congregation will come from these regions in the East. Africa, also, has grown from 8% to 10%. 21 members of the Congregation will come from provinces in Africa.

The greatest novelty is that almost all the electors coming from these regions are born in these continents.    

Latin America’s presence, however, has diminished. In GC 35 their representation was 18% and in GC 36 it will be only 16%, just slightly above the participation from North America (15%) which has maintained stable. This drop is due largely to the restructuring of provinces, which has reduced from 16 provinces and two regions to only 12 provinces.

The greatest diminishment, however, is from Europe. This region has dropped from 31% at GC 35 to 26% at GC 36. As a result Europe is no longer the largest, nevertheless, continues to have the most members represented by right of office. 56 Jesuits from European provinces will participate in the Congregation, of which 35 are elected members, 14 are provincials and 7 are members by right of office.

  GC 35 GC 36
Africa 8% 10%
Latin America 18% 16%
Asia and Oceania 28% 33%
North America 15% 15%
Europe 31% 26%

Translated from Spanish by Victor Cancino, SJ. Originally published by CPAL at