Map of Cardinals

Caitlin Dempsey


The conclave to elect the new pope is set to convene on March 12, 2013.  Starting on Tuesday, those cardinals aged under 80 years (those born on or after February 28, 1933) will be able to cast their vote for the  266th pontiff.  The total number of eligible cardinals numbers 115 and hail from 50 different countries from around the world.

Geography of Cardinals

Italy is the country with the most cardinals at 28.  The United States has the second highest number of cardinals with 11. Spain, Germany, India, and Brazil follow with five cardinals each.  Rounding out the top ten are France and Poland with four each.

Looking at the distribution of cardinals by continent, shows that Europe far exceeds any other geographic area with 59 out of the total 115 voting eligible cardinals.  The Holy Press Office has a detailed breakdown of cardinals by geographic area and country.

Total Number of Cardinals by Geographic Area

Cardinals by Geographic Area Count
Europe 59
Latin America 19
North America 14
Africa 11
Asia 11
Oceania 1

Map of Cardinals

Below is an interactive map showing using radial lines to show where each voting eligible cardinal that has recently arrived for the conclave has originated from based on his office. To create this map, the place of origin based on the office was geocoded before creating radial lines using ArcGIS.  A shapefile of the radial lines was then imported in Google Fusion Tables.  The color of each radial line is color coded to show the nationality by geographic region for each cardinal.  The source of the list of cardinals is from Wikipedia.

Click on each radial line for information about each cardinal: age, nationality, office, appointing cardinal, and date created a cardinal. Note: if you zoom too far out, the radial lines turn into points, which you can also click on for the same information.

Legend:  The color of the radial line indicates the region (as assigned by the Vatican) based on nationality for each cardinal.

  • Red = Latin America
  • Teal = North America
  • Blue = Africa
  • Orange = Europe
  • Green = Asia
  • Yellow = Oceania (not colored coded due to legibility)

Static Map of Cardinals

A static map of where each cardinal arrived from is shown below.  Click on the map image for access to the PDF version.

map of voting cardinals
Map of voting cardinals showing where they arrived to the Vatican from.
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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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4 thoughts on “Map of Cardinals”

  1. the Holy Father’s announcement:

    “As was previously announced, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, I will have the joy of holding a Consistory, during which I will name 16 new Cardinals, who, coming from 12 countries from every part of the world, represent the deep ecclesial relationship between the Church of Rome and the other Churches throughout the world.”

    Text from page
    of the Vatican Radio website

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