How the Pope's travels compare with those of John Paul II

As Pope Benedict XVI continues his four-day visit to the UK, how does his globe-trotting compare with that of his predecessor, John Paul II?

It's almost five-and-a-half years since Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. His style has been contrasted with that of the previous Pope, John Paul II - who, as the graphic below shows, visited more countries in his initial years in the job.

Papal visits maps

The graphic shows clearly that John Paul II travelled more widely than Benedict XVI, undertaking almost double the number of trips in his first five years in office*.

It should be noted that John Paul II was younger than his successor when he took the papacy. In fact, at 58, he was the youngest Pope elected since 1846 - and a whole 20 years younger than Benedict XVI, who took the role at the age of 78.

*John Paul II took the role in October 1978, Benedict in April 2005. We have started with the first calendar year in office for both pontiffs. Therefore, it should be noted that Benedict XVI has yet to complete a full fifth calendar year as Pope.

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