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  Frequently Requested Catholic Church Statistics

CARA gets many inquiries from Church agencies and the media about the numbers for vocations, seminary enrollments, priests and vowed religious, parishes, Mass attendance, schools and the Catholic population. Below are some comparative statistics from 1965. Generally, these data reflect the situation at the beginning of the calendar year listed. The sources for this information include The Official Catholic Directory (OCD), the Vatican's Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae (ASE), and other CARA research and databases. All data are cross checked as much as possible. For the U.S, the numbers reported here include only figures for those 195 dioceses or eparchies who belong to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all U.S. military personnel stationed overseas.

This page also includes links to other areas of the CARA website that provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Follow up-to-the-minute updates about CARA research here:

For more information about CARA research and statistics, including our national and parish surveys, demographic studies, trend analyses and projections, and focus groups visit CARA Services.  For more information about CARA's beginings read the following Review of Religious Research article from 1967 by Francis X. Gannon entitled, "Bridging the Research Gap: CARA, Response to Vatican II."


U.S. Data 1965 1975 1985 1995 2000 2005 2009
Total priests 58,632 58,909 57,317 49,054 45,699 42,839 40,666
Diocesan priests 35,925 36,005 35,052 32,349 30,607 28,702
27,594
Religious priests 22,707 22,904 22,265 16,705 15,092 14,137 13,072
Priestly ordinations 994 771 533 511 442 454 472
Graduate-level seminarians 8,325 5,279 4,063 3,172 3,474 3,308 3,357
Permanent deacons na  898 7,204 10,932 12,378 14,574 16,380
Religious brothers 12,271 8,625 7,544 6,535 5,662 5,451 4,863
Religious sisters 179,954 135,225 115,386 90,809 79,814 68,634 59,601
Parishes 17,637 18,515 19,244 19,331 19,236 18,891 18,280
Without a resident priest pastor
549 702 1,051 2,161 2,843 3,251 3,400
Where a bishop has entrusted the pastoral care of the parrish to a deacon, religious sister or brother, or other lay person (Canon 517.2)
na na 93 314 447 553 517
Catholic population 45.6m 48.7m 52.3m 57.4m 59.9m 64.8m 65.2m
Percent of U.S. population 24% 23% 23% 23% 22% 23% 22%
Catholic elementary schools
--
8,414
7,764
6,964
6,793
6,122
6,028*
Students in Catholic elementary schools --
2.557m
2.005m
1.815m
1.800m
1.559m
1.568m*
Catholic secondary schools --
1,624 1,425 1,280
1,297
1,325
1,220*
Students in Catholic secondary schools --
884,181
774,216
638,440
653,723
653,226
624,515*
Mass Attendance
CARA Catholic Poll (CCP): Yearly average percent of U.S.adult Catholics who say they attended Mass once a week or more (i.e., those attending every week) in CARA's telephone polls.

Comparison: The
Gallup Poll trend for the  yearly average percent of U.S.adult Catholics who say they attended Mass in the last seven days (i.e., those attending in any given week). 
-- -- -- --
33%

35%
36%
*Most recent estimates of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). School data for previous years is from the ASE.
   
World Data 1970 1975 1985 1995 2000 2005 2007
Total priests 419,728 404,783 403,480 404,750 405,178 406,411 408,024
Diocesan priests 270,924 259,331 253,319 262,418 265,781 269,762 272,431
Religious priests 148,804 145,452 150,161 142,332 139,397 136,649 135,593
Diocesan priestly ordinations 4,622 4,140 4,822 6,444 6,814 6,614 6,660
Graduate-level seminarians -- -- 43,476 54,154 55,968 58,538 58,960
Permanent deacons 309 2,686 12,541 22,390 27,824 33,391 35,942
Religious brothers 79,408 70,388 65,208 59,515 55,057 54,708 54,956
Religious sisters 1,004,304 968,526 917,432 837,961 801,185 760,529 746,814
Parishes 191,398 200,116 212,021 220,077 218,196 217,616 218,383
Without a resident priest pastor
39,431 46,074 55,343 60,705 55,729 52,509 51,330
Where a bishop has entrusted the pastoral care of the parrish to a deacon, religious sister or brother, or other lay person (Canon 517.2) na na 1,635 3,278 3,373 3,122 3,253
Catholic population 653.6m 709.6m 852.0m 989.4m 1.045b 1.115b 1.147b
Percent of world population 18% 17% 18% 17% 17% 17% 17%
Catholic elementary schools 89,112
79,424
78,160
85,043
89,457
91,480
91,694
Students in Catholic elementary schools 20.396m
19.584m
22.390m
25.246m
26.097m
28.084m
29.800m
Catholic secondary schools 25,552
27,542
30,404
33,349
35,559
39,096
41,210
Students in Catholic secondary schools 7.667m
9.522m
12.066m
13.232m
14.027m
16.232m
16.779m
International Mass Attendance: Population weighted percentage of adult Catholics who say they attended Mass once a week or more (most recent data for those saying they attend every week) in 37 large Catholic population nations (excluding the U.S. and representing 65% of the world's Catholic population) -- -- -- -- -- 40% --




Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is Catholic Mass attendance becoming less frequent? Graphic and Report (pgs. 20-22)
  • How many Catholics go to Mass in any given week and how many go every week? Article
  • Why do Catholics say they miss weekly Mass from time to time? Graphic and Report (pgs. 48-50)
  • How often do Catholics receive Eucharist at Mass? Report (pgs. 44-45)
  • What percentage of Catholics go to Confession frequently? Graphic and Report (pgs. 57-60)
  • What percentage of Catholics give regularly to their parish offertory collection? Report (pg. 9)
  • How many Catholics consider a clerical or religious vocation? Graphic and Report (pgs. 69-75)
  • How many Catholics receive ashes on Ash Wednesday or abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent? Article and Report (pgs. 84-88)
  • What percentage of the U.S. adult population identifies as Catholic? Article
  • How many people raised Catholic stop considering themselves Catholic later in life? Article
  • Who do Catholics vote for? Since 1952 and more specific articles for the 2008, 2004, and 2000 elections
  • How many Latinos/Latinas self-identify as Catholic? Article. What are the differences and similarities in the religious beliefs and practices of Latino/a Catholics and non-Latino/s Catholics? Graphics
  • How likely are Catholics to be married to a Catholic? How likely are they to divorce? Graphic and Report
  • What percentage of Catholics have celebrated their First Communion and have been confirmed? Graphic and Report (pgs. 27-30)

Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)
Putting social science research at the service of the Church since 1964.

Tgl 19Feb2010 oleh Tony

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