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Interesting Statistics Affecting
the Priesthood and the Faith

(Click on the links to view these charts or review these studies)

Why People Leave their Religion or Change to Another, Taken from Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life

Number of Catholics and Priests Rises, Pontifical Yearbook of 2007 Releases Data

Catholics Per Total Priests

Ten Dioceses with Largest Number of Parishes, with no Resident Pastor

Seminaries with highest enrollments

Does Your Clergy Ever Speak Out On . . ., Taken from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Women in the U.S. Church, Taken from the Official Catholic Directory and CARA’s National Parish Inventory and Catholic Ministry Formation database

Which State Has the Most Catholics?, According to Our Sunday Visitor 2006, Catholic Almanac

What are Catholics willing to accept in their parishes?

What is most important to Catholics these days?

Latest Statistics on Priests

Survey shows high school seniors feel abortion is wrong, favor curbs

How Willing Are Catholics to Accept Changes in Parish Administration and Pastoral Services?

The Latest Statistics on Religious Life

International Priests in American History, taken from the Study: International Priests: New Ministers in the Catholic Church in the United States, by Dean R. Hoge and Aniedi Okure, O.P.

Response to a study conducted by Boston College on what the Church needs to improve

For those who like Statistics: Hispanic Populations in Urban Areas - Percentages:

The Financial Side of Catholics -- Stats about Catholics and their contributions to the Church

The Latest Statistics on Young Catholic Adults

The Denominational Composition of the 109th U.S. Congress

International Priests -- Statistics

Increase or Decrease in Seminarians, For Selected Countries and Region (1985-2001)

Statistics that make us take poverty more seriously

Survey: Catholics worried that sex abuse costs curtail church work, by Agostino Bono, Catholic News Service

Research center says Mass attendance steady in recent years, by Jerry Filteau, Catholic News Service

The Number of Parishes without a Resident Pastor Increase

The Latest Research Findings on Marriage Preparation, from a Study conducted by the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family Life

New Numbers on the Catholics, priests, religious and deacons from the Official Catholic Directory Worth Pondering

The Theologates with the most students, Study conducted by CARA

Findings on U.S. Parishes Partnering with Parishes in Latin America

New poll shows growing shift toward pro-life position, by Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service

Parishes without a Resident Pastor as Reported in NPI 2000

The Most Recent Statistics in 2004 on Catholic Schools, taken from the National Catholic Educational Association

Statistics to Ponder on Abuse Cases of Priests Between 1950 and 2002, By Agostino Bono, Catholic News Service

The Long Awaited Study on the Fallout of the Sexual Abuse Scandals, Four percent of priests serving over last 50 years accused of abuse, by Agostino Bono, Catholic News Service

The Latest Statistics on the Roman Catholic Church as reported from the Vatican

Statistics Reveal Efforts of Parishes to Provide Adult Faith Formation, from a CARA study, for more information on findings contact: Dr. Mark M Gray & Mary L. Gautier at CARA

Age and Race of Priests Ordained in 2003

Statistics of Interest to Priests, Taken from The Naked Parish Priest: What Priests Really Think They’re Doing, by Stephen H. Louen and Leslie J. Francis, A Study Conducted in England, Statistics on -- Dress and Deference by Age, Fallen Priests, Emotional Exhaustion

College Students Show High Levels of Spiritual and Religious Engagement But New Study Finds Colleges Provide Little Support

The latest statistics on hunger worldwide -- November 28, 2003

Catholics in Survey Seek Accountability by Church, By Laurie Goodstein, Published: November 7, 2003

Population growth and what the Church in the U.S. can expect in terms of growth

Latest statistics on Americans without health insurance

Research on the Image of Religious Men and Women -- stats on attitudes toward religious life

New Priests Older, Better Educated, More Foreign Born

Active Catholics More Satisfied With Bishops’ Response To Scandal

The Latest Statistics on the Catholic Church in the U.S. from the Official Catholic Directory

Hispanics Declared Largest Minority, Blacks Overtaken In Census Update, by D'Vera Cohn, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, June 19, 2003

The Latest Statistics on Newly Ordained Priests and Seminarians from a study by Dr. Dean Hoge of the Life Cycle Institute at the Catholic University of America

Seven Statements About Priestly Status, from the study: Evolving Visions of the Priesthood: Changes from Vatican II to the Turn of the New Century by Dr. Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger

Four Major Questions Confronting the Priesthood, from the study: Evolving Visions of the Priesthood: Changes from Vatican II to the Turn of the New Century by Dr. Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger

Six Major Sources of Satisfaction in the Priesthood, from the study: Evolving Visions of the Priesthood: Changes from Vatican II to the Turn of the New Century by Dr. Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger

Happiness in the Priesthood with the conditions surrounding it, from the study: Evolving Visions of the Priesthood: Changes from Vatican II to the Turn of the New Century by Dr. Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger

Statistics from the Latest Study on Priests — May 13, 2003, From: Evolving Visions of the Priesthood, by: Dr. Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger

Results of a Recent Gallup Telephone Poll on Sin

Latest Pertinent Statistics on Seminaries, Lay Formation and the Diaconate from CARA, The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate

Interesting Statistics Surrounding the Papacy, The College of Cardinals According to Country

The Statistics on Sexual Content on TV, according to a study released by the Kaiser Family

Our Hispanic Catholic --- The Statistics

Statistics on the Church's Mission Work, Data Presented by Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Vatican City, February 21, 2003

Statistics Coming Out of the Vatican -- Food For Thought

Some Statistics on Priest's Salaries

Comparing Catholic Senior Clergy to Senior Clergy of Other Denominations (Salaries and Benefits), Study Conducted by the National Association of Church Business Administration

Hispanic/Latino Population in the United States and Degree of Change

Largest Religious Institutes of Men -- Taken from CARA Report

A Study of Hispanic/Latino Attitudes and Practices On Programs That Distribute Food and Clothing to Immigrants, and Other Pertinent Findings That Address Their Well Being and Status in the United States

Polling People's Impression of Younger Priests, From the Los Angeles Times, Teresa Watanabe, Times Staff Writer

The States Where Our Catholics Exist Most, Source: Religious Congregations Membership Study 2000

Annual survey shows more new priests from Mexico, Vietnam, By Catholic News Service

Religious Affiliation In the United States, A Comparison between 1990 and 2000, from Glenmary Research Center and the Association of Statisticians of America

From the Hoge-Wenger Study, Is there a homosexual subculture in your diocese or religious institute?

Confidence in Leadership (In percents), Taken from the Study: The New Vision of the Priesthood, Dean Hoge and Jacqueline Wenger, Life Cycle Institute, The Catholic University of America

Seventeen Statements About the Priesthood and Church Today That Reflect Where Priests are in regard to the Priesthood, From the Hoge-Wenger Study

Education Study Finds Hispanics Both Gaining and Lagging, From the New York Times, By Diana Jean Schemo

Results of a nationwide survey of Hispanics, from the Catholic News Service

Parish/Finances -- Study says larger parishes more cost-efficient, By Jerry Filteau, Catholic News Service

Experts see formation lessons in study of recently ordained priests, by Jerry Filteau, Catholic News Service

Researchers say priests concerned about gay subcultures in seminaries, By Jerry Filteau, Catholic News Service

A Profile of Active U.S. Bishops, Taken from the CARA Report

Interesting Statistics on Lay Preaching from a study conducted for the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings from The CARA Report

Priests Around the World, 1995 to 2000, Taken from the CARA Newsletter

Latino Population Growth Is Widespread, Study Says, By Lynette Clemetson

‘Hypergrowth', Latino Destinations, Taken from the Washington Post

Islam Outpaces Catholic Growth, Taken from the Statistical Table on Global Missions, Prepared by Prof. David Barrett

Recent Statistics Worth Pondering, taken from the CARA Newsletter

Survey finds those who donate to churches give more to all charities, by Tracy Early, Catholic News Service

Poll finds scandal hasn't affected people's commitment to church, By Patricia Zapor, Catholic News Service

Latest study asks church to remodel Hispanic youth ministries, By Agostino Bono, Catholic News Service

Latest Statistics on the Crisis in the Priesthood

Bishops Fell Short, Poll Shows -- Sex Abuse Policy Dissatisfies Catholics

The Latest Church Statistics from the Official Catholic Directory -- As Reported by the Catholic News Service -- on our churches and parishes

U.S. Catholic Parishes -- Who's in Charge?

Statistics on Priests Who Have Resigned or Been Taken Off Duty

Cloning Survey Finds Widespread Opposition

Catholics: Church in Midst of A 'Crisis'-- Handling of Scandal Stirs Anger, but Poll Finds Strong Faith, By Richard Morin and Alan Cooperman, Washington Post Staff Writers

The Latest Statistics on Seminary Enrollment from CARA

A sampling of the findings of recent surveys on Catholics

Views from Catholics in the Pews on Clergy Sex abuse

Ethics: Counseling as an Emotional Experience

A Sampling of the Findings of Recent Surveys on Catholics

A Summary of the Results of the study: Financial Assistance Survey, Prepared by the Life Cycle Institute at the Catholic University of America, Released by the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on Lay Ministry

Recommendations Made By The Priests -- Four suggestions that came up constantly by active and resigned priests in a study.

Worldwide Statistics on the Growth of Vocations to the Priesthood, and the Catholic Population, From the Vatican Yearbook Annuario

Alarming Statistics on AIDS Among Latinos

1996 Survey of Importance of Key Values to Americans

How Essential is Each of These Elements to Your Vision of What the Catholic Faith is? -- A Survey of Catholics (1997)

Statistics From A Survey Taken By the National Association of Hispanic Priests

Statistics from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

World Statistics on the Poor

Attitudes of the Catholic Faithful, A poll conducted of 1,508 American Catholics Nationwide

Percent of Catholic Pastors Interested in Courses on Specific Issues

Salary Comparisons Among Clergy of Various Religious Denominations

Twenty Problems Facing Priests

Attitude Questions About Priesthood, in Percents

Rating the Sources of Satisfaction Priests Experience, Study conducted by Dr. Dean Hoge, Life Cycle Institute, The Catholic University of America

How Well Did your Theologate Prepare You?
Statistics from Priests Ordained One to Five Years
NFPC Study Conducted by Dr. Dean Hoge, Life Cycle Institute,
Catholic University

Sources of Satisfaction for Priests
Ordained One to Five Years and Priests Who Have Resigned Within Five Years of Ordination, by Dr. Dean Hoge of The Catholic University of America

Study: Learning About The Permanent Diaconate, Conclusions Drawn from the 1994-1995 Permanent Diaconate Study, Conducted by Dr. James Kelly and Fr. Eugene Hemrick

Study: National Catholic Parish Survey -- Authors: James Castelli, Eugene Hemrick -- Castelli Enterprises Inc.

Statistics on Catholics' Commitment to the Church

Major Statistics Impacting Dioceses Nationwide

What Attracts A Man to Become A Priest

Attitudes of Priests Ordained Five or Less Years Regarding Problems They Face

Rating the Clergy --- by Andrew Greeley

Attitudes of Young Diocesan Priests c/a>(Ordained 1 - 5 Years)
About the Priesthood and the Church

Looking at the
Age Gap

Diocesan Ordinations
1971 771
1985 533
1995 511
1999 460

Total Diocesan and Religious Priests
and Their Average Age -- Year 2000

Number Average
30,607 Diocesan 59
15,092 Religious 63

Average Parish Size 3,086 members

Ratio of priests-to-laity

1 priest to 1,257 members

The Average Age of Seminarians

Diocesan Ordinations
1984 34
2000 36

Interesting Statistics on the Rite of Christian Initiation

Those initiated in a catechumenal process participate in weekly Mass at a much higher rate [64%] than American Catholics on average [25% to 30%].

Persons initiated as adults are very happy with their newfound faith; the majority are very satisfied with life in their parishes.

50% of catechumens report being active in parish ministries and committees at a much higher rate than is typical of Catholics overall.

36% of catechumens report participating in a spiritual group in the past year. The most commonly reported types of groups were faith-sharing, prayer, and Bible-study groups.

Although catechumens experienced weaknesses in the catechumenal process, they were generally appreciative of its core features: the rituals in which they participated and the feelings of community, friendship, and acceptance that forged in them strong bonds with the church and its members.

Catechumens were especially appreciative of their relationships with their sponsors; the effectiveness of their catechumenal teams; the way they were introduced to parish programs, groups, and opportunities for service; and the quality of the resources and written materials they were given.

A high percentage of bishops feel the rite has the power to transform parishes when it is properly implemented. They also say that the rite of election is one of the highlights of their own liturgical and pastoral experience as a bishop.

About 13% of parishes continue to use individual instruction rather than the RCIA.

6% use some other model

17% have no adult rite at all

Statistics are taken from Journey to the Fullness of Life: A Report on the Implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in the United States [Washington D.C. United States Catholic Conference of Bishops USCCB, 2000] Statistics that are changing the Face of the Priesthood:

The numbers of Catholics being educated for lay ministry rose 14 percent in the last year while those studying for the diaconate and priesthood showed smaller gains.

The number of seminarians in post-college studies in the 2000-01 school year was 3,483, up 9 students from the previous year.

The number of collegiate seminarians grew for the fifth straight year, to 1,647 at the start of the 2000-01 school year. This is a gain of 71 students from the previous year.

In 2000-01, there were 2,664 men in deacon formation programs. This is a gain of 82 deacons over the previous year.

There were 35,582 students in ecclesial lay ministry programs in 2000-01. That was an increase of more than 4,400 in one year and up more than 15,000 from 1996-97 in which there were 20,281 students.

The pre-theology enrollment represents a significant increase over the past two decades, from 4% of post-college seminarians in 1980-81 to 20% this past school year.

The age ranges of students are as follows:

41% -- 20-30 years of age

42% -- 31-40

12% -- 41-50

6% -- 50 or older.

The number of seminarians from abroad also has grown. In 2000-01, of the 3,236 seminarians enrolled in U.S. theologates, 616 were from other countries.

Of those seminarians from other countries, 378 are studying for U.S. dioceses and 135 for U.S.-based religious orders. Eleven are studying for a religious order based elsewhere and 92 are studying for a non-U.S. diocese.

Among students in deacon formation programs, 77% are white, 16% Hispanic or Latino, with the remainder Asian, African-American or Native American.

More than one quarter [28 percent] of the U.S. priests being ordained this year were born outside of the United States

This percentage rose to 28 percent from 24 percent last year.

The largest percentage of foreign-born priests come from Mexico and Vietnam.
Each of those countries represent 5 percent of the total.

Of the 343 diocesan and religious seminarians preparing for ordination in 2001, 13 percent are Hispanic, 7 percent are Asian or Pacific Islanders and 1 percent are African-American.

The mean age of priests being ordained is 36.2 years old, while 50 percent are 35 years old or younger. Three percent are age 60 or older.

Last updated September 7, 2004