Catholicism on a Nationwide Decline


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Catholic Directory

A retired member of the United States Air Force, Father Thomas Maikowski oversees religious services as administrator at a Catholic parish in northern Arizona. Through his roles as an educator and priest, Father Thomas Maikowski has served as a leader in the Catholic community for several decades.

In the midst of Pope Francis’ historic visit to the US, the national population of Roman Catholic worshipers is slowly declining. A recent census conducted by the Catholic Directory listed 68.1 million people as practicing Catholics. However, studies have shown that over the course of more than three decades, attendance at Catholic churches and schools has decreased overall. Between 2007 and 2014, the number of Catholic Americans has declined from 23.9 percent to 20.8 percent.

At the same time, the number of foreign Catholics in the US has risen over the last several years. A recent PEW survey found that Hispanic Catholics now make up 34 percent of total Catholics in the country. Moreover, the number of all foreign-born Catholics has increased from 13.2 million to 21.5 million in the last five years alone. Specialists believe that these changing demographics may benefit the Catholic community in the near future.