Latest Trends & Research
Social & Religious Research
20 Years of Congregational Change
(Faith Communities Today 2022)
This report conducted by Faith Communities Today, a multireligious and collaborative research initiative that has been tracking trends in the U.S. religious landscape since 2000, summarizes the findings of the largest national survey of congregations ever conducted in the U.S. It captures a pre- and early pandemic picture of America’s faith communities and affirms many of the trends evident over the past few decades, while also highlighting some distinct areas of change.
Congregations in 21st Century America
(National Congregations Study 2021)
The National Congregations Study examines what people do together in congregations. What communities of faith do together tells us something important about the beliefs and practices of individuals in those communities. The NCS provides a portrait of a broad and varied cross-section of American religious life, and it allows us to offer grounded observations about the state of congregational life today.
About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
(Pew Research Center 2021)
Currently, about three-in-ten U.S. adults (29%) are religious “nones” – people who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” when asked about their religious identity. Christians continue to make up a majority of the U.S. populace, but their share of the adult population is 12 points lower in 2021 than it was in 2011. In addition, the share of U.S. adults who say they pray on a daily basis has been trending downward, as has the share who say religion is “very important” in their lives.
The American Parish: By the Numbers
Black Catholics in American
(Pew Research Center 2022)
The Black Catholics in America study captures the diversity of Black American religious life offers new insights into their religious habits and experiences, finding that their experiences at parishes and at Mass are often distinctive from those of other U.S. Catholics. It also shows that their religious beliefs and practices differ from those of Black Protestants.
Open Wide the Doors to Christ: A Study of Catholic Social Innovation for Parish Vitality
This report focuses on ways in which Catholic Social Innovation (CSI) processes might foster vitality in Catholic parishes in the United States. In addition to studying parish vitality in general, the Working Group asked that the researchers look for innovative and best practices in four key areas of parish life: welcoming parishes, young adults, women and women religious in leadership, and Hispanic ministry. This study, conducted by Marti Jewell and Mark Mogilka involved a survey of more than 200 ministries, websites, and books, plus interviews with more than 65 recognized and recommended pastoral leaders and innovators from across the country. The report provides a summary of the overall findings on the meaning and use of Catholic Social Innovation and the characteristics and practices of parishes with vitality, including summaries of findings in the four key areas of parish life (see above).
Faith and Spiritual Life of Catholics in the United States
(Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate Georgetown University 2021)
This report presents findings from a study about faith and spiritual life of Catholics in the United States (especially, Hispanics/Latinos and youth/young adults) to help better understand their spiritual needs and how existing spiritual formation programs cater to these needs. The study was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). The report is based on the national poll of young Catholics, national survey of Small Christian Communities, and interviews about Small Christian Communities.
The State of Religion & Young People 2021 – Catholic Edition
(Springtide Research 2021)
This special edition of the 2021 report focuses on what the data from our 2021 annual report, The State of Religion & Young People, tell us about young Catholics. Our data reveal how young Catholics today are serious about engaging and exploring their faith, but in ways that look quite different from prior generations. The newest study on Catholic young people is available for purchase on the Springtide website: www.springtideresearch.org/product/catholic-edition-2021
The State of Youth and Religion - Catholic Edition
(Springtide Research 2020)
In October 2020, Springtide Research Institute released The State of Religion & Young People 2020: Relational Authority, the first report of its kind, exploring the inner and outer lives of young people ages 13–25. The State of Religion & Young People 2020, Catholic Edition: Relational Authority is design for those who work with young Catholics to better understand them. This special report amplifies the voices of a nationally representative sample of these young Catholics—of varying ages, races, and genders—in conversation with their peer group as a whole in the United States. We present findings about young people in general as well as Catholic young people because young Catholics are, by and large, encountering the same trends and realities as their Protestant, atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, and “other” peers. Where there is variance between Catholics and others, we highlight those instances.
Hispanic Ministry in Catholic Parishes
(National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry 2014)
Catholic parishes with Hispanic ministry constitute a very important portion of the U.S. Catholic experience that needs to be better studied and understood. What we learn about parishes with Hispanic ministry today gives us a sense of what Catholic life in the United States already is in many places where Catholicism is growing vibrantly— of course, not without challenges. Considering current demographic trends and the steady growth and influence of Hispanic Catholicism, these communities also provide us with a glimpse of what U.S. Catholicism will likely be in vast regions of the country—at least during the first half of the twenty-first century. The study of these communities is an invitation for pastoral leaders, scholars, and organizations interested in supporting the U.S. Catholic experience to imagine a future together, investing and planning today with Hispanic Catholics.