Vocation Statistics Handout

NUMBER OF PRIESTS, LAY MINISTERS, DEACONS, SISTERS, AND BROTHERS IN THE U.S.
(Data from The Official Catholic Directory, 1967-2016, except as noted)

 

  1967 1980 1990 2000 2010 2017 Difference

1967-2017

 

Priests
(Diocesan)
(Religious)

 

Sisters

 

Brothers

 

59,892
(36,871)
(23,021)

 

176,671

 

12,539

58,621
(35,418)
(23,203)

 

126,517

 

7,941

53,112
(34,553)
(18,559)

 

103,912

 

6,743

46, 405
(30,940)
(15,465)

 

81,161

 

5,736

40,788
(27,614)
(13,175)

 

58,724

 

4,737

37,959
(26,239)
(11,720)

 

46,592

 

4,048

-21,933
(-10,632)
(-11,301)

 

-130,079

 

-8,491

 

Total

 

249,102 193,079 163,124 133,302 104,249 88,599 -160,503
Catholics

Total (millions)

 

46.9 49.6 57.0 62.3 68.5 71.2 +24.3
 

Catholics

Per Priest

 

(Diocesan)

 

 

783

 

(1,272)

 

846

 

(1,400)

 

1,073

 

(1,650)

 

1,342

 

(2,014)

 

1,679

 

(2,481)

 

1,876

 

(2,714)

 

+1,093

 

(+1,442)

Catholics
Per Priests
and Religious

 

Catholic
Parishes

 

Catholics
Per Parish

 

188

 

 

17,942

 

 

2,614

257

 

 

18,794

 

 

2,639

349

 

 

19,860

 

 

2,870

467

 

 

19,627

 

 

3,174

657

 

 

18,372

 

 

3,728

804 **

 

 

17,576

 

 

4,051

+616

 

 

-366

 

 

+1,437

All Seminarians

Theologians only

 37,383

8,159

13,226

4,187

6,809

3,573

5,917

3,483

5,131

3,608

5,151

3,405

-32,232

– 4,754

(2018 = 5,008)       (- 32,375)
(2018 = 3,369)       (  – 4,790)

Recent U.S. Ordinations:                                                                                                                                         

1973 = 835* 1974 = 767* 1975 = 771* 1976 = 737* 1977 = 680* 1978 = 635* 1984 = 508* 1985 = 533*
1986 = 468* 1987 = 470* 1988 = 491* 1989 = 485* 1990 = 641 1991 = 620 1992 = 864 1993 = 605
1994 = 633 1995 = 522 1996 = 520 1997 = 521 1998 = 509 1999 = 478 2000 = 463 2001 = 536
2002 = 479

2010 = 472

 

2003 = 449

2011 = 480

2004 = 544

2012 = 485

2005 = 467

2013 = 471

2006 = 438

2014 = 508

2007 = 581

2015 = 545

2008 = 487

2016 = 587

2009 = 482

2017 = 506

* Data for these years obtained from Vatican’s Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae (ASE)

 

Vocation/Years 1975 1990 2000 2010 2017
Priests       59,000         53,112         46,405          40,788          37,959
Sisters     135,000       103,912          81,161          58,724          46,592
Brothers       12,000           6,743            5,736            4,737            4,048
Permanent Deacons            900           9,497          12,862          17,165          18,938
Lay Ecclesial Ministers 5,000 est.          21,569 *   29,146  (1997)*          37,929 **      40,000 (est.)**
Lay Teachers     104,827        137,070        150,561        162,555        153,435

*  Data for these years obtained from Lay Parish Ministers, David DeLambo, 2005.  ** NALM data.

** Adding Permanent Deacons and Lay Ministers to Priests and Religious, the total number serving in ministry in 2017 would be 147,537, and the ratio to the number of Catholics would be 483 to 1, approximately the same ratio as in 2000.

Prepared by Sr. Katarina Schuth, O.S.F.         The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity                  St. Paul, Minnesota      4/18/18