From 1972 to 2010, what happened to the proportion of the general U.S. population for religious groups?
- Protestants went down markedly, from 63% to 47% of the population.
- Catholics held steady, from 27% to 25% of the population.
- Nones grew dramatically, from 5% to 18%.
- Others went up from 5% to 9%.
Perhaps it isn’t just immigration holding up the Catholic numbers: the percentage of U.S. Catholics who are foreign-born, or whose parents or grandparents are foreign-born, seems to have decreased slightly since 2006.
Catholics’ ability to retain their own is sliding. In 1973 the retention rate (percent of those raised Catholic who identify as Catholic as adults) was 84%. In 2010, the Catholic retention rate is estimated to be 68%. If this decline continues, by 2050 the Catholics will be retaining only 54% of their own.
Full write-up, interesting details, and helpful graphs here.