A new study shows that the percentage of Catholics in the United States has fallen from nearly one-in-four to one-in-five, with the added news that Hispanics in America are no longer majority-Catholic.
The Pew Research Center survey released Oct. 17 noted that in general, religious practice in the country has declined at a “rapid pace.”
Based on telephone surveys conducted in 2018-2019, Pew found that 65 percent of Americans now call themselves Christian, down 12 percentage points from a decade ago; in addition, those having no religion – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – are now 26 percent of the population, up from 17 percent a decade ago.
Self-described Protestants went from 77 to 65 percent in that time period; Catholics went from 23 percent to 20 percent.
Although Catholic leaders might feel some comfort knowing they aren’t experiencing the same sort of decline as Protestants, they must be worried by the large number of Hispanic Catholics leaving the Church.
In 2009, 57 percent of Hispanics called themselves Catholic; it was only 47 percent in 2019. Only a small percentage of that can be attributed to joining other churches or religions – the number of Hispanics identifying as Protestant only rose from 23 in 2009 to 26 percent in 2017 (although the 2019 data showed 24 percent, the earlier survey is probably more thorough); and the number describing themselves as belonging to non-Christian religions rose from 1 percent to 3 percent. However, those describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” increased from 16 to 23 percent.
Read more at Crux