Roman Catholic Church

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Denominational Profile

Notes

The Roman Catholic Church first colonized what was to become the United States in 1565. Through processes of immigration and evangelism it became the largest denomination in America in the late nineteenth century and remains so today.

Membership Data

Year Clergy Churches Members
1925 24,352 17,380 16,047,914
1929 26,925 18,166 17,173,148
1931 - - 14,441,011
1933 - 18,085 20,199,594
1935 31,029 18,242 20,609,302
1937 - 18,428 21,322,688
1940 - 18,733 21,284,456
1943 - 18,976 22,945,248
1944 - 14,791 23,419,700
1945 - 14,523 25,286,178
1946 - - 24,402,124
1950 43,889 15,533 28,634,878
1951 44,459 20,443 29,241,580
1952 45,064 15,723 30,253,428
1953 45,271 20,618 31,476,260
1954 46,785 20,794 32,403,332
1955 48,165 21,086 33,396,648
1956 49,725 21,121 34,563,852
1957 50,881 21,327 35,846,476
1958 52,953 21,617 39,509,508
1959 53,796 23,346 40,871,304
1960 54,945 23,393 42,104,900
1961 55,858 23,374 42,876,664
1962 56,818 23,412 43,847,936
1963 57,616 23,541 44,874,372
1964 58,930 23,490 45,640,620
1965 59,491 23,668 46,246,176
1967 59,979 23,734 46,864,912
1968 60,123 23,814 47,468,332
1969 59,525 23,812 47,872,088
1970 58,510 23,708 48,214,728
1971 57,778 23,796 48,390,992
1972 57,332 23,880 48,460,428
1973 57,070 23,998 48,465,440
1974 59,287 23,753 48,701,836
1975 59,234 24,135 48,881,872
1976 58,713 24,158 49,325,752
1977 58,903 24,468 49,836,176
1978 58,856 25,542 49,602,036
1979 59,059 24,161 49,812,176
1980 58,845 24,188 50,449,840
1981 58,534 24,277 51,207,580
1982 57,870 24,071 52,088,776
1983 57,891 24,260 52,392,936
1984 57,317 24,275 52,286,044
1985 57,183 24,251 52,654,908
1986 53,382 23,561 52,893,216
1987 53,522 23,552 53,496,864
1988 52,948 23,091 54,918,948
1989 53,111 23,500 57,019,948
1990 53,088 23,685 58,568,016
1991 52,277 19,971 58,267,424
1992 50,907 19,863 59,220,724
1993 50,320 19,787 59,858,040
1994 49,947 19,723 60,190,604
1995 49,009 19,726 60,280,456
1996 49,071 22,728 61,207,912
1998 47,199 19,584 62,018,436
1999 46,063 - 62,391,484
2000 46,075 - 63,683,032
2001 45,713 - 65,270,444
2002 44,487 19,484 66,407,105
2003 44,212 19,431 67,259,768
2004 43,422 19,297 67,820,833
2005 42,271 18,992 69,135,254
2006 42,307 19,044 67,515,016
2007 57,814 18,479 67,117,016
2008 57,897 18,674 68,115,001
2009 41,361 18,372 68,503,456

Data were taken from the National Council of Churches' Historic Archive CD and recent editions of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. Denomination descriptions provided by Dr. J. Gordon Melton, Director, Institute for the Study of American Religion (ISAR). [More information on data sources]