See the latest Pew Research Center reports and data on the world’s largest religious group.
What’s a sin? Catholics don’t always agree with their church
Almost nine-in-ten U.S. Catholics believe that some actions are offensive to God, but many American Catholics don’t agree with church teachings on what constitutes sinful behavior.
5 facts about Communion and American Catholics
Pope Francis will celebrate Mass on an enormous scale Sunday, with 2 million people expected to gather on a mile-long parkway in downtown Philadelphia. We gathered key facts about Communion and U.S. Catholics for the occasion.
Many U.S. Catholics will understand Pope Francis’ Spanish-language Mass
A majority of all Hispanic adults identify as Catholic and a large majority of Hispanic Catholics speak Spanish fluently. Eight-in-ten Hispanic Catholics use mostly Spanish or are bilingual. In fact, they are more likely to be Spanish speakers than non-Catholic Hispanics (68%).
Among Catholics, fewer Latinos than whites seek changes to the church
On a variety of issues – such as recognizing gay marriages and determining eligibility for Holy Communion – Latino Catholics tend to be more aligned with the church than are white Catholics.
A closer look at Catholics in Washington, New York and Philadelphia
On his first papal trip to the U. S., Pope Francis will visit three Northeastern cities that are within a few hundred miles of each other. But while New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., may be geographically close, their Catholic populations look different from one another in several ways.
Half of U.S. adults raised Catholic have left the church at some point
Some older American Catholics might remember a time when people thought of the Catholic Church like a family: hard to ignore and even harder to leave. But a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Catholics shows that at least some of these perceptions may no longer be entirely true.
A closer look at Catholic America
The face of Catholic America is changing. Today, immigrants make up a considerable share of Catholics, and many are Hispanic. At the same time, there has been a regional shift, from the Northeast (long home to a large percentage of the Catholic faithful) and Midwest to the Western and Southern parts of the U.S.
Relatively few U.S. Catholics skipped annulment because of cost or complications
Pope Francis has announced major changes to the Roman Catholic Church’s procedures for marriage annulments. While the new changes are aimed at making annulments faster and less expensive, a recent Pew Research survey found that most divorced U.S. Catholics who did not seek annulments did not cite the complicated nature of the process as a reason.
Who are ‘cultural Catholics’?
The share of Americans whose primary religious affiliation is Catholic has fallen somewhat in recent years, and now stands at about one-in-five. But an additional one-in-ten American adults (9%) consider themselves Catholic or partially Catholic in other ways, even though they do not self-identify as Catholic on the basis of religion.
45% of Americans have a connection to Catholicism
The new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Catholics provides an opportunity to take stock of Americans’ Catholic identity – not just people who identify primarily as Catholics, but the entire spectrum of those whose lives have crossed paths with the Catholic Church in a meaningful way.