California Catholic population boom

California's rapidly growing Hispanic community is driving Catholic demographic growth in the most populous US state, a landmark study has found.

Business Wire reports that California's Catholic population is growing by more than 13 percent each year, and by 2025 Catholics will make up more than 36 percent of the state's population, up from 30 percent in 2005, according to a landmark demographic study.

The study, produced for the California Catholic Conference, paints a picture of vibrant and dynamic growth for the Church in California.

In 2005, 11.1 million of California's 36.6 million people were Catholic; by 2025, 16.7 million of state's expected 45.9 million residents will be Catholic, an increase of 5.6 million people. By contrast, California's non-Catholic population is growing at a rate of 4 percent a year.

Catholics represent nearly 60 percent of California's projected population growth in the next 20 years.

A major factor driving the growth of the Church in California is the growth in California's Hispanic population, an estimated 60 percent of whom is Catholic.

"We are truly blessed that the Catholic Church in California is vibrant and growing, but our future should not happen by accident," said the Most Reverend Stephen Blaire, Bishop of Stockton and President of the California Catholic Conference.

"As pastors responsible for the spiritual well-being of our Catholic people, studies like this will help us do what we need to do to better serve the needs of burgeoning Catholic communities throughout the state."

More Than 1/3 of California Population Will Be Catholic by 2025; Growth Rates Exceed Non-Catholic Population by More Than 3 Times (Business Wire, 19/6/2006)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
California Catholic Conference
More Than 1/3 of California Population Will Be Catholic by 2025 (California Catholic Conference)

21 Jun 2006