This is is the report of a survey, commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (Georgetown University)
It was released September 2012.
Although many speak of priest shortages and steep declines in the number of men and women religious, the survey reveals that there is no shortage of individuals who seriously consider these vocations among never-married Catholics in the United States. Three percent of men say they have “very seriously” considered becoming a priest or religious brother and 2 percent of women indicate they have “very seriously” considered becoming a religious sister. This is equivalent to 352,800 never-married men and 254,800 never-married women. Millions of never-married Catholics are estimated to have considered these vocations at least “a little seriously” based on the survey results
This study identifies subgroups in the never-married Catholic population—including teens and adults—and compares those who have considered a vocation at least “a little seriously” to those who say they have not considered this or who say they did so, but not seriously. Overall, 12 percent of male respondents say they considered becoming a priest or brother at least a little seriously. Ten percent of female respondents say they considered becoming a religious sister at least a little seriously. .
Some of the sub-groups which are more likely to have persons considering vocations are obvious, such as attending Mass weekly. Others are more intriguing, such as parents who talk about religion at least once per week or participate in group devotion.
The same factors seem to predict male interest in vocations as well as female interest in vocations.