I was doing some research into Catholics in the US, and whether the amount of parishes has really declined so drastically.
After some digging, I came across CARA and it looks like they have reliable historic data!
- From 1970 to 2017, the parishes have declined by less than 1100.
- There are 3552 parishes without a resident priest pastor in 2017, in 1970 that number was only 571.
- The Catholic population, which are connected to a parish, has grown from around 47 million to 68 million.
- The amount of children in parish religious education in 2017 has halved from the number enrolled in 1970.
- There are fewer Catholic hospitals but in 2017 they serve four times as many patients.