Pew Forum Portrait on Mormons

some interesting statistics:

Catholics are 23.9% of adults
Mormons are 1.7% of adults

71% of Mormons are married, 83% to another Mormon
54% of the general population are married, 63% to another of the same religion

86% of Mormons are white
91% of mainline Protestants are white
87% of Orthodox Christians are white
65% of Catholics are white
29% of Catholics are Latino
7% of Mormons are Latino, 4% are Black

26% of Mormons are converts
11% of Catholics are converts
Nearly all Black Mormons are converts; 1/10 converts are Black
7% of Mormon converts were raised Catholic

83% of Mormons say religion is important in their lives
56% of Catholics say religion is important in their lives

91% of Mormons believe the Bible is the Word of God

76% of Mormons attend weekly church services
41% of Catholics attend weekly church services
34% of Orthodox Christians attend weekly church services

76% of Mormons read Scripture outside of church at least once a week
82% of Mormons pray daily
55% believe they receive an answer to a prayer request at least once a month
91% of Mormons read Scripture and pray with their children

70% of Mormons that were raised Mormon are still Mormon (;))
68% of Catholics that were raised Catholic are still Catholic

57% of Mormons believe their faith is the one true faith
80% of Jehovah’s Witnesses believe their faith is the one true faith
36% of evangelicals believe their faith is the one true faith


A small mistake in your post, probably as a result of the way the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey results were described on the Pew Forum website.

The Pew survey did NOT say that only 7% of Mormon converts are former Catholics.

This is what the Pew survey said in a section captioned “Patterns of Conversion”:

26% of American adult Mormons are converts.

Of ALL adult American Mormons (not just converts):

13% were raised Protestant
7% were raised Catholic
1% were raised members of other religions
5% were raised not affiliated with a religion

So, about 27% of Mormon converts were raised Catholic. That is not too different than the percentage (23.9%) of all adult Americans who are Catholic.

The Pew Forum survey’s “A Portrait of Mormons in the U.S.” is certainly a wealth of statistical information about Mormons in the USA (but not other countries) but to me, LDS, it was about what I would have expected (if I had ever even thought of all those insightful questions).

I wonder what non-LDS readers find most informative, suprising or interesting about the Pew Forum’s survey results? Anyone care to respond?


I think the most surprising thing to me is the 70% who were raised LDS and remain—meaning roughly 30% raised LDS have left their faith. It is, of course, very similar to Catholicism in that it has a cultural impetus (maybe that’s why the statistics are so similar for "de-conversion) and having LDS family members I know that they are not particularly “strict” or “orthodox” but they would never think of leaving the church because it would upset so many familial and social relationships.

That was interesting to me.

Thanks for the correction!

What Groups are People Switching From?
% who were raised…
All other
Protestant Catholic faiths/DK Unaffi liated Non-converts
Current religion…
Hindu 2 4 2 2 90 =100
Catholic 8 N/A 1 2 89 =100
Jewish 5 3 2 5 85 =100
Orthodox 12 5 1 4 77 =100
Mormon 13 7 1 5 74 =100
Muslim 24 4 4 8 60 =100
Jehovah’s Witness 33 26 1 8 33 =100
Buddhist 32 22 6 12 27 =100
Other faiths 50 23 7 11 9 =100
Other Christian 53 23 8 7 10 =100
Unaffi liated 44 27 8 N/A 21 =100 p.32
No, the PDF report says that 74 % of adult mormons are non-converts. Twenty-six percent are converts. Of the whole adult Mormon population, 7% are converts from Catholicism.

Of people raised Mormon, 70% stayed Mormon, 15% converted to another religion, and 14% now practice no religion. Of people raised Catholic, 68% stayed, 18% converted to another religion, and 14 % now practice no religion.

My understanding is that 80% of Catholic worldwide are non-white.

Are your stats for U.S. population?

Yes, the study is just on US population.

2/3 are white, 1/3 are (surprise!!) Hispanic.

Twenty-three percent of all adult converts to Mormonism were previously Catholic. That may not be reliable, since we may be getting down to small sample size problems.


The Catholic sample though really does reflect the Church being…catholic!

Thomas Howard retired professor, author, convert to Catholicism made an interesting comment on the* Journey Home Program* (EWTN) some months ago…regarding “conversion” to or from one’s faith/Church:

…those who leave other faiths to become Catholic…really know in great detail/knowledge and with significant depth of understanding exactly what they are leaving…the beliefs and what/why their church/faith teaches what it does…exactly what they are giving up to become Catholic…

whereas the vast majority if not all Catholics who leave the Catholic Church for another faith…really don’t know their faith, its beliefs and especially “why” it teaches and believes what it does…they have a very shallow formation/shallow commitment to the Catholic faith/Catholic Church.

My experience with family and friends who have left the Church is the same…and also…some leave I believe because of what they see as “heavy lifting” Christianity for a “lighter weight” version–abortion is OK, contraception is OK; etc… I offer this as observation/experience…not a valid/data based fact statement.

What caught my attention in the Pew Mormon Study:-how “white” Mormon Temples and Protestant churches (in USA) still are…as a Black person, I grew up in segregated Catholic Churches in the deep South under Jim Crow laws. Most of that has been overcome in the Catholic Church…but not completely…yet. I wonder what the Mormon race data would be if calculated on a world-wide basis…Catholics and Protestants surely would have a much higher percentage of non-white members if you look world-wide.

-fidelity to the Faith/practicing it…as a part of their life…Mormons (Muslims also) put Catholics to shame.

-the high percentage of Mormons that are married (71%…83% to another Mormon)…what I wonder is the family size…number of children per household…I bet that “statistic” would also put Catholics to shame.

-Lastly…how many Mormons voted for President Obama vs Catholics…vis-a-vis the morality of abortion issue…again, I bet Catholics (who voted 54% overall for President Obama) are put to shame. I believe that if Mitt Romney had gotten the Republican nomination…he would be President today…without a doubt. I love John McCain (Vietnam Vet)…but he was the wrong guy…wrong time!..and part of the only organization that had worse approval ratings than President Bush…the U.S. Congress.

Pax Christi

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