Vocation statistics

Is there any where on the web that shows the statistics of new vocations for priesthood and religious?

I need to know how many young people are answering (or not answering) their call. According to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux,

*"… once estimated that about one out of three Catholics (~33%) have a vocation to the consecrated life. Yet today, less one in every twenty-thousand Catholics (~0.005%) are consecrated religious."

These statistics, if even remotely accurate, help us to better understand the difficulty Catholics face today when discerning a religious vocation, that is; that many either do not hear the call of God, or hear but do not listen.*


Canter for Applied Research in the Apostolate, the major sociological Catholic research organization in the US:


scroll down and look for “Frequently Requested Statistics” on the right

Thank you!:thumbsup:

According to the CARA figures (which come from the Holy See’s official figures) this quote is not remotely accurate.

i.e. the latest figures show there are 409,000 priests, 55,000 religious brothers, and 739,000 religious sisters. (I’m not counting the 37,000 permanent deacons.)

Total 1,203,000 Catholics in consecrated life, out of a total of 1,166,000,000 Catholics.

= 0.1032% , a bit more than one in every thousand Catholics is a priest, brother or nun.

As CARA’s figures show, the proportion is almost twice as high among USAmerican Catholics.

The world proportion would certainly have been a lot higher in St Bernard’s time (1090-1153 AD).

My guess (and you should be able to find this backed up in this and other statistics) is that expressed as a proportion of the believing and practising Catholic population, the number of priests, nuns and brothers has remained about the same, at least for the past century. The answer to increasing vocations is to increase the pool of believing, practising young Catholics from which vocations are drawn.

Go read the full article here:


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