Where can I find catholic demographics per state


I will be moving in the next couple of years to any location I want, depending on a job being there. But two main factors of where I am looking are 1) real estate costs, they must be comparable to where I live currently so we can use our existing investment to go bigger, and 2) catholics in the population.

I know #2 might sound weird but I am just curious as to specific regions I am looking to find information on the state of the catholic church within that region.

Does anyone know of any links where I can find information on different cities and states the number of catholics that live in relation to the overall population?

Any help would be great. Please don’t think I’m weird! :wink:


This may be what you’re looking for…from a recent issue of Time magazine.



Top 10 U.S. States with Highest Proportion of
Catholics in the Population, 1990

StateNumberPercentRhode Island633,42763.12%Massachusetts2,961,35949.22Connecticut1,374,74741.82New Jersey3,189,31541.26New York7,280,48840.47Louisiana1,369,15432.44Wisconsin1,554,27831.77Illinois3,611,03331.59Pennsylvania3,675,25030.93New Mexico467,35630.85
Top 25 U.S. Counties with
Highest Proportion of Catholics, 1990

CountyNumber of
CatholicsNumber of
ParishesPercent of
PopulationKenedy, TX440295.65%Mora, NM4,3702094.86Reeves, TX20,207694.63Guadalupe, NM4,1491991.43La Salle, TX5,815286.41St. James, LA22,725784.18Harding, NM1,011681.16Starr, TX34,6691581.00Cameron, TX248,4703381.00Hidalgo, TX360,8335181.00Willacy, TX18,537881.00Wade Hampton, AK4,6921279.55Plymouth, MA427,1774579.10Jim Hogg, TX4,637678.10Jeff Davis, TX2,121277.60Maverick, TX30,743676.69Taos, NM20,3792975.81Webb, TX107,3332075.14St. Landry, LA78,5783574.57Vermilion, LA42,9741773.22St. Martin, LA36,7281372.54Kewaunee, WI18,0221672.38Pointe Coupee, LA22,098871.49Franklin, MA60,2051971.47Greeley, NE3,236571.26Providence, RI505,03010271.04


Wow! Thanks, that is surprising to me that Rhode Island has one of the largest proportional catholic populations. I wonder why that is. I have never been to Rhode Island, and I wonder if their numbers are off just because of their size, but that still wouldn’t affect the proportional numbers.

Anyone from Rhode Island? Any good scientific based jobs based there? I hear Rhode Island is beautiful though. I think its extremely expensive to live in. Anyways I am off base here because I don’t know much about it.


Anywhere on the East Coast is expensive to live…sad to say


don’t mean to hijack (but i’ve been researching places to live too) and one thing is that even though those northeast states have the most Catholics, it doesn’t mean there are a lot of faithful Catholics, if you know what i mean…places like denver or virginia outside of DC etc. might not have as many but probably have more devoted ones


What type of science job are you seeking? If its bio or chem there are many pharma. companies with R&D facilites in the northeast. Maybe not specifically in Rhode Island but in the region–Pfizer is in CT; Wyeth is is MA; Merck is in Jersey.

As to why the large Catholic population in RI–I seem to remeber from a history class long long ago that RI started out as a primarily Catholic colony…along with Maryland being the other one. (I think).


Yes, RI has the highest percentage of Catholics…but that actually tells you very little.

It’s the phenomenon known as “cultural Catholicism.” Look at who RI’ers keep electing to public office.

Moving from RI to PA was such an eye-opener for me & my faith life!

Just from the pro-life perspective, it’s like the difference between a fruitstand and a grocery store! There still may be both good & bad fruit at each, but man, there’s a whole lot more of everything at the grocery store!

Feel free to PM me for more info.


In about a year and half I’ll be graduating with my PhD in cell biology, so yes I am looking at many pharm companies and their R&D divisions, but also looking into post docs with some major research institutions. So far the early leaders are Wisconsin, Michigan, or North Carolina.

I grew up in Michigan so I know there is a good faithful Catholic contigent there, and my wife is from Wisconsin. Connecticut is a great place for science jobs but again is rediculously expensive to live.

Thanks for the tips on Rhode Island. Many good points here.


This kind of information is hard to find. Even if you find the percentage of Catholics living in a state, there are still regional differences.

This organization at Penn State collects this type of data, but it can be hard to decode if you don’t have experience in databases or GIS systems: thearda.com/

If I were you, I wouldn’t focus on the number of Catholics living in a state…I would examine the number of churches in an area, and the number of Masses that are offered every Sunday.

Luckely, this type of information is easy to find. Go to masstimes.org and do a search for churches near the zipcode that you’re considering. See how many churches are within 10 miles. Churches with many Sunday Masses probably have active Catholic populations. Keep in mind that many urban cores have a large number of churches but few church members, because the original ethnic populations have fled the city. You can spot these churches because they’ll have few Sunday Masses.

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