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Who’s Staying, Who’s Going

While Chicago1 is much more Catholic than the nation (or the world) …
Catholics as a percentage of the population
35% in Chicago / 24% in the U.S. / 17% in the world
In Chicago In the United States In the world
… and Catholics here are more devout (according to them, anyway) …
Percentage of Catholics who attend mass at least once a week
Chicago
55%
16% attend more than once a week
U.S.
24%
… Chicago is becoming less Catholic much more quickly.
Graph showing declines of Cathlic populations
In fact, for every 10 Catholics in Chicago, there are now 4 ex-Catholics.
These ex-Catholics are …
… younger …
Percentage under Age 50
40%
29%
 
… more educated …
Percentage with a college degree or more
52%
40%
 
… and richer.
Percentage with income2 of more than $75,000
31%
22%
  Ex-Catholic Chicagoans
  Catholic Chicagoans
And they are less likely to …
… stay married …
Percentage married, never divorced
47%
59%
 
… or be Hispanic.
Percentage non-white, Hispanic
35%
46%
 

Inside the Numbers

Most of the data on these pages come from an exclusive poll commissioned by Chicago and conducted by Fako Research & Strategies of Lemont, Illinois. From November 6 to 11, professional interviewers spoke to a random sampling of adult residents of Cook and Lake Counties by telephone (both mobile and landline). After 1,475 people answered a screening question to determine religious affiliation, the interviews continued with current or former Catholics only. Interviews were conducted in the respondent’s choice of English or Spanish. In total, 601 people completed the poll; the overall margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. (Read the complete list of questions and answers.)

NOTES: Other data throughout the charts in this story are courtesy of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University; Pew Research Center; Quinnipiac University; The New York Times/CBS News; Univision; and the Archdiocese of Chicago. 1. In all charts in this story, “Chicago” refers to the territory encompassed by the Archdiocese of Chicago (Cook and Lake Counties). 2. Estimated family income for 2014.
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