Religio. State of Catholicism. Introduction Report

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1 Religio State of Catholicism Introduction Report By Jong Han Head of Research Religio

2 Purpose: To inform on the overall state of Catholicism and the Catholic church in the United States through generational divides and rising media and technology importance. This introduction report will demonstrate the effectiveness and resolve that Religio brings to help solve current problems faced by the Catholic church. I. Background Information Catholicism in the United States Roughly 81.6 million Americans, 25% of the overall population, identify as Roman Catholic. Over the period of a half-decade, the Catholic population has suffered one of the greatest net decreases in population amongst religions at -3.1% change, only 0.3% behind the United States Protestant population. The United States has seen a

3 general changing of its religious landscape for a multitude of factors, mainly concentrated within the upbringing of new and younger generations such as millennials in contrast to the uprisings of previous, older generations of baby boomers within the general American society. Boston contains the highest percentage of Catholics within any major metropolitan United States city. Roughly half of people in Southern Louisiana are Catholic. Heavy concentrations of Catholic populations are also mainly located in central California, southern Texas, and the general Southwest region. The south and southeast are greater regions of Protestant population density.

4 Catholics are more likely than other Americans to be immigrants or children of immigrants, mainly Hispanic. More than 27% of U.S. Catholic adults were born outside of the country. Only 57% of Catholics born in the United States have two non-immigrant parents. The Catholic Church in the United States retains a high level of diversity and age throughout its demographics.

5 Changes in Catholicism The general age of the average catholic has risen dramatically over the decades, with a -9% net decrease in the proportion of Catholic youth and young adults. Catholics are aging as the median age is currently at 49 years, up four years since Catholics are significantly older than members of non-christian faiths or nonreligious affiliations. There is a departure of Catholicism within millennials as older generations retain their religious affiliation.

6 Almost half of those raised in church do leave at some point, with 20% of those becoming reverts, returning to Catholicism. About 15% of Americans consider themselves former Catholics. The net changes in the Catholic group has been a daunting -10.9% change, alongside the grand increase in the unaffiliated which lies at +13.6%

7 There is a great departure of Catholics, mainly within the younger generations. The change by group of Catholics leaving to those joining is at a dramatically high ratio of 6.5:1, the highest compared to all other religious demographics. Over 25 million adults no longer identify with the Catholic Church. Many leave or abandon their affiliated religion altogether. Despite this grand turnover rate within the Catholic population, the Catholic Church possesses the highest retention rate amongst all other religions. There is a grand departure from affiliated religions, with Catholicism being hit the hardest.

8 II. Millennials and Catholicism Millennials, the young generation born between the 1980s to 2000s, represents the biggest generational cohort and most influential in the modern age. Only 16% of millennials self-identify as being Catholic. Simultaneously, barely 25% of millennials attend church services on a weekly basis, outlining a vast gap in church service attendance between younger and older generations.

9 Religious Importance by % of Generations Importance of Religion Prayer Attendance Baby Boomers Generation X Millennials

10 Yet, 4 in 10 millennials say religion is important in their lives. There lies a contrast in nature between generational cohorts as older generations increasingly rely on religion for guidance on questions of right and wrong. Millennials still retain spiritual nature however, indicating no loss in belief of faith but rather a lack of motivation and firm establishment of church-attendance and congregational participations. Millennials possess a more do-it-yourself attitude towards many subjects, including religion. While Baby Boomers and Boomers express to their children that it is important to think for yourself and find one s own individual moral compass, the traditional institution of the church has utilized official teachings and obedience. This has created a cultural contrast for Millennials who attempt to formulate their spiritual beliefs and values within a cultural context. There is an increase within the Catholic population that state their church/denomination should either adjust traditional or adopt modern beliefs and practices. Most of this increase derives from the younger generations. Millennials don t feel the same sense of obligation to attend church that previous generations may have. At the same time, being part of a faith community can provide young adults with exactly the mentorship and guidance they crave from older adults. Millennials are leaving the church due to the new nature of this generational collective. However, millennials are still retaining and exploring their spirituality.

11 Thus there is a strong lack of coverage and adaptation for Millennials, who have come of age during this modern time of technological change and globalization that has constructed a different set of behaviors and experiences than previous generations.

12 III. Long Term State of Catholicism Trends and Projections There has been a majority downward trend in the percentage of American adults who are part of or directly affiliated with a church.

13 Frequent Religious Service Attendance: Long- Term Trends GSS Gallup Frequent religious service attendance is diminishing across all platforms.

14 However, those millennials who are affiliated remain faithful. More than one-third of religiously affiliated millennials say they are strong members of their faith, similar other generations at their age, including Gen X-ers and baby boomers. These groups of millennials also retain some sense of spirituality, and the main issues can be seen in a tendency to withdraw from organized collectives within society. Millennials and Mobile App Engagement Trends Time spent on mobile devices is now significantly higher than overall time spent on desktop platforms. Time spent in mobile apps has grown to over 90% since 2013, with over 778,954 total minutes spent in % of millennials report never separating from their mobile devices, a trend projected to slowly increase each year with the heightened importance and dependence on mobile devices and applications for daily usage. Mobile Apps have become both an integral feature to daily life but also asset to a multitude of professional and institutional uses.

15 Consumer app retention and engagement is increasing overall. 87% of millennials are reported to never separate from their devices, creating a heavy reliance on mobile devices and applications for anything that ranges from the trivial to the more significant. There is a 90% increase in overall time spent on mobile apps over the course of the past 2 years, exemplifying the necessary usage of mobile applications in all fields from educational, professional, to individual use.

16 Mobile app retention rates, which signify both the number of times an app is used as well as the number of times a user returns to use the app again, are rising globally at a powerful trend. This is growing alongside the subsequent rise in importance and dependence on mobile apps for daily usage. Mobile applications thus can serve as an effective and powerful community tool for Catholic churches and Catholic generations across the United States. Similarly, the use of mobile applications goes hand in hand with the rise of the millennial generation s influence over socioeconomic and cultural factors. Millennials have arisen as the first generation of digital natives and hold a strong affinity for

17 technology that shapes their attitudes and behaviors. Lack of access to technological channels leaves a gap for reaching and impacting millennials overall. The growing impact of millennials and both mobile apps leaves a room for the use of mobile apps and websites as an imperative asset to community functions. Millennials have been grown in an age of technological advancements and the translation of societal features and functions online. Thus, millennials seek establishments in the form of mobile applications or online platforms in order to participate in or contribute to modern day activities.

18 IV. Religio Solutions Involvement: Information tailored for you, the user. Whether it s the latest message from your pastor or the bible quote of the day, you will never miss a beat from your church Giving: Religio makes giving easier. See local and global fundraisers, and donate with the knowledge that money transfers securely to your church Stay up to date with all Catholic news and events.

19 Connect Your Faith: Religio seeks to increase engagement between churches and its members, connect people with their religious circles and bring innovation to charity. What can Religio do for your parish? Increase engagement, increase donations, provide easy contact/communication, easier and secure donation system, insights on donations/analytics, direct communication by allowing notifications and announcements. Religio seeks to bridge the growing gap between the Catholic Church and millennials by transitioning the faith community onto its mobile applications. Being able to provide constant communication and contact with the millennial group is imperative to reducing departures from affiliated religion as well as establishing closer bonds and creating a more tight-knit community. Religio will help connect your faith community and provide the platform necessary to maintaining it 24/7.

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