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Baptism rates falling in US

October 23, 2013

Christian baptism rates are falling in the US, and the number of Catholic baptisms has dropped by more than 20% in the past 40 years.

From over 1 million in 1970, the number of Catholic baptisms dropped to 793,103 in 2001. In 1970, 29% of all births in the US resulted in a Catholic baptism; by 2010 that figure had fallen to 20%.

The decline in baptisms has been attributed to an overall decline in religious affiliation, as well as a sharp increase in the number of religiously mixed marriages. The trend in declining number of baptisms runs parallel to a similar decline in the number of marriages solemnized in Catholic churches.


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 26, 2013 6:20 PM ET USA

    I suppose the USCCB will blame that on the government and the "culture" as well...

  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 23, 2013 9:12 PM ET USA

    Baptism is essential to our salvation according to the Good Lord. Baptism's importance appears to be under-appreciated, and it's implications seem to be poorly understood these days. Further, the decrease in family size is not helpful to the statistics for this vital sacrament that brings life to the soul. Baptism does no less than bring souls into the Communion of Saints by God's grace. It is undesirable that Catholics are voting against their Faith, and that these sacraments are in decline.