Posted March 25, 2004
The Most Recent Statistics in 2004 on Catholic Schools
Taken from the National Catholic Educational Association
The net loss of Catholic Schools for 2003-04 was 45 schools. [This figure includes schools that were consolidated with other schools.] The total number of schools closed is 123. Total Catholic School enrollment dropped 2.7%. Enrollment is now at 2,484,252, a drop of 69,025 students from the previous academic year when there were 2,553,277 elementary and secondary students.
Many of the school closings were in urban areas. [This finding raises the age-old question of Catholic education and its mission to the minorities. Will we lose the growing populations of new cultures arriving in the U.S.? How much of a role do our Catholic Schools fulfill in creating faithful and loyal Catholics for the future?]
More than one-third of Catholic schools nationwide, 2,801, have waiting lists for admission.
Of the total 123 closed or consolidated Catholic Schools, 114 were elementary schools and nine were secondary schools. Hardest hit regions were the Midwest, with 39 schools affected, and the Great Lakes, with 30.
Twenty-seven of the newly opened schools were elementary, while seven were secondary schools. Thirteen of the new schools -- 11 elementary and two secondary -- were in the Southeast. [It should be noted that people, including Catholics have found the beauty and economic advantages of moving to the Carolinas and Virginias]
There are 1,842,918 students presently enrolled in 6,727 Catholic elementary schools. Secondary school enrollment declined to 641,334 secondary students in comparison to 646,407 last year.
Minority students represent 26.8 percent of the Catholic school enrollment, and 13.5 percent of the students in Catholic schools are not Catholic.
There are 162,337 full-time Catholic school teachers and administrators. The overwhelming majority are laity, with women making up 74.8 percent and men 20 percent. Religious women and brothers and clergy members now compose only 5.1 percent.