Hartford, Conn., Mar 10, 2009 / 01:22 am
A new study on American religion finds that Catholicism is facing a “stunning” decline in the northeast United States as the population center of U.S. Catholics shifts towards the southwest. Secularism continues to grow in all regions, while mainline Protestant denominations face the most significant population decline.
The study, titled the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), was conducted by the Program on Public Values at Trinity College.
According to the ARIS report, Catholic numbers and percentages rose in many states in the South and West mainly due to immigration.
“Catholics increased their share in California and Texas to about one-third of the adult population and in Florida to over one-fourth. In terms of numbers they gained about 8 million adherents in these three states in the past two decades,” the report says.