Denver Newsroom, Mar 16, 2022 / 16:00 pm
A new survey of Black Catholics in the United States sheds light on what makes Black expressions of Catholicism unique, but also highlights the fact that Black Catholics remain a minority in the country as a whole, and in most parishes.
The survey found that Black Catholics are significantly less likely than other Catholics — and also less likely than Black Protestants — to attend a church where most of the other parishioners are of the same race or ethnicity they are.
About 6% of the Black population in the U.S. — around 3 million total people — is Catholic, compared with some 66% who are Protestant. Black Catholic communities in the U.S. include not only African-Americans, but also African and Caribbean immigrants. They make up about 4% of all Catholic adults.
Black Catholic communities have been present in the United States for centuries, with large African-American Catholic populations in cities including Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, and numerous cities throughout the South. Overall, 45% of Black Catholics in the U.S. live in the South, while 29% live in the Northeast, 15% live in the West, and 11% live in the Midwest.