Enrollment in Catholic schools is dropping in the United States. Newspaper articles across the country frequently site the annual data report put out by the NCEA. The full report, coordinated by Dale McDonald, PBVM, Ph.D., provides information on school enrollment history, staffing data, public and private school comparisons, demographic information, and more.
Some highlights from the 2008-2009 report:
Total Catholic school student enrollment for the current academic year is 2,192,531.
Minority student enrollment is 643,173 which is 29.3% of the total enrollment.
Non-Catholic enrollment is 325,835 which is 14.9% of the total enrollment.
There are 7,248 Catholic schools: 6,028 elementary; 1,220 secondary.
31 new schools opened; 162 consolidated or closed.
2,114 schools have a waiting list for admission.
Full-time equivalent professional staff numbered 157,615:
96.0%: Laity (Lay women: 74.5% Lay men: 21.5%)
4.0%: Religious/Clergy ( Sisters: 2.8%; Brothers: 0.6%; Clergy: 0.6%)
Changes in Enrollment:
1998-1999: 2,648,844 Total Enrollment
2003-2004: 2,484,252 Total Enrollment
2008-2009: 2,192,531 Total Enrollment
Mean parish school tuition: $3,159. Per pupil cost: $5,870.
Mean freshman tuition: $8,182 Per pupil cost: $10,228
(Estimated that Catholic schools provide a 20 billion dollars a year savings for the nation)
U. S. Catholic school enrollment reached its peak during the early 1960s when there were more than 5.2 million students in almost thirteen thousand schools across the nation. The 1970s and 1980s saw a steep decline in both the number of schools and students. By 1990, there were approximately 2.5 million students in 8,719 schools. From the mid 1990s though 2000, there was a steady enrollment increase (1.3%) despite continued closings of schools.
Between the 2000 and the 2009 school years, there were 1,429 schools that closed (17.5%).