Facts on Catholic Social Institutions

Facts on Catholic Social Institutions



  • In the academic year 2013-14, Catholic elementary and secondary school enrollment was nearly two million. [1] Twenty percent of these students were racial minorities and 15 percent Hispanic/Latino. [2]
  • The 258 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States serve 761,257 students. [3]


  • The Catholic health care ministry consists of more than 600 hospitals and 1,400 long-term care and other health facilities in 50 states, making it the nation’s largest network of nonprofit health care providers. [4]
  • One in six US patients receives treatment in a Catholic hospital each year. [5]
  • In 2013, Catholic hospitals admitted more than 5.2 million patients and accommodated more than 19.5 million emergency room visits and 102 million outpatient visits. [6]

Refugee and Legal Networks

  • The United States Catholic Conference’s Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) division has resettled more than one million refugees since 1975, more than any nation in the world over this period, with the exception of the United States.
  • The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) is the nation’s largest charitable legal services network.
  • Over the last 20 years, the CLINIC network has expanded from 17 legal programs to 265 diocesan and other affiliated programs. These programs serve hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year in more than 400 locations and 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. [7]

Catholic Charities

  • Catholic Charities agencies form the nation’s largest charitable social service network, providing services to nearly 10 million unduplicated clients annually. [8]
  • In 2013, 116 of Catholic Charities USA’s member agencies provided more than 17 million client services. [9]
  • In 2013, Catholic Charities agencies provided services valued at $3.7 billion. [10]
  • In 2013, Catholic Charities USA member agencies and affiliates offered refugee and immigrant services to 375,000 clients. [11]
  • In 2013, Catholic Charities agencies reported a 22 percent increase in the number of refugees achieving self-sufficiency (defined as stable housing and employment) from the previous year. [12]

Anti-Poverty Initiatives

  • Since its founding in 1969, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has contributed over $280 million to community-led anti-poverty projects.
  • In 2014, CCHD committed more than $4 million in 2014 to support work in immigrant communities related to comprehensive immigration reform, detention, unaccompanied minors, economic empowerment, worker rights, community safety, education, fair treatment by the police, and nutrition. [13]


  • In 2011, 59 percent of 5,549 parishes reported providing social services to meet individual needs, including 66 percent of “multicultural” parishes. [14]
  • Most of the roughly 18,000 Catholic parishes also offer ministries to the infirm and homebound (86 percent), youth (76 percent), and seniors (64 percent). [15]

[1] National Catholic Educational Association, http://www.ncea.org/data-information/catholic-school-data.

[2] Ibid.

[3] National Center for Education Statistics database, http://nces.ed.gov.

[4] Catholic Health Association, A Passionate Voice for Compassionate Care, n.d., http://www.chausa.org/docs/default-source/media-resources/cha-overview.pdf?sfvrsn=0.

[5] Catholic Health Association, Catholic Health Care in the United States, January 2015, http://www.chausa.org/docs/default-source/general-files/cha-us-health-care-at-a-glance_january-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=0.

[6] 2013 American Hospital Association Annual Survey, cited by Catholic Health Association, Catholic Health Care in the United States, January 2015.

[7] Donald Kerwin, with Breana George, US Catholic Institutions and Immigrant Integration: Will the Church Rise to the Challenge?, Lateran University Press, 2015, p. 131.

[8] CCUSA 2012 Annual Survey Final Report, September 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/171435581/2012-Annual-Survey-Report-Executive-Summary

[9] Help and Hope Report 2014: A Summary of the 2013 Annual Survey, Catholic Charities USA, 2014, https://www.scribd.com/doc/239814913/2014-Help-and-Hope-Report. Major service categories include: Hunger, Health, Housing, Education, Economic Security, and Vulnerable Populations and Situations, including Immigration and Refugee Services.

[10] Frequently Requested Church Statistics, CARA, 2014, http://cara.georgetown.edu/caraservices/requestedchurchstats.html.

[11] The 2013 figure include a 20 percent increase in legal services since 2011, which can be attributed to work under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

[12] Help and Hope Report 2014: A Summary of the 2013 Annual Survey, Catholic Charities USA, 2014, pp. 15-16.

[13] Catholic Campaign for Human Development Supports Justice for Immigrants, http://www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/grants/upload/immigration-grants-map-2014.pdf.

[14] The Changing Face of Catholic Parishes, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), 2011, http://cara.georgetown.edu/staff/webpages/Parishes%20Phase%20One.pdf

[15] Ibid.