Your Teacher
Submit your favorite teacher for our Hall of Fame

Contact Us

Use our online contact form to get in touch with the CEF.

Tell a Friend

Tell a friend about the CEF
 

News & Events

Catholic School Data

United States Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools
2010-2011
The Annual Statistical Report on Schools, Enrollment and Staffing
 
Online Synopsis (full report available)
Dale McDonald, PBVM, Ph.D.
Margaret M. Schultz
 
Executive Summary
This annual report presents national data on Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Enrollment patterns, regional geographic trends, types and locations of schools, student and staffing demographic characteristics and student participation in selected education programs are reported. Where data permit, the exhibits compare information across the last decade as well as the past five years.
 
 
Highlights
 
Enrollment:
• Total Catholic school student enrollment for the current academic year is 2,065,872.
1,467,694 elementary/middle school; 598,178 secondary school
• Minority student enrollment is 624,878 which is 30.2% of the total enrollment.
• Non-Catholic enrollment is 307,458 which is 14.9% of the total enrollment.
 
Schools:
• There are 6,980 Catholic schools: 5,774 elementary; 1,206 secondary.
• 34 new schools opened; 172 consolidated or closed.
• 1,822 schools have a waiting list for admission.
The student/teacher ratio is 13.6:1
 
Professional Staff:
Full-time equivalent professional staff numbered 151,473:
96.3%: Laity (Lay women: 73.9% Lay men: 22.4%)
3.7%: Religious/Clergy (Sisters: 2.5%; Brothers: 0.5%; Clergy: 0.7%)
 
Schools
Regional Distribution
Exhibit 9 presents the number of schools within each of the regions with the percentages of the distribution. Almost half of all the schools (47.6%) are located within the Mideast and Great Lakes regions.
EXHIBIT 9
Regional Distribution of Catholic Schools

2000-2001 2005-2006 2010-2011

Totals of all Schools
Number
%
Number
%
Number
%
New England
546
6.7
495
6.5
427
6.1
Mideast
2,185
26.8
1,976
26.0
1,668
23.9
Great Lakes
2,030
24.9
1,817
23.9
1,656
23.7
Plains
931
11.4
884
11.6
841
12.0
Southeast
1,005
12.3
972
12.8
969
13.9
West/Far West
1,449
17.8
1,445
19.0
1,419
20.3
United States
8,146
100.0
7,589
100.0
6,980
100.0

Location of Schools
Although there has been a significant decrease in the total number of Catholic schools during the past four decades, the church has not lost sight of its commitment to educate children, particularly those of the poor, within the inner cities and urban areas. Schools in these areas remain a significant presence: four decades ago 46.5 % were located in urban and inner city areas, today 43.0% of the schools are still in urban/inner city locales despite population losses and great financial difficulties in maintaining them. During that same period of time, suburban schools increased from 25.0% to 35.9% of the total.
EXHIBIT 10

Location of Schools

Elementary/Middle Secondary National Totals

 
Number
%
Number
%
Number
%
Urban
1,720
29.8
482
40.0
2,202
31.5
Inner-City
680
11.8
119
9.9
799
11.5
Suburban
2,092
36.2
418
34.7
2,510
35.9
Rural
1,282
22.2
187
15.5
1,469
21.0
Total
5,774
100.0
1,206
100.0
6,980
100.0


Single Gender Schools
The 2010-2011 data indicate that 1.2% of all Catholic elementary schools are single gender and 32.8% of secondary are single gender. Exhibit 13 illustrates their distribution.

EXHIBIT 13


 
Number
 
%
Elementary/Middle
72
 
1.2% of elementary schools
Secondary
395
 
32.8% of secondary schools
Total Single Gender
467
 
6.7% of all schools
 
Enrollment

Enrollment by Grade Level

EXHIBIT 15
Enrollment by Grade Level
 
2000-2001 2005-2006 2010-2011
All Schools Number % Number % Number %
Preschool
155,742
7.7
146,327
8.5
152,846
10.3
Kindergarten
218,981
10.8
175,331
10.2
145,395
9.8
Grade 1
219,953
10.9
174,572
10.2
145,828
9.8
Grade 2
216,268
10.7
174,859
10.2
146,409
9.8
Grade 3
213,607
10.6
175,490
10.2
145,599
9.8
Grade 4
210,534
10.4
174,378
10.2
146,700
9.8
Grade 5
207,060
10.3
176,384
10.3
148,707
10.0
Grade 6
202,571
10.0
176,259
10.3
150,417
10.1
Grade 7
189,956
9.4
170,120
10.0
148,554
10.0
Grade 8
181,198
9.0
169,403
9.9
155,714
10.5
Ungraded
3,554
0.2
1,891
0.1
3,237
0.2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
* Total Preschool - 8
2,019,424
100.0
1,715,014
100.0
1,489,406
100.0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Grade 9
171,215
27.3
161,881
26.5
150,673
26.1
Grade 10
161,952
25.8
156,835
25.7
145,197
25.2
Grade 11
150,096
23.9
148,477
24.3
144,197
25.0
Grade 12
142,954
22.8
142,650
23.4
135,700
23.5
Ungraded
1,660
0.3
363
0.1
699
0.1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
* Total 9 - 12
627,877
100.0
610,206
100.0
576,466
100.0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GRAND TOTAL
2,647,301
100.0
2,325,220
100.0
2,065,872
100.0
 
* NB: Because some elementary schools have a ninth grade and some secondary schools have grades 6-8 in their totals, this distribution does not match that in Exhibits 16 and 26.
 
Enrollment by Region
The national enrollment data, charted by region in Exhibit 16, show that the Mideast and Great Lakes regions enroll almost half the Catholic school population (47.6%). This percentage does indicate a decline from 52.6% over the past decade.
 
EXHIBIT 16
Enrollment by Region

2000-2001 2005-2006 2010-2011

All Schools
Number
%
Number
%
Number
%
New England
166,703
6.3
144,264
6.1
121,887
5.9
Mideast
759,146
28.7
652,657
27.6
514,802
24.9
Great Lakes
631,854
23.9
534,959
22.6
468,119
22.7
Plains
252,586
9.6
234,041
9.9
215,101
10.4
Southeast
364,211
13.8
347,084
14.7
324,281
15.7
West/Far West
472,801
17.8
450,215
19.1
421,682
20.4
United States
2,647,301
100.0
2,363,220
100.0
2,065,872
100.0
 
Catholic School Trend Data
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 2011 school years, 1,755 schools were reported closed or consolidated (21.5%). The number of students declined by 587,166 (22.1 %). The most seriously impacted have been elementary schools.
 
Exhibit 20 details the reported school closures, and illustrates that the elementary schools in the twelve large urban areas of the country have declined by 23.2% of schools since 2003.
 
Exhibit 22 presents the national and elementary enrollment trend data. Since 2000, elementary school enrollment has declined by 35.4% in the 12 urban dioceses and 22.7% in the rest of the U.S.
 
Exhibits 20 & 22 are available in the full report, which can be ordered online. Click here to go to the NCEA Online Store.
 
Tuition and Costs
Tuition fees paid by families constitute a portion of the actual per pupil expenses. The average per pupil tuition in elementary schools is $3,383 which is approximately 62.2 % of actual costs per pupil of $5,436. About 93% of elementary schools provide some form of tuition assistance.
 
The secondary mean freshman tuition is $8,787 which is approximately 81.3% of actual costs per pupil of $10,808. About 97% of secondary schools provide some form of tuition assistance.
 
The difference between the per pupil cost and the tuition charged is obtained in many ways, primarily through direct subsidy from parish, diocesan or religious congregation resources and from multi-faceted development programs and fund-raising activities.
EXHIBIT 24

Average Tuition and Per Pupil Costs

Elementary
Mean parish school tuition: $3,383. Per pupil cost: $5,436.
 
Secondary
Mean freshman tuition: $8,787 Per pupil cost: $10,808.
 
The average public school per pupil cost of $10,297, as reported by the National Center for Education statistics, includes both elementary and secondary schools. (On average, secondary school costs are higher than elementary, but are not reported separately.)
Based on the public schools cost, Catholic schools provide a 21.3 billion dollars a year savings for the nation.
 
Student Ethnicity
The percentage of minorities in Catholic schools has increased significantly in the past 40 years. In 1970, the minority population accounted for 10.8% of the Catholic school population, in 1980 it had increased to 19.4% and in 2011 it is at 30.3%.
Minority enrollment patterns are: Hispanic, 13.1%; Black/African American, 7.4%; Asian American, 4.6%; Multiracial, 3.9%.
EXHIBIT 26
Catholic School Enrollment and Percentages by Ethnic Background
 
Elementary/Middle Secondary All Schools
National
Number
%
Number
%
Number
%
American Indian/ Native Alaskan
5,821
0.4%
2,020
0.3%
7,841
0.4%
Asian
67,736
4.6%
26,462
4.4%
94,198
4.6%
Black
102,985
7.0%
49,332
8.2%
152,317
7.4%
Hispanic
197,209
13.4%
73,838
12.3%
271,047
13.1%
Native Hawaiian/ Pacific islander
12,742
0.9%
5,698
1.0%
18,440
0.9%
Multiracial
60,964
4.2%
20,071
3.4%
81,035
3.9%
White
1,008,848
68.7%
410,155
68.6%
1,419,003
68.7%
Unknown
11,389
0.8%
10,602
1.8%
21,991
1.1%
Total
1,467,694
100.0%
598,178
100.0%
2,065,872
100.0%
 
Enrollment of Non-Catholics
Most Catholic school students are Catholic. However, non-Catholic student enrollment has risen from 2.7% in 1970 to 11.2% a decade later and today is 14.9% as shown in Exhibit 27.
 
EXHIBIT 27
Non-Catholic Enrollment

Elementary/Middle Secondary All Schools

 
Number
% in Region
Number
% in Region
Number
% in Region
New England
12,397
15.6%
8,237
19.3%
20,634
16.9%
Mideast
58,722
16.8%
30,212
18.3%
88,934
17.3%
Great Lakes
41,109
11.8%
20,193
17.0%
61,302
13.1%
Plains
14,279
8.8%
6,056
11.3%
20,335
9.5%
Southeast
31,850
13.7%
16,505
18.0%
48,355
14.9%
West/Far West
36,098
12.2%
31,800
25.1%
67,898
16.1%
United States
194,455
13.2%
113,003
18.9%
307,458
14.9%
 
National Totals Number %
Catholic 1,731,421 83.8%
Non-Catholic 307,458 14.9%
Not Reported 26,993 1.3%
Total 2,065,872 100.0%
 
Staffing of Catholic Schools
In 2010-2011, the total, full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in Catholic elementary/middle and secondary schools is 151,473. Over the past decade, the lay faculty percentages increased from 93% to the current 96.3%. At present, 3.7% of the professional staff are religious and clergy. Exhibit 28 presents the FTE data by category and percentage.
 
EXHIBIT 28
Full-time Equivalent Professional Staff
2010-2011
 
Elementary
%
Secondary
%
All Schools
%
Sisters
2,678
2.6
1,052
2.1
3,730
2.5
Brothers
119
0.1
633
1.3
752
0.5
Clergy
274
0.3
812
1.7
1,086
0.7
Female Lay
85,827
83.8
26,131
53.2
111,958
73.9
Male Lay
13,467
13.2
20,480
41.7
33,947
22.4
*Total
102,365
100.0
49,108
100.0
151,473
100.0
*Adjusted totals to reflect weighted averages
Lay: 96.3 %
Religious: 3.7%

 

Catholic Textbooks: Two Schools, Two Stories

Click here for Catholic Schools Textbook Project details.