United States Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools 2013-2014:
The Annual Statistical Report on Schools, Enrollment, and Staffing

 

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.

Summary information that NCEA collects about Catholic schools is provided on this website. NCEA does not collect or provide data about public schools or comparisons between public and private schools.  There is no national database that does this. Public school information, as well as some government reports about private schools may be found in the section titled Federal Government Education Statistics.
 
The full report is available for purchase in the NCEA Online Store.
 
Learn about:
 
  • Schools and Enrollment History
  • School Staffing History
  • Public/Private School Comparisons
  • Percentage Distribution of Schools by Enrollment Size
  • Percentage Distribution of Private Schools by Typology
  • Percentage Distribution of Students in Private Schools by Typology
  • Regional Distribution of Elementary/Middle and Secondary Schools
  • Location of Schools
  • Schools by Types of Governance
  • Schools with Boards/Commissions/Councils
  • Single Gender Schools
  • School Openings and Closings
  • Enrollment by Grade Level
  • Enrollment by Region
  • Student Enrollment: States with Ten Highest Enrollments
  • Student Enrollment: Dioceses with Largest Enrollments
  • Diocesan Enrollment Patterns
  • Schools with Waiting Lists
  • Average Tuition and Per Pupil Costs
  • Catholic School Enrollment and Percentages by Race
  • Hispanic/Latino Enrollment
  • Non-Catholic Enrollment
  • Full-Time Equivalent Professional Staff
  • Student/Teacher Ratio
  • Non-Catholic Faculty Numbers and Percentages
  • Faculty Numbers and Percentages by Ethnic Background
  • Schools with Extended Day Programs
  • Students Receiving Title 1 Services
  • Participation in Federal Nutrition Programs
  • Students Receiving Government Subsidized/Free Transportation to School
  • Schools with Student Access to Internet

 

Highlights

Enrollment:

  • Total Catholic school student enrollment for the current academic year is 1,974,578.
    • 1,391,793 in elementary/middle schools; 582,785 in secondary schools
  • Student diversity: 19.8% are racial minorities, 15.0% are Hispanic/Latino and 6.4% were reported as unknown in the racial data collection.
  • Non-Catholic enrollment is 323,542 which is 16.4% of the total enrollment.
     

Schools:

  • There are 6,594 Catholic schools: 5,399 elementary; 1,195 secondary.
  • 42 new schools opened; 133 consolidated or closed.
  • 1,986 schools have a waiting list for admission.
  • The student/teacher ratio is 13:1.
 
Professional Staff:
  • Full-time equivalent professional staff numbered 151,351:
    • 96.8%: Laity   (Lay women: 75.1% Lay men: 21.7%)
    • 3.2%:   Religious/Clergy    (Sisters: 2.2%; Brothers: 0.5%; Clergy: 0.5%)
       

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 2004 and the 2014 school years, 1,856 schools were reported closed or consolidated (23.2%). The number of students declined by 578,699 (22.7%).  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 29.5% since 2003.
 

Exhibit 22 presents the national and elementary enrollment trend data. Since 2003, elementary school enrollment has declined by 30.0% in the 12 urban dioceses and 18.7% in the rest of the U.S.

 

Enrollment

  • Total Catholic school student enrollment for the current academic year is 1,974,578.
    • 1,391,793 in elementary/middle schools; 582,785 in secondary schools
  • Student diversity: 19.8% are racial minorities, 15.0% are Hispanic/Latino and 6.4% were reported as unknown in the racial data collection.
  • Non-Catholic enrollment is 323,542 which is 16.4% of the total enrollment.

 

Enrollment by Grade Level: EXHIBIT 15    

 

2003-2004

2008-2009

2013-2014

Grade Level

Students

%

Students

%

Students

%

Preschool

150,422

8.1

153,325

9.7

158,537

11.2

Kindergarten

190,582

10.3

157,692

9.9

142,638

10.1

Grade 1

193,149

10.3

155,624

9.8

138,129

9.9

Grade 2

193,564

10.4

157,346

9.9

136,861

9.7

Grade 3

194,157

10.4

158,247

10.0

136,028

9.7

Grade 4

190,584

10.2

157,542

9.9

137,679

9.8

Grade 5

188,601

10.1

158,637

10.0

138,523

9.8

Grade 6

189,476

10.2

162,307

10.2

140,074

9.9

Grade 7

183,724

10.0

159,705

10.1

139,117

9.9

Grade 8

182,064

9.8

165,007

10.4

140,416

10.0

Ungraded

2,600

0.1

2,842

0.2

2,932

0.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Total Preschool - 8

1,858,923

100.0

1,588,274

100.0

1,410,934

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade 9

168,278

26.9

157,804

26.1

145,506

25.8

Grade 10

159,580

25.5

153,736

25.4

142,663

25.3

Grade 11

151,185

24.1

150,231

24.9

139,060

24.7

Grade 12

145,277

23.2

141,216

23.4

135,758

24.1

Ungraded

1,009

0.2

1,270

0.2

657

0.1

                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Total 9 - 12

625,329

100.0

604,257

100.0

563,644

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRAND TOTAL

2,484,252

100.0

2,192,531

100.0

1,974,578

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: EXHIBIT 16

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 (46.6%).  This percentage does indicate a decline from 51.3% over the past decade.

 

 

2003-2004

2008-2009

2013-2014

All Schools

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

New England

157,091

6.3

132,334

6.0

113,694

5.8

Mideast

700,417

28.2

568,731

25.9

467,927

23.7

Great Lakes

573,039

23.1

496,870

22.7

451,258

22.9

Plains

241,625

9.7

223,325

10.2

206,998

10.5

Southeast

358,259

14.4

337,095

15.4

318,327

16.1

West/Far West

453,821

18.3

434,176

19.8

416,374

21.1

United States

2,484,252

100.0

2,192,531

100.0

1,974,578

100.0

                              
 

Enrollment of Non-Catholics: EXHIBIT 27

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 16.4% as shown in Exhibit 27.

 

 

Elementary/Middle

Secondary

All Schools

 

Number

% in Region

Number

% in Region

Number

% in Region

New England

          13,164

18.1%

           8,248

20.1%

        21,412

18.8%

Mideast

          56,260

18.0%

         30,974

20.0%

        87,234

18.6%

Great Lakes

          44,929

13.4%

         21,979

18.9%

        66,908

14.8%

Plains

          15,326

9.9%

           6,264

12.0%

        21,590

10.4%

Southeast

          37,063

16.4%

         18,372

19.9%

        55,435

17.4%

West/Far West

          36,728

12.7%

         34,235

27.1%

        70,963

17.0%

United States

        203,470

14.6%

       120,072

20.6%

      323,542

16.4%

 

 

National Totals           

Number

%

Catholic

1,612,500

81.7%

Non-Catholic

323,542

16.4%

Not Reported

38,536

2.0%

Total

1,974,578

100.0%

 

Staffing of Catholic Schools: EXHIBIT 28

In 2013-2014, the total, full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in Catholic elementary/middle and secondary schools is 151,351. Over the past decade, the lay faculty percentages increased from 93% to the current 96.8%.  At present, 3.2% of the professional staff are religious and clergy.  Exhibit 28 presents the FTE data by category and percentage.

 

 

Elementary

%

Secondary

%

All Schools

%

Sisters

2,267

2.3

954

1.9

3,221

2.2

Brothers

131

0.1

669

1.3

800

0.5

Clergy

263

0.3

541

1.0

804

0.5

Female Lay

86,506

86.3

27,235

53.3

113,741

75.1

Male Lay

11,077

11.0

21,708

42.5

32,785

21.7

*Total

100,244

100.0

51,107

100.0

151,351

100.0

*Adjusted totals to reflect weighted averages.

  • Lay: 96.8%
  • Religious/Clergy: 3.2%

Schools and Tuition

Regional Distribution

Exhibit 9 presents the number of schools within each of the regions with the percentages of the distribution indicated by level of the schools and the national composite.  Almost half of all the schools (45.8%) are located within the Mideast and Great Lakes regions.

 

 Regional Distribution of Catholic Schools: EXHIBIT 9

  

 

2003-2004

2008-2009

2013-2014

Totals of all schools

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

New England

533

6.7

464

6.4

415

6.3

Mideast

2,096

26.3

1,787

24.7

1,455

22.1

Great Lakes

1,940

24.4

1,729

23.8

1,564

23.7

Plains

916

11.5

865

11.9

823

12.5

Southeast

1,017

12.8

963

13.3

936

14.2

West/Far West

1,453

18.3

1,440

19.9

1,401

21.2

United States

7,955

100.0

7,248

100.0

6,594

100.0

                                                                                             

 

Location of SchoolsEXHIBIT 10

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 47.9% were located in urban and inner city areas, today 41.2% 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 37.9% of the total.

 

 

Elementary/Middle

Secondary

National Totals

 

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Urban

1,535

28.4

448

37.5

1,983

30.1

Inner-City

599

11.1

133

11.1

732

11.1

Suburban

2,074

38.4

426

35.6

2,500

37.9

Rural

1,191

22.1

188

15.7

1,379

20.9

Total

5,399

100.0

1,195

100.0

6,594

100.0

 

Single Gender SchoolsEXHIBIT 13

The 2013-2014 data indicate that 1.4% of all Catholic elementary schools are single gender and 31.3 % of secondary are single gender.  Exhibit 13 illustrates their distribution.

 

 

Number

     %

           Elementary/Middle

73

1.4%  of elementary schools

           Secondary

374

31.3%  of secondary schools

           Total Single Gender

447

6.8%  of all schools

 

 

Tuition and Costs:  EXHIBIT 24

Tuition fees paid by families constitute a portion of the actual per pupil expenses.  The average per pupil tuition in parish elementary schools is $3,880 which is approximately 66.4% of actual costs per pupil of $5,847.  About 93.9% of elementary schools provide some form of tuition assistance.  

The secondary mean freshman tuition is $9,622 which is approximately 81.6% of actual costs per pupil of $11,790.  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.


 

Average Tuition and Per Pupil Costs

Elementary

Mean parish school tuition:             $3,880.            Per pupil cost:  $5,847.

Secondary

Mean freshman tuition:                    $9,622             Per pupil cost:  $11,790.

 

The average public school per pupil cost of $12,054, 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 almost 24 billion dollars a year savings for the nation.


 

 

Student Race and Ethnicity

Beginning with the 2012 data collection, NCEA adopted the federal standards for collecting and reporting demographic data in two categories: race and ethnicity.  These federal standards mandate that race and Hispanic origin (ethnicity) are separate and distinct concepts and that when collecting these data two different questions must be used.  Consequently, race and ethnic diversity will be reported in two separate exhibits.

Student diversity in Catholic schools has increased significantly in the past 40 years.  When data were first collected, the Hispanic/Latino population was included and the reports listed non-Whites as “minorities.”  In 1970, the diversity percentage was 10.8%, in 1980 it had increased to 19.4% and by 2010 was 29.8%.  In 2014, the racial diversity is 19.8% and Hispanic/Latino is 15.0%.  NCEA will no longer use the minority identifier, but instead report racial and ethnic diversity separately.

  

Catholic School Enrollment and Percentages by Race: EXHIBIT 26a    

 

 

Elementary/Middle

Secondary

All Schools

 

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

American Indian/ Native Alaskan

11,318

0.8%

4,011

0.7%

15,329

0.8%

Asian

67,540

4.9%

30,962

5.3%

98,502

5.0%

Black

99,821

7.2%

50,531

8.7%

150,352

7.6%

Native Hawaiian/ Pacific islander

12,688

0.9%

4,085

0.7%

16,773

0.8%

Multiracial

81,514

5.9%

28,257

4.8%

109,771

5.6%

White

1,031,377

74.1%

426,764

73.2%

1,458,141

73.8%

Unknown

87,535

6.3%

38,175

6.6%

125,710

6.4%

Total

1,391,793

100.0%

582,785

100.0%

1,974,578

100.0%

                                                                                   

Hispanic/Latino Enrollment and Percentages: EXHIBIT 26b

 

 

Elementary/Middle

Secondary

All Schools

 

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

New England

5,546

7.6%

2,474

6.0%

8,020

7.1%

Mideast

40,993

13.1%

16,933

10.9%

57,926

12.4%

Great Lakes

33,218

9.9%

9,590

8.2%

42,808

9.5%

Plains

10,744

6.9%

2,964

5.7%

13,708

6.6%

Southeast

30,082

13.3%

13,180

14.3%

43,262

13.6%

West/Far West

97,469

33.6%

33,405

26.5%

130,874

31.4%

Total

218,052

15.2%

78,546

13.5%

296,598

15.0%

 

 

Statistical Resources for Nonpublic Schools

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has prepared a comprehensive guide to statistical reports dealing with different aspects of private schools.  A Guide to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Surveys, Studies, and Reports of Interest to the Private and Home School Communities is available here.  The guide is arranged by categories listed below.

  • Primary Surveys and Studies Involving Private Schools and Homeschooling
  • Private School Universe Survey  (PSS)
  • Schools and Staffing Survey  (SASS )
  • National Household Education Surveys Program)  (NHES)
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress  (NAEP)

 

Other Reports

  • Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99  (ECLS-K)
  • Education Longitudinal Study of 2002  (ELS:2002
  • Current Population Survey  (CPS):  October Supplement

 

Annual Reports

  • Condition of Education  (COE)
  • Digest of Education Statistics  (Digest)

 

Links to each of the individual reports can be found here.

Data Forms for 2014-2015

Databank Data Collection Forms: The hard copy pdf forms for the annual collection of statistical information for Catholic Schools are available for download and copying. These forms cannot be used for electronic submission of data.

Click here for the new directions for reporting Race and Ethnicity.
 

Electronic Submission of Data

 

For Schools:

Instead of the paper form, an Excel Workbook for school reporting is available. The form includes sheets with the Instructions and Race/Ethnicity guidelines. This form must be submitted to the Diocesan Schools Office, not to NCEA.
 

For Diocesan Schools Office:

Instead of the paper form, an Excel Workbook for the Diocesan Data Summary is available.  It can be downloaded and completed electronically and returned to NCEA via email when completed. This is only for Diocesan Education Offices.  Click here to obtain the form. Be sure and save the Excel Workbook to your local computer after opening the form.

A second school form  can be modified by the Diocesan Schools Office to collect additional data from each school. After it is modified by the Schools Office, it can be distributed to each school.