That’s the lead question in a new post at the 1964 blog, run by the good people at Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

Some answers:

We can’t say for sure because surveys have not been conducted on the topic in every country in the world. The World Values Survey (WVS) is in its seventh wave (beginning in the 1980s) and has data for 36 countries with large Catholic populations. Among these, weekly or more frequent Mass attendance is highest among adult self-identified Catholics in Nigeria (94%), Kenya (73%), and Lebanon (69%). The next segment of countries, where half or more Catholics attend every week includes the Philippines (56%), Colombia (54%), Poland (52%), and Ecuador (50%). Fewer than half, but a third or more attends every week in Bosnia and Herzegovina (48%), Mexico (47%), Nicaragua (45%), Bolivia (42%), Slovakia (40%), Italy (34%), and Peru (33%).

Between three in ten and a quarter of Catholics attends Mass every week in Venezuela (30%), Albania (29%), Spain (27%), Croatia (27%), New Zealand (25%), and the United Kingdom (25%).

In CARA’s polling, about 24% of Catholics in the United States attended Mass every week or more often prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. In our most recent poll in late summer 2022, 17% of adult Catholics reported attending Mass this frequently with 5% watching Mass online or television from home instead. Other countries with similar Catholic Mass attendance as in the United States are Hungary (24%), Slovenia (24%), Uruguay (23%), Australia (21%), Argentina (21%), Portugal (20%), the Czech Republic (20%), and Austria (17%). The lowest levels of weekly attendance are observed in Lithuania (16%), Germany (14%), Canada (14%), Latvia (11%), Switzerland (11%), Brazil (8%), France (8%), and the Netherlands (7%).

Check out the rest. 

Crunching the numbers, and comparing stats, John Allen offers this analysis: 

While Catholicism officially numbers around 1.3 billion adherents worldwide, a good share of that total is fairly nominal. In terms of setting the tone within the church, those who are more active generally punch far above their weight – generating a greater share of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, for instance, as well as various lay roles.

In much Catholic parlance, it’s long been said that Africa is the future of the church. Looking at the numbers in terms of who actually shows up, however, Africa isn’t the future. It’s the present, and it has been for a while.

Photo: Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, Nigeria. By Kelechinaba – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,