(The following numbers are tracked by a number of different organizations, including the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the National Religious Vocation Conference, and VISION Vocation Network.)
There are nearly 1.2 million religious brothers, sisters, and order and diocesan priests in the world. The total global number in 2014 was:
- 705,529 religious sisters and nuns
- 279,561 diocesan priests worldwide
- 134,752 religious order priests
- 55,314 religious brothers
In the United States
There are more than 66,000 religious sisters, brothers, and priests in the United States in over 800 religious institutes (approximately 600 institutes of women and 200 of men).
More than 100 women and men profess perpetual vows in the United States annually.
Fifty percent of new religious report that they were 17 or younger when they first considered a vocation to religious life.
In 2014 approximately 477 entered priesthood—266 to diocesan priesthood (from 114 dioceses) and 96 to religious priesthood. Among religious orders, the largest number of respondents came from the Jesuits, Dominicans, and Benedictines.
The average age of entrance to religious life is 30 for men and 32 for women.