HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- The states of California, New York and Texas continue to report America's three biggest Roman Catholic populations and together have a third of the church's U.S. membership of 62,018,436, according to the 2000 Catholic Almanac.
However, the states with the highest Catholic percentages in the population are Rhode Island (63.7 percent), Massachusetts (48.9 percent), New Jersey (41.8 percent) and Connecticut (40.9 percent).
The almanac, published by Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., shows that as of 1999, Catholics were 22.7 percent of the U.S. population, as in 1998.
Catholic membership increased by less than 1 percent from 1998, but by 13 percent since 1989.
The almanac reported the U.S. church has 47,210 priests, 84,034 sisters and 5,970 brothers, all slight decreases from 1998, though the 12,675 permanent deacons represent an increase.
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