Writing at the Nationanl Catholic Reporter, Professor Christian Smith, sociolologist at Notre Dame, describes the "grim" situation concerning the attrition of faith among young Catholics. Here is an important paragraph:
By contrast, my National Study of Youth and Religion is a longitudinal panel study that tracked a large sample of the same youth respondents over 10 years of their lives. We are thus able to identify at any given time not only current Catholics, but also ex-Catholics. And we find (and will publish in a forthcoming report) that fully one-half of youth who self-identified as Catholic as teenagers no longer identified as Catholics 10 years later in their 20s. That is a 50 percent loss through attrition in one decade. If that number is not grim, I do not know what is.
In his brief post at NCR Professor Smith doesn't offer any prescriptions for improving those statistics, but he has coauthored a book on this topic, which you can find here.