The Decline of Faith Among Young Catholics
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.