Last month new research about why young people are leaving the Church was released in the US. One of the co-authors of the report "Going, Going, Gone", John Vitek, was in Australia and presented the research at the Australian Catholic Youth and Youth Ministry Research Seminar. While the research was focused on American youth, there are many similarities with the Australian Church.
"The report reveals that disaffiliation is a process that happens over time,
typically prompted by a series of events or unresolved questions. Of those surveyed, 35 percent identified as having no religious affiliation, nine percent said they are some other non-Protestant Christian affiliation, 14 percent identified as an atheist or agnostic, nine percent identified as Protestant, and fewer than one in ten of the remaining responded with some other religious affiliation. When asked at what age they no longer identified themselves as Catholic, 74 percent of the sample said between the ages of 10 and 20, with the median age being 13 years old."
Read the full article at: http://catholicresearch.smp.org/going-going-gone-saint-marys-press-releases-study-disaffiliation/
The website contains many additional articles, interviews, videos and other resources.
The Catholic Leader in Brisbane interviewed John Vitek at the research seminar, find his thoughts about the Australian context here: http://catholicresearch.smp.org/co-author-of-us-study-into-why-young-catholics-leave-the-church-praises-australias-efforts-to-evangelise-in-schools/