According to the U.S. bishops news service, infant baptisms were down 16,000 this past year, adult baptisms and confirmations were down 12,000, first communions were down 1,300 and confirmations were down 8,500. At the same time, the Catholic population stayed at 22% of the US population and rose by 1,000,000 people. The number of seminarians rose slightly.
It seems odd to me that the number of seminarians is rising as the number of those receiving the sacraments diminishes. Although any number of interpretations could be formulated, this seems to speak of a divide between priests and laity. This could also speak of a growing divide between a more liberal laity that is not happy with a growing conservative clergy. It should be pointed out that liberal clergy are not being allowed to grow right now because of ideological Vatican crackdowns and the continued ban on married and women clergy.
If the liberal clergy were allowed to grow, it would be fascinating to see if the sacramental numbers would be starting to grow rather than decrease. Unfortunately, we will never know for sure.
A Faithful Catholic