The ever-changing demographic profile of the Catholic population in the United States requires vigilance from church leaders responsible for the provision of pastoral ministry, health care, education, and social services. In order to respond effectively to the needs of the American Catholic people, leaders of Catholic institutions must have access to up-to-date demographic data as well as information about long-term trends. James Youniss of the Life Cycle Institute at the Catholic University of America responded to this need by creating the SCRIP (System for Catholic Research, Information, and Planning) Database. Youniss merged census data on population, age, employment, etc. for the years 1940-1990 with statistical information for every census year for every diocese in the United States. The information Youniss included, which was drawn from the Official Catholic Directory, consists of statistics about such topics as administration of sacraments, Catholic schools and parishes, populations of clergy and religious, number of lay employees, etc. The SCRIP database has been made available to Catholic agencies interested in obtaining data about the populations they serve, as well as to academic researchers interested in American Catholicism.