Reversing a longstanding trend, the share of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually increased in Salt Lake County in 2013, now with 51.41 percent of the population. That’s only a .09 percent increase from 2012, but an increase is an increase. The rest of Utah enjoyed an uptick in the percentage of Mormons for the fourth year in a row, up to 62.64 percent from 62.37 percent last year.
Only three counties in Utah are over 80 percent LDS: Utah, Rich, and Morgan. Of those, only Utah county is part of a major urban conurbation. (The combined populations of Rich and Morgan Counties is under 12,000 people.) With 12,815 new records, the number of members added to the rolls of the Church in Utah County actually eclipsed the overall population increase of 11,300. It turns out missionary work can, indeed, be done in Provo, so long as we avoid being those unfortunate Mormons who don’t let their kids play with non-members. Bad Mormons! Don’t do that. Pluralism is good.
But we digress.
There are four counties in Utah without a Mormon majority: Carbon, San Juan, Summit, and Grand. Carbon (47.05 percent) has a strong mining heritage, which draws in outsiders, San Juan (39.70 percent) has a very different cultural heritage from the rest of the state, Summit (30.37 percent) is the home of Park City, ski resorts, and faithless liberals, and Grand (27.25 percent) basically wasn’t settled by Mormons back in the day. Also, joking about the Summit County stuff.
Utah’s overall population continues to increase, with the highest birthrate in the nation as well as an economy that wasn’t hit as hard during the recession, save the construction boom that finally abated in Washington County. And now with a burgeoning tech sector, the population along the Wasatch front will likely continue to increase. 80 percent of Utah’s population already lives along the Front.
The data comes from The Salt Lake Tribune’s public-records request, as the LDS Church provides county-level membership numbers to the Utah state government for demographic use. Check out more details and fun interactive infographics with the link below.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune