Demographics of Utah

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Demographic information and data regarding the population of the U.S. state of Utah. Begun as a territory in 1847 and then granted statehood in 1896, Utah was one of the fastest growing states in the United States throughout the 20th century and especially in the 2000s. The 2010 United States Census reported 2,763,885 lived in Utah, but other estimates claimed there are over 3.1 million residents. From the last official census taken in the year 2000, Utah had a population growth rate of 26%.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 11,380
1860 40,272 253.9%
1870 86,336 114.4%
1880 143,963 66.7%
1890 210,779 46.4%
1900 276,749 31.3%
1910 373,351 34.9%
1920 449,396 20.4%
1930 507,847 13.0%
1940 550,310 8.4%
1950 688,862 25.2%
1960 890,627 29.3%
1970 1,059,273 18.9%
1980 1,461,037 37.9%
1990 1,722,850 17.9%
2000 2,233,169 29.6%
2010 2,763,885 23.8%
Est. 2013 2,900,872 5.0%
Source: 1910–2010[1]

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Utah was 2,855,287 on July 1, 2012, a 3.3% increase since the 2010 United States Census.[2]

The center of population of Utah is located in Utah County in the city of Lehi.[3] As of April 1, 2010 the 2010 Census indicated that Utah had a population of 2,763,885.[4] In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau determined Utah was the fastest-growing state in the country.[5]

Much of the population lives in cities and towns along the Wasatch Front, a metropolitan region that runs north-south with the Wasatch Mountains rising on the eastern side. Growth outside the Wasatch Front is also increasing. The St. George metropolitan area is currently the second-fastest growing in the country after the Las Vegas metropolitan area, while the Heber micropolitan area is also the second-fastest growing in the country (behind Palm Coast, Florida).[6]

Utah contains 5 metropolitan areas (Logan, Ogden-Clearfield, Salt Lake City, Provo-Orem, and St. George), and five micropolitan areas (Brigham City, Heber, Vernal, Price, and Cedar City).

Race and ancestry[edit]

According to 2010 United States Census projections, the racial and ethnic makeup of Utah are as it follows. :

Utah Population Density Map

The largest ancestry groups in the state are:[7]

Utah County has the largest Icelandic American population, while Sanpete County is about a fifth (17%) Danish American. Swedish Americans and Norwegian Americans outnumbered English American ancestry in Central Utah (i.e. Heber City). Finnish Americans, Russian Americans and Ukrainian Americans are significant in number throughout the state (esp. Carbon County, Utah and Wasatch County, Utah areas). The Wikipedia article Utah Italians describes the state's small but established Italian-American community. And the percentage of persons of Spanish American ancestry including those of Basque descent are also present. Most Utahns are of Northern European descent.[8]

Racial and ethnic groups[edit]

Utah has some level of racial and ethnic diversity. One example is the multi-ethnic Sugar House district of Salt Lake City that contradicts the perceived image of Utah as "homogeneous" white and Mormon. In the 2010 Census estimates, near 90 percent of the state population is white and European American, including those of Hispanic origin.

Due to being an international hub by air travel and global LDS church missionary programs, Utah with Salt Lake City esp. after the 2002 Winter Olympics, a large wave of immigration has come to Utah since the state is known worldwide.[citation needed] During the 1990s–2000s period, they included Bosnians, Greeks, Israelis, Koreans, Lithuanians, Pakistanis, Serbs, Somalis, Syrians and Vietnamese among other nations.

13 percent of Utah's population is now Latino, according to the 2010 United States Census. An increase in Hispanic-Latino populations along the Wasatch Front, about 300–500 percent growth rates.[clarification needed] This trend was caused by economic needs from housing construction to agriculture, but it was partially supported by growth among Hispanic Latter-Day Saints churches in the state. In 2005, the then Mexican president Vicente Fox's visit in Utah was due to growing presence of Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals alike.

The state's 1,000-some Chilean American community is one of the largest for Chileans in the United States. Also to note Colombian Americans, Cuban Americans, Peruvian Americans, Salvadoran Americans and Venezuelan Americans are increasingly present. There are some belonging to Central American, Caribbean and South American nationalities represented.[citation needed]

3.1 percent of Utahns are now[when?] Asian and 2.2 percent are now Pacific Islander (i.e. Hawaiians). The state attracted many Tongans, Fijians and Samoans mostly here after mass LDS conversion in the South Pacific or into Mormonism.

Filipino Americans are the state's largest Asian group, followed by Chinese Americans from either China and Taiwan are second largest; some of the Chinese community date back to the arrival of railroad workers in the late 19th century. The state's Japanese Americans are represented, their families also struggled during World War II, plus the Topaz war internment camp in the Sevier Desert for relocated thousands of Japanese Americans from the West Coast for the duration of the war. A sizable community of East Indians (see Indian Americans and South Asian Americans) in the state, including an annual "Festival of India" in Spanish Fork south of Provo.[clarification needed]

An increase of Arab Americans in the state, especially metropolitan areas of Northern Utah, including the sizable Lebanese American community of Salt Lake City.[clarification needed] Also the state had Bosnian Americans, Armenian Americans and Iranian Americans as well are thriving ethnic communities.

There are small black/African American communities in the communities around Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, Utah. But the state's African American community was long sparse in size until recent times. Now a large Black middle-class in Salt Lake county and metropolitan area developed since the civil rights era (1960s) and Utah has generally improved in race relations.[citation needed]

But the largest racial minority happens to be American Indians, an estimated 3.5 percent of the state's population. The main tribal groups are the Ute Indians, Paiute Indians and Shoshone Indians, and most live in several Indian reservations located throughout the state: the Navajo Nation of San Juan County; the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in much of the eastern parts and the Goshute Indian Reservations located southwest of the Great Salt Lake in Tooele County.


A majority of the state's residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As of 2007, 60.7% of Utahns are counted as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although only 41.6% of them are active members.[9][10] Mormons now make up about 34%–41% of Salt Lake City,[9] while rural areas tend to be overwhelmingly Mormon. Though the LDS Church officially maintains a policy of neutrality in regards to political parties,[11] the church's doctrine has a strong regional influence on politics.[12] Another doctrine effect can be seen in Utah's high birth rate (25 percent higher than the national average; the highest for a state in the U.S.).[13] The Mormons in Utah tend to have conservative views when it comes to most political issues and the majority of voter-age Utahns are unaffiliated voters (60%) who vote overwhelmingly Republican.[14] John McCain polled 62.5% in the 2008 Presidential Election while 70.9% of Utahns opted for George W. Bush in 2004. In 2000 the Religious Congregations and Membership Study[15] reported that the three largest denominational groups in Utah are Mormon, Catholic, and Evangelical Protestant. The LDS church has the highest number of adherents in Utah (at 1,493,612 members), followed by the Catholic Church with 97,085 members reported and the Southern Baptist Convention, reporting 13,258 adherents.

The LDS Salt Lake Temple, the primary attraction in the city's Temple Square.

According to a report produced by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life the self-identified religious affiliations of Utahns over the age of 18 as of 2008 are:[9]

Margin of error +/- 6%

According to results from the 2010 United States Census, Utah was 62.1% Mormon (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Salt Lake County, was 51.4% LDS. The county with the lowest percentage of LDS was Grand County at 26.5%. The county with the highest percentage of LDS was Morgan County at 86.1% [16]

Cultural issues[edit]

2012 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Survey[17] Mormons (U.S.) U.S. Avg.
Married 67% 52%
Divorced or separated 9% 13%
Children at home (average) 2.6 1.8
Attendance at religious services (weekly or more) 77% 40%

Recently, Utah has experienced an in-migration of population from other U.S. states which served to change the state's sociocultural/political character. The percentage of Utah residents who are Mormon has declined while the number of the religiously unaffiliated has increased.

Southwestern Utah aka "Utah's Dixie" does not have many cultural similarities with the Southeastern United States. The name came from a dispatched settlement drive in the 1850s to advertise the warm desert climate found in Washington County.

The warmer climate and temperate medium-elevation areas of Iron, Juab, Millard, Sanpete and Washington counties record population growth rates from the 1980s to early 2010s.

Percentages of LDS population is much lesser in urban than in rural areas where they remain the majority. Other Christian faiths 1/4th of population statewide, but over half are non-Mormon in Salt Lake County. A projected Mormon minority in Utah by the year 2060, while the percentage of Mormons already dropped to about 50% in Salt Lake County.

Jewish Utahns lived in the state as far back as the 1850s in part by immigration from Eastern Europe via New York and California, and some Jewish pioneers in new settlements.

The state witnessed some splits and sects of Mormonism are evident: Bickertonites, Church of Christ and ex-Mormons; and the FLDS fundamentalist communes in the rural communities like Hildale in southernmost Utah and the nearby towns of Colorado City, Arizona and Fredonia, Arizona adjacent to the Arizona Strip on the state boundary with Arizona.

In popular culture, the Mormon youth lifestyle contributed to the spread of the popular Straight Edge subculture in the early 1980s.

Also there is an active lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community which thrives in the Salt Lake metropolitan area. The national LGBT magazine The Advocate ranked Salt Lake City as one of the nation's 50 hot spots for the subculture in 2005.

Age and gender[edit]

Utah has a high total birth rate,[13] and the youngest population of any U.S. state. It is also one of the few non-Southern states that have more males than females.

In 2000, 49.9% female and 50.1% male constituted the gender makeup of Utah.[18]


  1. ^ Resident Population Data. "Resident Population Data – 2010 Census". Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Population and Population Centers by State: 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  4. ^ "Resident Population Data: Population Change". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Utah is Fastest Growing State. Press Release by US Census Bureau. Dated 22 December 2008. Accessed 23 December 2008.
  6. ^ Deborah Bulkeley, "St. George growth 2nd fastest in U.S.", Deseret Morning News
  7. ^ American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "2006–2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates". Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  8. ^ Demographics & Statistics.
  9. ^ a b c [1], Salt Lake City Tribune "Mormon portion of Utah population steadily shrinking" 2005
  10. ^ Utah less Mormon than ever. Matt Canham, Salt Lake Tribune.
  11. ^ "Political Neutrality". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  12. ^ David E. Campbell and J. Quin Monson. "Dry Kindling: A Political Profile of American Mormons". From Pews to Polling Places: Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic. Georgetown University Press. 
  13. ^ a b Davidson, Lee (August 19, 2008). "Utah's birthrate highest in U.S.". Deseret News. 
  14. ^ "Deseret Morning News – Utah Voters Shun Labels". 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  15. ^ "State Membership Reports". Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  16. ^ [2]. Salt Lake Tribune.
  17. ^ "Mormons in America". Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Gender in the United States". Retrieved April 30, 2009.