South Salt Lake, Utah

Coordinates: 40°42′28″N 111°53′21″W / 40.70778°N 111.88917°W / 40.70778; -111.88917
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South Salt Lake, Utah
City of South Salt Lake
South Salt Lake City Hall, South Salt Lake, Utah
South Salt Lake City Hall, South Salt Lake, Utah
City on the Move
Location in Salt Lake County and the state of Utah.
Location in Salt Lake County and the state of Utah.
Coordinates: 40°42′28″N 111°53′21″W / 40.70778°N 111.88917°W / 40.70778; -111.88917
CountryUnited States
CountySalt Lake
Named forGreat Salt Lake
 • Total6.94 sq mi (17.98 km2)
 • Land6.94 sq mi (17.98 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
4,255 ft (1,297 m)
 • Total23,617
 • Estimate 
 • Density3,685.11/sq mi (1,422.76/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
84106, 84115, 84119
Area code(s)385, 801
FIPS code49-71070[3]
GNIS feature ID1432753[4]

South Salt Lake is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States and is part of the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 23,617 at the 2010 census.


Balloons with the South Salt Lake City Logo and Motto

Jesse Fox Jr. developed the area South Salt Lake referred to as Central Park around 1890. Mr. Fox chose the name after visiting New York and seeing Central Park there. He was impressed by the park and its design within an urban environment. Despite South Salt Lake being rural at the time, he decided to name the area Central Park. In 1925 the LDS Central Park Ward was created and named after the development.

In 1936, an attempted annexation by Salt Lake City failed due to concerns over funding and implementation of a sewer system. On August 14, 1936, a resolution creating the Town of Central Park was approved by the Board of County Commissioners - however, this did not last long, as voters then decided to disincorporate the town in 1937. In a close vote, voters then approved incorporation of South Salt Lake.

On September 29, 1938, still in need of a sewer system, South Salt Lake voted to incorporate as the Town of South Salt Lake, with Robert R. Fitts as the first town president. The town was also lacking many other basic amenities at the time that would be easier to implement with incorporation, such as a post office and fire department. In 1939, the Works Progress Administration finally began construction of a sewer system, with a cost of $462,000. The original boundary of South Salt Lake was from 500 East to 300 West and 2100 South to Mill Creek on the south.

On August 1, 1950, the population had increased enough for South Salt Lake to be designated as a third class city. This changed the form of government to a mayor and city council. The town president of the time, Marlow Callahan, became the first mayor of the City of South Salt Lake.[5]

In the 1990s, South Salt Lake annexed portions of an unincorporated portion of Salt Lake County to the south, and nearly doubled in land area and population. On January 4, 2010, Cherie Wood became South Salt Lake's first female mayor.


Bridge at Fitts Park in the City of South Salt Lake, UT

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.9 square miles (18 km2), all land.

The city is bordered by the Jordan River on the west, 500 East and 700 East on the east, 2100 South on the north, and 3900 South on the south. West Valley City lies to the west, Salt Lake City to the north, northeast, and east; and Millcreek to the east, south, and southeast. Because of its location next to the Jordan River and well away from the mountains, it is mostly flat, only ranging in elevation from about 4,330 feet (1,320 m) to 4,380 feet (1,340 m). It has a fairly high water table, with some areas being somewhat swampy before development in the early 1900s. Much city water comes through wells from the aquifer beneath the city. Three tributaries of Mill Creek converge in Fitts Park.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau,[7] as of 2018, there were 25,365 people in South Salt Lake. The racial makeup of the city was 56.2% non-Hispanic White, 10.5% Black, 2.5% Native American, 11.1% Asian, 1.7% Pacific Islander, and 3.7% from two or more races. 16.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 23,617 people, 9,160 housing units, with a total of 8,554 households . The population density was 3,401.1 people per square mile (1,231.4/km2)with a land area of 6.94 miles. The racial makeup of the city was 69.5% White, 4.4% African American, 2.6% Native American, 5.0% Asian, 1.0% Pacific Islander, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 29.1% of the population.

There were 8,554 households, out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.2% were non-family house holds. 34% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 77.8% over the age of 18, 11.5% from 20 to 24, 12.5% from 25 to 29, 6.1% from 45 to 49, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 121.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 127.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,547 and the median income for a family was $37,632. Males had a median income of $27,432 versus $22,275 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,786.[8] According to US Census Bureau data, the number of persons below the poverty level in 2009-2013 was 29.7%, over twice the Utah average.[9]


  • The world's first Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC) franchise was established in 1952 by Harland Sanders and Pete Harman in what is now part of South Salt Lake.[10]
  • In 2012, a Chinatown development opened on a lot in the city near 3500 South and State Street. It is the only Chinatown in the Intermountain West. In addition to having many Asian-themed restaurants, it has a large Asian-themed supermarket. According to the Deseret News, ground breaking on the new Chinatown occurred in 2011[11] for a Chinese-themed shopping mall with a "... 27,000 square foot Asian grocery store, 65,000 square foot indoor mall including 38 Asian-themed shops and 12,000 square feet Asian-themed strip mall".[12] Margaret Yee, a 1962 graduate said that "... 10,000-plus Chinese nationals living in the area have wanted [a Chinatown] for a long time...."[13] By late 2012, the Chinatown has experienced an upsurge of Chinese immigrants and the businesses are now filling up the Chinatown.[14]
  • In 2017, after nearly 7 years of planning, ground was broken on a new mixed-use development known as The Crossing (formerly called Market Station) between State St. and Main St. just south of 2100 South, intended to serve as South Salt Lake's "downtown". This development is oriented around mass transit, with an S-Line streetcar stop adjacent to the development, and 1 stop away from the Central Pointe TRAX Station. The first phase includes a WinCo Foods and a townhome development. Ultimately, this downtown development is planned to have 2,500 family housing units, 1.5 million square feet of retail, 3 million square feet of office and commercial space, and additional greenspace and trails.[15]


Public Safety Officers hoisting the flag on the 4th of July, South Salt Lake City, UT

Since 2007, crime in South Salt Lake has been reduced by 30%. Former SSL Police Chief Chris Snyder attributes the drop in crime to 4 factors: 1) Increased attention to code enforcement, 2) Crime Free Rental Housing program that results in greater landlord scrutiny of potential renters, 3) Partnerships, such as that with United Way of Salt Lake, combined with community organizing, such as the Promise South Salt Lake initiative, South Salt Lake Community Connection that address resident needs and improve neighborhoods, and 4) Extensive youth development efforts, such as Promise afterschool programs delivered in nine Neighborhood Centers across the city, and urban/neighborhood revitalization projects. There is a new emphasis on redevelopment (including the Market Station development) and a reduction in the number of liquor licenses allowed to be issued is anticipated to reduce crime in the city.[16]

The Motovo Real Estate Blog ranked South Salt Lake as the "Most Dangerous Place in Utah" citing data from the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report. Their report found that South Salt Lake had the most violent crimes per capita in Utah, with the second highest non-violent crime rate as well.[17]


I-15, I-80, and SR-201 intersect in the northwestern portion of the city. This interchange is known locally as the "Spaghetti Bowl" due to its complex array of on and off ramps, which extend to several other city roads in the area. US-89 runs north-to-south along State Street through the heart of South Salt Lake, serving as the primary commercial corridor and includes an interchange at I‑80. SR-171 (3300 South) traverses the city east-to-west, with an interchange at I‑15. SR-71 (South 700 East) runs along the southern part of the east border of the city and also has an interchange at I‑80.

The S Line streetcar at the South Salt Lake City station, December 2013

Utah Transit Authority's (UTA) TRAX light rail runs through the city at about 200 West, with 3 stations located within the city limits. All three of the TRAX lines (Blue, Red, and Green) enter the city from the north at Central Pointe station. (The UTA Police Department was located at the Central Pointe station until it moved to its new location at the Murray Central station in July 2016.) From Central Pointe station the Green Line heads west to West Valley City while both the Blue and Red lines continue south to stop at the Millcreek station before leaving the city just south of the Meadowbrook station. UTA also has several local bus routes that run through the city, many of which stop every fifteen minutes.[18]

In December 2013, the S Line streetcar (formerly known as Sugar House Streetcar) opened for service.[19] The S Line was built along an existing rail line just south of 2100 South (the northern border of the city) from the Central Pointe station to the Sugar House neighborhood in southeastern Salt Lake City.[20] In addition to Central Pointe station, the S Line will include stops at South Main Street (South Salt Lake City station), South 300 East (300 East station), and South 500 East (500 East station) before leaving the city. Although operated by UTA, the S Line is a joint project between South Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, and UTA.[21]

Notable sites[edit]

One of South Salt Lake's most notable and historic buildings is the Columbus Center. Originally a school around the turn of the 20th century, it was later used as a daycare center beginning in the 1950s. After being condemned in the late 1980s, it was renovated and expanded to include a branch of the Salt Lake County Library System as well as an auditorium, senior center and several other facilities.

The Columbus Center in South Salt Lake City, UT


South Salt Lake lies within the Granite School District. The city is served by three public elementary schools (Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Roosevelt) (PK–6), and one junior high school (Granite Park Junior High). With Mayor Wood's emphasis on education, two charter schools have located in South Salt Lake, Alianza (K–8) and the Utah International Charter School (7–12). The Salt Lake City campus of Broadview University is located next to the South Salt Lake city offices, and the city also has strong ties and partnerships with local institutions of higher education, Salt Lake Community College and Westminster College. Utah State University has a satellite campus located within the Granite District Offices at 2500 South State Street, also in South Salt Lake.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "City of South Salt Lake".
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  8. ^ American Fact Finder
  9. ^ "South Salt Lake (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  10. ^ Henetz, Patty; Nii, Jennifer (April 21, 2004). "Colonel's landmark KFC is mashed". Deseret Morning News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Digital Media. Associated Press. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  11. ^ Wendy Leonard, "South Salt Lake breaks ground for Utah's first Chinatown", Deseret News, March 21, 2011
  12. ^ "Salt Lake Chinatown 鹽湖城中國城". Salt Lake Chinatown 鹽湖城中國城.
  13. ^ Wendy Leonard and Nkoyo Iyamba, "South Salt Lake breaks ground for Utah's Chinatown",, March 21, 2011
  14. ^ Heather L. King, "Diverse Asian options surround South Salt Lake's Chinatown", The Salt Lake Tribune, November 6, 2012
  15. ^ "South Salt Lake hopes new downtown will change attitudes". Deseret News. March 27, 2017.
  16. ^ Palmer, Rebecca (February 16, 2008). "Bars to dwindle in South Salt Lake Aim is one permit per 3,000 residents: 8 establishments". Deseret News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Digital Media. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  17. ^ "These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Places in Utah". Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  18. ^ "Salt Lake County System Map" (JPG) (Map). Utah Transit Authority. April 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  19. ^ Vo-Duc, Viviane (September 5, 2013). "New streetcar S-line set to open Dec. 8 in Sugar House". Deseret News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Digital Media. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  20. ^ "State Street Closed At Night Next Two Weekends for Streetcar Construction". Utah Transit Authority. April 18, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  21. ^ "Sugar House Street Car". Utah Transit Authority. Retrieved May 12, 2013.

External links[edit]