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Census data provides insight into religious identity across Utah

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah β€” The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) recently published a Census of American Religion, looking at county-level data on religious identity and diversity throughout the country.

The study was based on interviews with over 450,000 people between 2013 and 2020. The data provides insight into how Utah varies by county. The report says it’s the most detailed estimate of religious affiliation in the U.S. since the Census Bureau last collected religious data in 1957.

β€œThe religious makeup of an area has a considerable impact on life experiences for Americans, and we are proud to release the 2020 Census of American Religion, which enables us to see that religious landscape all the way down to the county level,” said Natalie Jackson, PRRI research director.

Summit County has the lowest percentage of Latter-day Saint (Mormon) identity, at 36%. The area with the highest concentration is Utah County, which is roughly double at 72%. The second highest is Madison County in Idaho at 68%.

Latter-day Saints make up 1% of the U.S. population as of 2020 data. The median-age of Latter-day Saints adults is 47, which is younger than the median age for all white Christians (53). 30% of Latter-day Saints live in urban areas, with 42% in the suburbs, and 28% in rural areas. 39% identify as Republican, 16% as Democrat, and 42% say they are independent.

The report calculates religious diversity by using an index developed to measure variations in the concentration of global religious populations. A score of 1 symbolizes complete diversity (every religious group is of equal size), while a score of 0 signifies a total lack of diversity (one group comprises the entire population).

Summit County’s religious diversity index score is 0.816, the highest in the state. Nearby counties are slightly below that number- Salt Lake County (0.777), Wasatch County (0.684), and Utah County (0.509).

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