Question: In Utah, are more people leaving the Church than are joining the Church?

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Question: In Utah, are more people leaving the Church than are joining the Church?

Such claims are incorrect, according to figures from the U.S. Census and the LDS Church Almanac

It is claimed that "Within the state of Utah, the number of Mormons has steadily declined over the past 10 years," and that more people are leaving the Church than are joining the Church. This belief led the producers of the anti-Mormon video Search for the Truth to claim that "within Utah, we are doing a fairly good job of combating Mormonism" and therefore "the Mormon Church is vulnerable" to anti-Mormon criticisms.

But such authors are simply incorrect, according to figures from the U.S. Census and the LDS Church Almanac:

  Utah: Total Utah: LDS Utah: Non-LDS
31-Dec-1990 1,722,850 1,236,242 486,608
31-Dec-2005 2,469,585 1,752,467 717,118
15-year growth 43.34% 41.76% 47.37%
annualized growth 2.89% 2.78% 3.16%

As the table shows, the LDS population in Utah is growing—it is just growing at a slower rate than the non-LDS population. The primary reason for this is the high non-LDS immigration into Utah over the last two decades.

According to a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribute:

Utah's ongoing religious diversification has little to do with the LDS Church or its teachings, but rather is a reflection of the economy.... When economic growth goes up, minority population goes up, and this is kind of a code word for non-Mormons.... While continuing to grow in actual members, the LDS share of the state population showed a slow but constant decline every year from 1989 to 2004.[1]

Data Sources


Notes

  1. ↑ Matt Canham, "Mormon portion of Utah population steadily shrinking," Salt Lake Tribune (22 June 2006). off-site (accessed 20 March 2007)