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Utah has more people who adhere to a specific religion than any other state

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has a higher percentage of people who affiliate with a religion than any other state, according to an analysis released Friday by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

It estimated 76.1% of Utahns affiliate with a religion, 12 percentage points higher than the next state on the list, Alabama.

Nationally, less than 50% of people are considered religious adherents, which the census defined as all members of a religion, children of members and participants who are not considered members.

Over 90% of people in Garfield, Rich and Box Elder counties adhere to a religion, and Utah County is next on the list with 89%. In Salt Lake County, 67.4% of people adhere to a religion.

From 2010 to 2020, the Hindu, Muslim and National Baptist Convention religions experienced the highest growth in Utah, with adherents of Hindu traditional temples growing 4,900% from 50 to 2,500.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which overall has the most members, grew 11.3% during that same period.

During those 10 years, members of Lutheran Missouri Synod churches in Utah went down 55.4%, losing the most adherents. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church each lost over 30% of their adherents during the same time frame.

The data for the survey comes from the U.S. Religion Census in 2010 and 2020.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by far has the highest number of congregations in Utah with 5,239 in 2020.

The next on the list for number of congregations in Utah are the 112 non-denominational Christian congregations, followed by 95 Southern Baptist Convention congregations, 69 Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, 66 Catholic congregations and 52 congregations of the General Council of the Assemblies of God.

Although it has the most religious adherents, Utah is beaten by Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, South Dakota, Alabama, Tennessee and North Dakota in the number of congregations per capita.

Arkansas has the most with 264.7 congregations per 100,000 people, and Utah has 183.9.

The number of congregations of all faiths in Utah increased by 8.3% between the 2010 and 2020 religious census.

Salt Lake County is ninth nationwide for the number of congregations, without taking population into consideration, and Utah County is 14th.

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