Mormons Are No Longer a Majority in Utah: Causes, Consequences, and Implications for the Sociology of Religion

In: Journal of Religion and Demography
Ryan T. Cragun Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Tampa Tampa, FL USA

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Bethany Gull Instructor of the Practice in Applied Sociology, Applied Sociology and Criminal Justice Department, Utah Tech University St. George, UT USA

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Rick Phillips Professor, Sociology and Religious Studies, University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL USA

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This paper uses a sample of Utahans to estimate the percentage of the state belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS, or Mormon Church). We find that the Mormon share of Utah’s population is lower than is commonly believed. This finding has relevance for certain theories in the sociology of religion that make inferences about church growth and vitality based on the religious demography of Utah. We show how the process of secularization, changes in Mormon fertility, and shifts in migration into Utah combine to alter the religious landscape of the state. We close with a discussion of the implications of our findings for the sociology of religion.

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