The Predominant Religion
The population of Utah was estimated to be 2.9 million in 2013. About 50% of Salt Lake City’s residents belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), but statewide the number is closer to 70% of Utah's population.
For all the misconceptions about the Mormon faith, you may scarcely notice any evidence of it as you explore Utah. It’s true that Mormons generally don’t smoke, or drink coffee, tea, or alcohol—but tobacco, caffeinated drinks, and liquor tend to be widely available in stores. Members of the LDS faith generally observe Sunday as a day of rest, so plan ahead, as many stores, restaurants, and other services may be closed—including all liquor stores. You will see many non-LDS houses of worship in Utah, including a major Catholic cathedral, a mosque, and a synagogue in Salt Lake City. Mormon missionaries are famed for their proselytizing, but outside of the state’s temples you likely won’t encounter one, as they tend to spend their time in residential areas. Finally, Mormons tend to be very friendly, family-oriented, and have a great deal of civic activism and pride—all of which make Utah a very hospitable and enjoyable place to visit.