Utah is a western U.S. state defined by its vast expanses of desert and the Wasatch Range mountains. Salt Lake City, the capital, is centered around Temple Square, headquarters of the Mormon Church and site of its majestic temple and tabernacle, with its massive dome and renowned choir. The Great Salt Lake’s buoyant waters attract swimmers and sunbathers, especially at Antelope Island State Park.
Utah became the 45th state admitted to the U.S. on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th-largest by area, 31st-most-populous, and 10th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States. Utah has a population of more than 3 million (Census estimate for July 1, 2016), approximately 80% of whom live along the Wasatch Front, centering on the state capital Salt Lake City. Utah is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast.
Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS (Mormons), which greatly influences Utahn culture and daily life (although only 41.6% are active members of the faith). The LDS Church’s world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City. Utah is the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church.
The state is a center of transportation, education, information technology and research, government services, mining, and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Utah had the second fastest-growing population of any state. St. George was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States from 2000 to 2005. Utah also has the 14th highest median average income and the least income inequality of any U.S. state. A 2012 Gallup national survey found Utah overall to be the “best state to live in” based on 13 forward-looking measurements including various economic, lifestyle, and health-related outlook metrics.
Rich in natural resources, Utah has long been a leading producer of copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, potassium salts, and molybdenum. Oil and natural gas have also become major products. Utah is the only state that produces gilsonite, a pure form of asphalt used in dark colored printing inks and paints, oil well drilling muds and cements, asphalt modifiers, foundry sands additives, and a wide variety of chemical products.
The state’s top agricultural commodities include cattle and calves, dairy products, hay, greenhouse and nursery products, and hogs.
Utah’s traditional industries of agriculture and mining are complemented by increased tourism and growing aerospace, biomedical, and computer-related businesses.
Utah is a great vacation land with 11,000 mi of fishing streams and 147,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs. Among the many tourist attractions are Arches , Bryce Canyon , Canyonlands , Capitol Reef, and Zion National Parks ; Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Hovenweep, Natural Bridges , Rainbow Bridge, Timpanogos Cave, and Grand Staircase (Escalante) National Monuments; the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City; and Monument Valley . Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics .To learn more about Utah, click here
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