It’s no surprise that the heaviest concentration of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is centered in the heart of Utah, given the state’s Mormon pioneer history.

A new county-by-county breakdown of religious affiliation verified that fact on Thursday, when the Public Religion Research Institute released a new national survey that included additional findings about the Latter-day Saint population.

The second-highest concentration of the church’s members isn’t much of a surprise, either.

Where do the most Latter-day Saints live?

The 10 highest concentrations of Latter-day Saints in counties of more 10,000 residents are:

  • Utah County, Utah (72%)
  • Madison County, Idaho (68%)
  • Cache County, Utah (64%)
  • Juab County, Utah (63%)
  • Millard County, Utah (63%)
  • Morgan County, Utah (61%)
  • Sanpete County, Utah (61%)
  • Box Elder County, Utah (60%)
  • Sevier County, Utah (58%)
  • Tooele County, Utah (58%)

The seat of Madison County is Rexburg, Idaho, home of BYU-Idaho, the second-largest university in the Church Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU-Idaho’s fall 2020 enrollment was 26,963. Rexburg’s population is about 40,000.

The national survey’s results uncovered two new, interesting trends in American religiosity.

First, the rise of the nones is slowing. Nones are people who report no religious affiliation.

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In 2007, 16% of Americans reported being religiously unaffiliated, a number that grew to 26% in 2018. But in 2020, the number of nones receded to 23%. The trend held true for those ages 18-29, with the percentage of nones in that age group falling from 38% in 2016 to 36% last year.

Second, the decadeslong decline in the percentage of white Christians slowed over the past two years. In 1996, 65% of Americans identified as white and Christian, a group that dropped to 42% in 2018. Each of the past two years, white Christians have made up 44% of the population.

Percentage of Latter-day Saints in U.S.

The PRRI report also provided other tidbits about Latter-day Saints. For example, they made up 1% of the U.S. population in 2020.

The church reported a worldwide membership of 16.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2020, in the faith’s annual general conference last April.

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What is the median age of Latter-day Saint adults?

The median age of Latter-day Saint adults is 47 years old.

Do Latter-day Saints prefer living in urban, suburban or rural areas?

The majority of Latter-day Saints live in suburban areas:

  • 42% live in suburban areas
  • 30% in urban areas
  • 28% live in rural areas

How do Latter-day Saints identify politically?

Latter-day Saints in the survey generally identified as independents or Republicans.

  • 42% as independent
  • 39% as Republican
  • 16% as Democrat