Perhaps not surprisingly, three-fourths of Utahns belong to a church, the most of any state in the country.

A new analysis by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah found that the Beehive State has the largest share of religious adherents, with an estimated 76% of the population. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of members of the largest religions in the state increased, while the number of congregations in the state also increased by 8.3%, from 5,557 in 2010 to 6,018 in 2020.

New Hampshire had the lowest percentage of religious adherents at 27.2%. People who identify with a religion account for 48.6% of the United States’ population, according to the analysis.

Related
The state of faith

“Utah’s religious adherents as a share of the population, 76.1%, ranks 12 percentage points higher than the next highest state of Alabama,” said Natalie Gochnour, director of the Gardner Institute. “From 2010 to 2020, Hindu (traditional temples), Muslims and the National Baptist Convention experienced the highest growth rates of adherents, while The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest religious body in Utah, grew 11.3% during that same period.”

The Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America experienced the largest declining memberships over that 10-year period, according to the report.

Utah has the highest percentage of religious adherents in the U.S.
Utah has the highest percentage of religious adherents in the country. New Hampshire has the lowest.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, has the most members among the various denominations in Utah at just over 2.1 million as of 2020, with the Catholic Church a distant second at 213,155.

The analysis shows Utah has the eighth most congregations per 100,000 population in the nation. The states with the highest concentration of congregations are Arkansas and Mississippi, followed by West Virginia. Nineteen religions have 10 or more congregations in Utah. Congregations among those 19 religions grew 9.0% from 2010 to 2020.

The analysis found:

  • From 2010 to 2020, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims and nondenominational Christian churches experienced the highest growth rates of congregations.
  • Congregations in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grew 8.4% from 2010 to 2020.
  • From 2010 to 2020, congregations grew 8.3% for all religions in Utah.

Data in 2023 showed Utah has the highest rate of weekly attendance at church in the country. Deep South states like Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas also reported relatively high rates of weekly attendance, while New Hampshire has the lowest.

Related
Who’s in the pew in Utah?

In Utah, Garfield, Rich and Box Elder counties have the most religious adherents as a percentage of population. The two largest counties in the state — Salt Lake County and Utah County — have 67.4% and 89% adherents as a share of the population, respectively, according to the analysis.

Rich County also has the highest percentage of congregations per population, while Summit County has the lowest. Salt Lake County ranks next lowest, though it’s home to the ninth most congregations of any county in the nation. Utah County has 1,394 congregations, ranking 14th highest nationally.

Related
What the Beehive State’s high rate of weekly religious attendance means