Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mormons in the USA

The PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life just released a study titled A Portrait of Mormons in the U.S. which has some very interesting facts about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons").

Key findings:

  • Mormons make up 1.7% of the American adult population, a proportion that is comparable in size to the U.S. Jewish population.

  • The Mormon population in the U.S. is heavily concentrated in the West (76%). In fact, roughly one-third of all American Mormons (35%) live in Utah, the state founded by its early leaders. An additional 13% live in California while 7% reside in Idaho, 5% in Nevada and 4% each in Oregon and Arizona.

  • Mormons make up 58% of Utah's population.

  • As a group, Mormons are among the most devout and conservative religious people in the country.

  • Mormons tend to be slightly younger than the general population. Two-thirds (66%) are under age 50, compared with 59% of the public as a whole.

  • A majority of Mormons are women (56%), although women make up more than half of other major Christian traditions as well.

  • Nearly three-quarters of Mormons (71%) are married, compared with 54% among the general population.

  • Mormons (83%) and Hindus (90%) are the most likely of all the major religious traditions to be married to someone of the same faith.

  • Nearly nine-in-ten Mormons in the U.S. (86%) are white, compared with 71% of the general population. Just 3% of US Mormons are African-American and 7% are Latino.

  • Mormons are significantly more likely than the population overall to have some college education. 61% have at least some college education, compared with half of the overall population. However, the proportion of Mormons who graduate from college (18%) or receive postgraduate education (10%) is similar to the population as a whole (16% and 11%, respectively).

  • US converts to the Church tend to be older than lifelong Mormons. 48% are over age 50, compared with 29% lifelong members. Converts also tend to be less educated than nonconverts (16% did not graduate from high school, compared with just 6% of lifelong members) and they earn decidedly lower incomes (40% make less than $30,000 a year, compared with 21% among nonconverts).

  • US converts are more likely than lifelong members to come from minority racial and ethnic groups. One-in-ten converts to Mormonism are black. An additional one-in-ten are Hispanic. Just 72% are white; by contrast, 91% of lifelong Mormons are white.

  • Converts also are less likely than lifelong members to be married (64% vs. 74%)

  • Mormons are remarkably observant in their religious practices, with three-quarters attending church and reading Scripture outside of services at least once a week and more than eight-in-ten praying daily.


A better understanding of ourselves and how others view us can help as we share the gospel with others.

Read more details from the PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life about demographics, Religious Beliefs and Practices, and Social and Political Views.

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