Utah's population boom eases

Utah's population boom eases

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Fewer people are moving to Utah, and for the first time in a long time, the LDS population is slightly increasing.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the number of people who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah went up by .0005 percent in 2009 over the previous year. It may seem small -- in fact some would say it's basically flat -- but the Tribune reports it's the first time since at least the late 1980s that the percentage did not decline.

Morgan County has the highest LDS population at 80 percent. More than half of the state's LDS population lives in either Salt Lake County or Utah County.

Overall, Utah's 1.7 million members of the LDS Church make up 60.4 percent of the state's population.

However, Utah's overall population boom is slowing. According to the Deseret News, the Utah Population Estimates Committee says Utah now has more than 2.8 million people.

But the growth rate now is half what it was two years ago. State planning coordinator Mike Mower told the Deseret News, "Two years ago, we added 84,000 people to our state. This year, we added 42,310."

Officials say what has been high-speed growth is now basically a crawl because of the recession. Fewer people are moving here for jobs.

Also, the number of births has dropped for the first time in 19 years. State data shows Utah had 54,548 births in the year before July 1, down from 55,357 in the previous year.

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