Salt Lake County is a county in the U.S. state of Utah. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 1,029,655, (1,152,633 as of July 1 2018) making it the most populous county in Utah. Its county seat and largest city is Salt Lake City, the state capital. The county was created in 1850. Salt Lake County is the 37th most populated county in the United States and is one of four counties in the Western Rocky Mountains to make it into the top 100. (Others being Denver County and El Paso County both in Colorado and Clark County, Nevada)
The Salt Lake Valley is fed by seven streams from the surrounding mountains. All the runoff water eventually ends in the Great Salt Lake, which has no outlet. The mountains rise precipitously from the relatively flat valley surfaces, indicating their comparatively youthful formation. The county has a total area of 807 square miles (2,090 km), of which 742 square miles (1,920 km) is land and 65 square miles (170 km) (8.1%) is water. It is the fifth-smallest county in Utah by area. The county borders on the Great Salt Lake and is traversed by the north-flowing Jordan River.
The western portion of the county descends toward the valley of the lake, but perhaps the most dominating physical feature in Salt Lake County are the Wasatch Mountains in the eastern portion of the county, famous for both summer and winter activities. The mountains are administered as part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The mountains’ snow is touted in state-sponsored publicity as ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’ for its soft, powdery texture, and led to Salt Lake City’s winning the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake County has four ski resorts: Snowbird and Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Solitude and Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Hiking and camping are popular summer activities. The Oquirrh Mountains border the western part of the county. These two mountain ranges, together with the much smaller Traverse Mountains at the south of the valley, delimit Salt Lake Valley, which is also flanked on the northwest by the Great Salt Lake, and on the north by the Salt Lake Anticline (including Ensign Peak).
On the north and east benches, houses have been built halfway up the mountain, to the boundary of the national forest, assuming greater risk from wildfires. New communities are also being constructed on the southern and western slopes. Rapid residential construction continues in the west-central, southwest, and southern portions of the valley. In the far west, southwest, and northwest, rural areas still exist, but rapid growth threatens what remains of the natural environment in the valley. The County government operates several large parks in the valley (including some with incorporated cities), including Big Cottonwood Park, Crestwood Park, and an Equestrian Center.
The US Census Bureau estimate for 2018 lists 1,152,633 people in Salt Lake County. The racial makeup of the county was 71.4% non-Hispanic White, 2.1% Black, 1.4% Native American, 4.3% Asian, 1.7% Pacific Islander, and 2.8% from two or more races. 18.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,029,655 people, 343,218 households, and 291,686 families in the county. The population density was 1,388/sqmi (274 people per square mile (536/km). There were 364,031 housing units at an average density of 491/sqmi (189/km). The racial makeup of the county was 81.2% White, 1.59% Black or African American, 0.89% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 1.53% Pacific Islander, 8.35% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. 17.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
In 2010 there were 343,218 households out of which 40.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.53.
The county population contained 30.5% under the age of 18, 12.90% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 18.00% from 45 to 64, and 8.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $48,373, and the median income for a family was $54,470. Males had a median income of $36,953 versus $26,105 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,190. About 5.70% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty threshold, including 9.00% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.
The 2005 American Community Survey indicated that 11.4% of Salt Lake County’s population living in households (as opposed to group arrangements such as college dormitories) spoke Spanish at home.
Recent religious data suggests that as of 2018, 48.91% of the county’s population are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This figure includes both active and inactive members. Researcher Matt Martinich estimates that roughly half of members in the county are active, which means that roughly 24% of the county’s residents are active members if this figure is true.