Salt Lake City

city in and county seat of Salt Lake County, Utah, United States and the capital of Utah

Salt Lake City is a city in the United States of America. It is the capital and largest city of the state of Utah. It was founded by the Mormons and is the official headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is named after the Great Salt Lake, which it is near. The city's population was 199,723 in 2020.[12]

Salt Lake City
City of Salt Lake City[1]
Flag of Salt Lake City
"The Crossroads of the West"
Interactive map of Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is located in Utah
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is located in the United States
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Coordinates: 40°45′39″N 111°53′28″W / 40.76083°N 111.89111°W / 40.76083; -111.89111
CountryUnited States United States
CountySalt Lake
Platted1857 (1857)[2]
Named forGreat Salt Lake
 • TypeStrong Mayor–council
 • MayorErin Mendenhall (D)
 • City110.81 sq mi (286.99 km2)
 • Land110.34 sq mi (285.77 km2)
 • Water0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
Elevation4,265 ft (1,300 m)
 • City200,133
 • Rank122nd in the United States
1st in Utah
 • Density1,797.52/sq mi (701.84/km2)
 • Urban
1,178,533 (US: 41st)
 • Urban density3,923.0/sq mi (1,514.7/km2)
 • Metro
1,257,936 (US: 47th)
 • CSA
2,746,164 (US: 22nd)
DemonymSalt Laker[6]
 • Salt Lake (County)$111.0 billion (2022)
 • Salt Lake City (MSA)$135.4 billion (2022)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6
ZIP Codes
ZIP Codes[9]
Area codes801, 385
FIPS code49-67000[10]
GNIS feature ID1454997[4]
Major airportSalt Lake City International Airport
WebsiteSalt Lake City Government
The beginning of State Street, at the foot of the Utah State Capitol.

The city was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young and his Mormon followers. They extensively irrigated and cultivated the arid valley. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named "Great Salt Lake City"–the word "great" was dropped from the official name in 1868.[13] Although Salt Lake City is still home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), less than half the population of Salt Lake City proper is Mormon today.[14]

Immigration of international LDS members, mining booms, and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city was nicknamed the "Crossroads of the West". It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913, and presently two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, intersect in the city. Salt Lake City has since developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based primarily on skiing. It was host to the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is the industrial banking center of the United States.[15]

The Salt Lake City Public Library. The American Library Association called it the best in the U.S. in 2006.



In 1847 pioneer Jane Dillworth held the first classes in her tent for the children of the first LDS families. In the last part of the 19th century, there was much controversy over how children in the area should be educated. LDS and non-LDS parents could not agree on the level of religious influence in schools. Today, many LDS youths in grades 9 through 12 attend some form of religious instruction, referred to as seminary. Students are released from public schools at various times of the day to attend seminary.[16][17] LDS seminaries are usually located on church-owned property adjacent to the public school and within walking distance.[18]

City and County Building, seat of city government since 1894. It also served as Utah's first statehouse from 1896 until the current Utah State Capitol was dedicated on October 9, 1916.[19]

Because of high birth rates and large classrooms, Utah spends less per student than any other state. At the same time, Utah spends more per capita than any state with the exception of Alaska. Recently, money was approved for the reconstruction of more than half of the elementary schools and one of the middle schools in the Salt Lake City School District, which serves most of the area within the city limits. There are twenty-three K-6 elementary schools, five 7-8 middle schools, three 9-12 high schools (Highland, East, and West, with the former South High being converted to the South City campus of the Salt Lake Community College), and an alternative high school (Horizonte) located within the school district. In addition, Highland has recently been selected as the site for the charter school Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts (SPA). Many Catholic schools are located in the city, including Judge Memorial High School. Rowland Hall-St. Mark's School, established in 1867 by Episcopal Bishop Daniel Tuttle,[20] is the area's premier independent school.

The Salt Lake City Public Library system consists of the main library downtown, and five branches in various neighborhoods. The main library, designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, opened in 2003. In 2006, the Salt Lake City Public Library was named "Library of the Year" by the American Library Association.[21]

Colleges in Salt Lake City include the University of Utah, Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, Stevens-Henager College, Eagle Gate College, The Art Institute of Salt Lake City and LDS Business College. Utah State University and BYU also operate education centers in the city. There are also many trade and technical schools such as Healing Mountain Massage School and the Utah College of Massage Therapy. The University of Utah has good research and medical programs. It was one of the original four universities to be connected to ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet,[22] in 1969, and was also the site of the first artificial heart transplant in 1982.[23]




  1. "Salt Lake City, Utah City Code". Sterling Codifiers. June 2019. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved October 25, 2019. This City Code of the City of Salt Lake City, as supplemented, contains ordinances up to and including Ordinance 32–19, passed June 11, 2019.
  2. Pioneer Plat Maps, sheet 2, image 2, "Great Salt Lake City Plot A", 1857. Salt Lake County Archives. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  3. "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Geographic Names Information System". Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  5. "Salt Lake City city, Utah". Census – Geography Profile. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  6. "Definition for "Salt Laker"". Merriam-Webster. July 16, 2014. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  7. "Total Gross Domestic Product for Salt Lake City, UT (MSA)".
  8. "Gross Domestic Product by County and Metropolitan Area, 2022" (PDF). Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  9. "Zip Code Lookup". USPS. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  10. "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  11. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  12. "Salt Lake City city". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  13. Van Cott, John W. (1990). Utah place names: a comprehensive guide to the origins of geographic names : a compilation. University of Utah Press. pp. 327. ISBN 978-0874803457.
  14. PBS American Experience. "The Mormons" (2007-04-30)
  15. FDIC Industrial Banks. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (2004-06-25). Retrieved on 2007-03-06.
  16. "LDS Seminary in Public Schools". Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  17. Guv claims Corroon could eliminate LDS seminary | The Salt Lake Tribune
  18. "Seminary". Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  19. "Official Utah State Capitol history page". Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  20. Quinn, Frederick Building the "Goodly Fellowship of Faith" - A History of the Episcopal Church in Utah - 1867-1996 Utah State University Press, Logan, Utah, 2004, chapter 1.
  21. Library Journal article: Library of the Year
  22. Leiner, Barry M.; Robert E. Kahn, Jon Postel. "A Brief History of the Internet". Internet Society. Archived from the original on 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  23. "University Health Care Milestones". University of Utah Health Care. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2009-05-18.