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Capital Salt Lake City
Nickname The Beehive State
Official Language English
Governor Gary Herbert, R
Senator Orrin Hatch, R
(202) 224-5251
Senator Mike Lee, R
(202) 224-5444
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood January 4, 1896 (45th)
Flag of Utah Motto: "Industry"

Utah, known as the Beehive State, is the forty-fifth state to enter into the union, achieving statehood on Jan. 4, 1896. Approximately 62% of Utah's residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), although this number is on the wane. [1]

The state's capital and largest city is Salt Lake City. The Great Salt Lake, located in northern Utah, is the largest saltwater lake in the Western hemisphere. [2]

The state bird is the California Seagull. The state insect is the European Honey Bee.


The first permanent European settlement of Utah came in 1847 when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, led by Brigham Young, settled there, which ended their long westward trek to escape persecution. Peace would prove illusory, as relations with Native Americans and white non-Mormons would turn sour. The infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 led to over 100 deaths. [3] [4] Utah was admitted into the Union in 1896, after the Church banned polygamy on the basis that a new revelation from God had commanded this.


Utah is among the reddest of red states, having elected President Bush by some of the highest margins of any state in both 2000 and 2004 and supporting John McCain in 2008. Salt Lake City is generally the only exception, having a mayor, Rocky Anderson, who is very liberal. [5] Both of the state's Senators (Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee) are Republicans, and two out of the state's three Representatives are Republicans. [6]

Elected Officials



Out of wedlock births

Utah has the lowest rate in the nation of out of wedlock births at 18%. The highest is Mississippi with 53%.[7]

Notable people from Utah

  • Orson Scott Card, science-fiction writer best known for the Ender's Game series, has lived in Orem.
  • Orrin Hatch - Republican U.S. Senator from Utah, serving since 1977.
  • Jon Huntsman, Jr., 2012 presidential candidate.
  • Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as of 2008, was born in Salt Lake City.
  • Ken Jennings, who made a record 74 straight appearances on the game show Jeopardy, lives in Utah.
  • Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond - singers and actors; both were born in Ogden.
  • Brigham Young, perhaps the most important person in the history of the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints other than the founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., was part of the aforementioned settling of the state in the 1840s.
  • Steve Young - Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Steve is a direct descendant of Brigham Young.
  • Mario Capecchi - Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "Discoveries for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells."


See Also