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About Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. The name of the city is often shortened to Salt Lake, or its initials, S.L.C. It was originally known as Great Salt Lake City.

Skyline of Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City has a population of 181,743 as of the 2000 Census.[1] The Salt Lake City metropolitan area spans Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties, and has a total estimated population of 1,018,826. Salt Lake City is further situated in a larger urban area known as the Wasatch Front, and until 2003 the Ogden-Clearfield metro area within it was considered part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.[2] The total estimated population of the Wasatch Front is approximately 2,150,000.

The city was founded in 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers led by their prophet, Brigham Young, who fled hostility and violence in the midwest. The headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the L.D.S. or Mormon Church) is located in Salt Lake City.

Mining booms and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city became nicknamed the Crossroads of the West. In the 21st century the city has developed a strong outdoor recreation tourism industry (skiing and biking), become the industrial banking center of the U.S,[3] and served as host to the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Demographics

Salt Lake City's racial demographics against those of Utah:
UtahSalt Lake CityEthnicity
85.3%79.20%White
0.8%1.89%Black
1.3%1.34%Native American
1.7%3.62%Asian
0.7%1.89%Pacific Islander
N/A8.52%Other race
2.1%3.54%Two or more races
9.0%18.85%Hispanic
 

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there are 181,743 people (up from 159,936 in 1990), 71,461 households, and 39,803 families residing in the city. This amounts to 8.1% of Utah's population, 20.2% of Salt Lake County's population, and 13.6% of the Salt Lake metropolitan population. Salt Lake City proper covers 14.2% of Salt Lake County. Salt Lake City is more densely populated than the surrounding metro area with a population density of 643.3/km² (1,666.1/mi²). There are 77,054 housing units at an average density of 272.7/km² (706.4/mi²).

The Salt Lake City-Ogden metropolitan area, which included Salt Lake, Davis, and Weber counties, had a population of 1,333,914 in 2000, a 24.4% increase over the 1990 figure of 1,072,227. Since the 2000 Census, the Census Bureau has added Summit and Tooele counties to the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, but removed Davis and Weber counties and designated them as the separate Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan area. Together with the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, which lies to the south, a roughly continuous urban corridor along the Wasatch Front is formed, which has a combined population of well over 2 million.

There are 71,461 households, out of which 27.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% are married couples living together, 10.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 44.3% are nonfamilies. Of the 71,461 households, 3,904 were reported to be unmarried partner households: 3,047 heterosexual, 458 same-sex male, and 399 same-sex female. 33.2% of all households are made up of individuals, and 9.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48, and the average family size is 3.24.

In the city the population is spread out with:

The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females there are 102.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 101.2 males. The median income for a household in the city is $36,944, and the median income for a family is $45,140. Males have a median income of $31,511 versus $26,403 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,752. 15.3% of the population and 10.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 18.7% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Historical Population
YearPopulation
18608,236
187012,854
188020,768
189044,843
190053,531
191092,777
1920116,110
1930140,267
1940149,934
1950182,121
1960189,454
1970175,885
1980163,034
1990159,936
2000181,743
2006178,858

Large family sizes and low housing vacancy rates, which have inflated housing costs along the Wasatch Front, have led to one out of every six residents living below the poverty line.

Less than 50% of Salt Lake City's residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a much lower proportion than in Utah's more rural municipalities; altogether, LDS members make up about 62% of Utah's population.[35]

The Rose Park and Glendale sections are predominantly Spanish-speaking with Latinos accounting for 60% of public school-children.[36] The Centro Civico Mexicano acts as a community gathering point for the Wasatch Front's estimated 300,000 Latinos,[37] Mexican President Vicente Fox began his U.S. tour in the city in 2006, and the largest supermarket chain of Mexico, Supermercados Gigante, is planning a location, the first in the U.S. outside of California.[38] Bosnian, Sudanese, Afghani, Somali, and Russian refugees have settled in the city under government programs.[39] There is also a large Pacific Islander population, mainly made up of Samoans and Tongans. Many of the Pacific Islanders are members of the LDS Church.[40]

Salt Lake City has been considered one of the top 51 "gay-friendly places to live" in the U.S.[41] The city is home to a large, business savvy, organized, and politically supported gay community. Leaders of the Episcopal Church's Diocese of Utah,[42][43] Utah's largest Jewish congregation, the Salt Lake Kol Ami,[44] and three elected representatives of the city, two members of the state house and one in the senate, all identify as gay. These developments have attracted controversy from socially conservative officials representing other regions of the state. State Senator Chris Buttars of West Jordan publicly denounced Mayor Rocky Anderson for having "attracted the entire gay community to come and live in Salt Lake County" after a Dan Jones poll indicated strong support for allowing domestic partnerships. In the 2004 election, 63% of the city population voted against banning same-sex marriage, in agreement with Mayor Anderson.[45]

Economy

Part of Downtown Salt Lake 2006
Part of Downtown Salt Lake 2006

The modern economy of Salt Lake City is service-oriented. In the past, nearby steel, mining and railroad operations provided a strong source of income with Geneva Steel, Bingham Canyon Mine, and oil refineries. Today the city's major industries are government, trade, transportation, utilities, and professional and business services. The city is known as the "Crossroads of the West" for its central geography in the western United States. As a result, Interstate 15 is a major corridor for freight traffic and the area is host to many regional distribution centers.[citation needed]

Local, state, and federal governments have their largest presence in the city proper itself, and trade, transportation, and utilities also take up a significant portion of employment, with the major employer being the western North America Delta Air Lines hub at Salt Lake City International Airport. Equally significant are the professional and business services, while health services and health educational services also serve as significant areas of employment. Other major employers include the University of Utah, Sinclair Oil Corporation, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Besides its central offices, the LDS Church owns and operates a profit division, Deseret Management Corporation and its subsidiaries, which are headquartered in the city. Other notable firms headquartered in the city include AlphaGraphics and Smith's Food and Drug (owned by national grocer Kroger). Notable firms based in the metropolitan area include Arctic Circle Restaurants, Franklin-Covey, and Overstock.com. Metropolitan Salt Lake was also once the headquarters of Kentucky Fried Chicken (the first ever KFC is located in South Salt Lake), American Stores, the Skaggs Companies, and ZCMI, one of the first-ever department stores; it is currently owned by Federated Department Stores. Former ZCMI stores now operate under the Macy's label. Suburban Salt Lake was also the first location for Sears Grand (at the Jordan Landing shopping center in West Jordan).

Since Utah is one of seven states that allow the establishment of commercially-owned industrial banks, the vast majority of industrial banks in the U.S. have established their headquarters in the Salt Lake City area. High-tech firms with a large presence in the suburbs include e-Bay, Unisys, Siebel, Micron, L-3 Communications and 3M.

Other economic activities include tourism, conventions, and major suburban call centers. Tourism has increased since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games,[13] and many hotels and restaurants were built for the events. The convention industry has expanded since the construction of the Salt Palace convention center in the late 1990s, which hosts trade shows and conventions, including the annual Outdoor Retailers meeting and Novell's annual BrainShare convention.

In 2006, the largest potato producer in Idaho, the United Potato Growers of America, announced that it would re-locate its headquarters to Salt Lake City, citing its need for a large international airport, being that Salt Lake City International is the 18th busiest in the world in terms of combined freight and passengers. The announcement led some members of the Idaho legislature to propose legislation changing the state license plate, which currently reads "Famous Potatoes".[46]

In 2005, it was found the downtown area was experiencing rapid population growth.[47] The number of residential units in the central business district has increased by 80% since 1995, and is forecasted to nearly double in the next decade. The City Creek development of the LDS Church will be adding 300 units in its first phase including the 415 ft. tall City Creek condominium tower,[48] Allen Millo Associates currently has two projects under construction and two more planned,[49] all 200 units have been sold before construction of a seven-story condominium planned by Wood Property,[50] a residential tower is planned for Trolley Square, and this is after the recent completion of the Northgate Apartments and 12-story condominiums at Gateway with two more buildings finished nearby and the Liberty Metro apartments near Library Square.

Office vacancy rates are low in the downtown region. In response, two new large buildings are being constructed. The first is eight stories and located in the Gateway District,[51] while the second will be 22 stories high and is currently under construction on Main Street.[52] In addition, the historic Walker Bank Building is currently undergoing major renovations that will enable it to achieve Class A office space status.[53] Construction of the Gateway District, light rail, and planned commuter rail service have supported the revival of downtown.

See also: List of foreign consulates in Salt Lake City

Education

The Salt Lake City Public Library. The American Library Association called it the best in the U.S. in 2006.
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 1800s, there was much controversy over how children in the area should be educated. LDS and non-LDS 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.

Because of high birth rates and large classrooms, Utah spends less per student than any other state yet simultaneously spends more per capita than any state with the exception of Alaska. Money is always a challenge, and many businesses donate to support schools. Several districts have set up foundations to raise money. 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 Salt Lake City proper. There are twenty-three elementary schools, five middle schools, three 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), while Salt Lake City proper also holds many Catholic schools, including Judge Memorial High School. Rowland Hall-St. Mark's School 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[58].

Postsecondary educational options in Salt Lake City include the University of Utah, Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, BYU Salt Lake Center, and LDS Business College. There are also many trade and technical schools such as the Utah College of Massage Therapy.

See also: Salt Lake County - Education

Culture

Arts

Gateway District, where the Clark Planetarium is located.
Gateway District, where the Clark Planetarium is located.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Utah Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Church History and Art are some of the museums located in Salt Lake City. Other museums include the Utah State Historical Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneer Memorial Museum, Fort Douglas Military Museum, and the Social Hall Heritage Museum. Clark Planetarium at the Gateway Mall houses an IMAX theater.

Salt Lake City provides many venues for both professional and amateur theatre. The city attracts many traveling Broadway and off-Broadway performances. Local professional acting companies include the Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, and Plan-B Theatre Company. The Off Broadway Theatre, located in Salt Lake's historic Clift Building, features comedy plays and Utah's longest running improv comedy troupe, Laughing Stock.

Salt Lake City is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, founded in 1847. The Choir's weekly program, called Music and the Spoken Word, is the longest-running continuous network broadcast in the world.[59] Salt Lake City is also the home to the Utah Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1940 by Maurice Abravanel and has become widely renowned. The orchestra's original home was the Salt Lake Tabernacle, but since the 1990s has performed at Abravanel Hall in the western downtown area. Salt Lake City area is also home to the award winning choir, The Salt Lake Children's Choir. The Choir was established in 1979 and is directed by Ralph B. Woodward.

The city also has a local music scene dominated by blues, rock and roll, punk, and emo groups. There are also many clubs which offer musical venues. Popular groups or persons who started in the Wasatch Front area or were raised and influenced by it include The Used, Shedaisy, Meg and Dia, The Almost, and The Summer Obsession. In 2004 over 200 bands submitted tracks for a compilation by a local music zine, SLUG ("Salt Lake Underground"). The 18-year-old free monthly zine trimmed the submissions to 59 selections featuring diverse music types such as hip-hop, jazz, jazz-rock, punk, and a variety of rock and roll. The University of Utah is home to two highly-ranked dance departments, the Ballet Department and the Department of Modern Dance. Professional dance companies in Salt Lake City include Ballet West, Rire Woodbury, and Repertory Dance Theatre.

Many films, music videos, commercials, and TV shows have been recorded in the Salt Lake metropolitan area. They include: SLC Punk!, Touched By An Angel, Everwood, Big Love, Dawn of the Dead, Drive Me Crazy, High School Musical, High School Musical 2, Unaccompanied Minors, Dumb and Dumber, Independence Day, Poolhall Junkies, The Brown Bunny, The World's Fastest Indian, The Way of the Gun, Carnival of Souls, The Amazing Race 8, and The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights". In 2006 it was revealed that Dan Brown, the author of The DaVinci Code, was in the city studying the symbols on the Salt Lake LDS Temple and the Masonic Temple, among other historical buildings, for inclusion in an upcoming book.

Links

  • Salt Lake City government website
  • Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce
  • The Downtown Alliance (tourist, resident, and potential resident guide to downtown area)
  • Downtown Rising (information on the current $1.5 billion construction projects in downtown)
  • artTix (fine-art events information)
  • The Utah Office of Tourism
  • National Weather Service - Salt Lake City
  • Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Salt Lake Gallivan Center Guide
  • Salt Lake City travel guide from Wikitravel

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