The Mormon Corridor: Utah and Idaho
By Kathleen Flake, in Jan Shipps, ed., Religion in the Mountain West: Sacred Landscapes in Tension, (Altamira, 2004), 91-114.
Utah and Idaho form the core of the Mormon Corridor. Named by cultural geographer Donald Meinig in 1955, the region’s strong religious ethos has been experienced by all who have lived in the Mountain West since members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Latter-day Saints or Mormons) occupied the Great Basin in 1847. Arriving early and colonizing methodically, the Latter-day Saints and their church have maintained an extraordinarily influential presence throughout the region for more than 150 years. Although North American Religion Atlas (NARA) data, derived from reports by religious institutions themselves, show that the Mormons constitute only 1.5 percent of the population nationally, descendants of the Mormon pioneers and their converts constitute 14 percent of the population of the Mountain West, nine times the national average. Within Idaho and Utah, that percentage doubles and quadruples respectively.