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Encyclopedia > Salt Lake County
Image:Map of Utah highlighting Salt Lake County.png

Salt Lake County is a county located in the state of Utah. As of 2003, the population is estimated at 924,247. It was named for the Great Salt Lake nearby. Its county seat and largest city is Salt Lake City6.


Law and government

Salt Lake County is unique in that it has a partisan county mayor. The current county mayor is Peter Corroon (a Democrat). Former county mayors include Nancy Workman and Alan Dayton.

County council

Besides a mayor, Salt Lake County also has a county council. Members include three elected at-large and six elected by district. Council members from districts serve four-year staggered terms in partisan elections while at-large members serve six years.

At-large council members

  • Randy Horiuchi
  • Jenny Wilson
  • Jim Bradley

District council members

  • Joe Hatch — 1st district
  • Michael Jensen — 2nd district (council chairman)
  • David Wilde — 3rd district
  • Mark Crockett — 4th district
  • Cortlund G. Ashton — 5th district
  • Marvin Hendrickson — 6th district


School districts in Salt Lake County include:

  • Salt Lake City School District — in the boundaries of Salt Lake City proper, about 24,000 students
  • Granite School District — broad district sprawling across South Salt Lake and many other municipalities, about 70,000 students
  • Murray School District — centered around Murray about 6,000 students
  • Jordan School District — large district in south and western Salt Lake County, about 73,000 students, largest district in the state


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,092 km˛ (808 mi˛). 1,910 km˛ (737 mi˛) of it is land and 182 km˛ (70 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 8.72% water.

Geographic Features

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 snow in the region is often coined the "Best Snow on Earth" for its soft, powdery texture, and led to Salt Lake City winning the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics. In Salt Lake County there are four ski resorts; Snowbird, Solitude, Alta, and Brighton. Hiking and camping are especially popular summer activities. Marking the western portion of the county are the Oquirrh Mountains. These two mountain ranges together delimit Salt Lake Valley, which is also flanked on the northwest by the Great Salt Lake.

All of the entrances to the valley are narrow. These include Parley's Canyon and Emigration Canyon leading into Summit County to the northeast, the space between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake leading into Davis County to the north, the "Point of the Mountain" leading to Utah County to the south, and a space between the Oqiurrh Mountains and the Great Salt Lake leading to Tooele County to the northwest. On the north and east benches, the houses sometimes climb as far as halfway up the mountain, and new communities are also being constructed on the steeper southern and western slopes.


The Salt Lake Valley receives on average approximately 15 in (38 cm) of precipitation, usually with more on the east side and less on the west side, as most storms come from the Pacific Ocean. Up to 20 in (50 cm) is received on the benches. The valley receives 55 in (140 cm) or more of snow a year, with up to 75 in (190 cm) received on the benches. Most precipitation is received in Spring. The summer is dry, with the majority of precipitation arriving from the monsoon that rises from the south. Short, quick, intense, and dry thunderstorms are usually associated with the monsoon. Most of the snow falls from late November through March, although late October and April snowfall are fairly common.

The mountains receive up to 500 in (1,270 cm) of light, dry, fluffy snow and up to 55 in (140 cm) of precipitation annually. The dry snow is often considered good for skiing, contributing to the four ski resorts in the county. Snow usually falls between September and May, and the mountains are snow-covered all year except late summer and early autumn.


U.S. 89 runs most of the length of the county, splitting off from I-15 near the border with Davis County to the north, and running southward to the 10600 South I-15 exit in Sandy, mostly as State Street. I-15 comes in from Davis County in the north and continues nearly straight south before entering Utah County at the "Point of the Mountain." I-80 enters from Tooele County to the west and, after passing Salt Lake City International Airport, briefly merges with I-15 before splitting east again and entering Summit County through Parley's Canyon. Emerging from the southern I-80/I-15 split is Utah State Route 201, also known locally as the 21st South Freeway. It runs west from the interchancge, marking the border between West Valley City and Salt Lake City before being downgraded to an expressway and passing through Magna, eventually terminating at I-80 near Tooele County. This provides an alternative to I-80 when needed. I-215 enters from Davis County paralleling I-15 and intersecting I-80 before curving east in the center of the county, intersecting I-15 in Murray and curving north, and paralleling the Wasatch Range before terminating at I-80 at the entrance to Parley's Canyon. This provides an alternate route to I-15 and I-80. Bangerter Highway is an expressway that begins at the airport and runs down the west side of the valley, ending at I-15 in Riverton.

There is also a light rail system, known as TRAX. It is operated by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and runs from the Delta Center in downtown Salt Lake City south to 10000 South in Sandy. There is also a line that runs east to the University of Utah. Several expansions to the suburbs and the airport are planned in the near future. UTA also operates bus routes to nearly every location in the valley and routes to the ski resorts in winter. The Legacy Highway is eventually planned to intersect with I-215 in the north of the county and continue south through the quickly-growing far western communities of the county, although how far in the future this may be is unknown.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 898,387 people, 295,141 households, and 213,977 families residing in the county. The population density is 470/km˛ (1,218/mi˛). There are 310,988 housing units at an average density of 163/km˛ (422/mi˛). The racial makeup of the county is 86.34% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 2.56% Asian, 1.23% Pacific Islander, 5.36% from other races, and 2.57% from two or more races. 11.89% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 295,141 households out of which 40.10% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% are married couples living together, 10.40% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% are non-families. 20.80% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.20% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.00 and the average family size is 3.53.

In the county, the population is spread out with 30.50% 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 29 years. For every 100 females there are 101.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 99.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $48,373, and the median income for a family is $54,470. Males have a median income of $36,953 versus $26,105 for females. The per capita income for the county is $20,190. 8.00% of the population and 5.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.00% of those under the age of 18 and 5.50% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Cities and towns

  • Alta
  • Bluffdale
  • Canyon Rim
  • Cottonwood Heights
  • Cottonwood West
  • Draper
  • East Millcreek
  • Granite
  • Herriman
  • Holladay
  • Kearns
  • Little Cottonwood Creek Valley
  • Magna
  • Midvale
  • Millcreek
  • Mount Olympus
  • Murray
  • Oquirrh
  • Riverton
  • Salt Lake City
  • Sandy
  • South Jordan
  • South Salt Lake
  • Taylorsville
  • West Jordan
  • West Valley City
  • White City

External links

  • Salt Lake County Online (http://www.slco.org/)
  • Photographic virtual tour of Salt Lake County (http://www.UntraveledRoad.com/USA/Utah/SaltLake.htm)
Regions of Utah
Great Salt Lake | Great Salt Lake Desert | Wasatch Front | Wasatch Range | Uinta Mountains
Largest Cities
Bountiful | Centerville | Cottonwood Heights | Draper | Kearns | Layton | Logan | Midvale | Murray | Ogden | Orem | Provo | Roy | Salt Lake City | Sandy | South Jordan | St. George | Taylorsville | West Jordan | West Valley City
Beaver | Box Elder | Cache | Carbon | Daggett | Davis | Duchesne | Emery | Garfield | Grand | Iron | Juab | Kane | Millard | Morgan | Piute | Rich | Salt Lake | San Juan | Sanpete | Sevier | Summit | Tooele | Uintah | Utah | Wasatch | Washington | Wayne | Weber

  Results from FactBites:
salt: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com (6818 words)
Since a salt may react with a solvent to yield different ions than were present in the salt (see hydrolysis), a solution of a normal salt may be acidic or basic; e.g., trisodium phosphate, Na, dissolves in and reacts with water to form a basic solution.
Salt was also given to the parents of the groom in marriage until the 8th century.
Salting the earth is the deliberate massive use of salt to render a soil unsuitable for cultivation and thus discourage habitation.
Slevin v. Salt Lake County Fair (2086 words)
Venue is proper in the Central Division of the United States District Court for the District of Utah because the misconduct of defendants occurred in Salt Lake County, State of Utah and in the Central Division of this Court.
SALT LAKE COUNTY is a body politic and corporate created by Utah statutes and governing the geographical area known as Salt Lake County, Utah.
The 1998 Salt Lake County Fair was staged by defendants August 17-22, 1998 at the Salt Lake County Fairgrounds, Murray, Utah.
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