In Memory of Sam
Two months ago I published a report on the status ofschools in Utah, and since that time I’ve encountered one thing after another in my quest to finalize the remainder of Utah’s Vital Stats Report.
It seemed whenever I began compiling all the data I had gathered for the past two years, ‘something else would come up’, preventing its completion. Because of a phone call from my mother, I’m putting a kibosh on that right here and now.
As I’ve stated many times before, my relationship with relatives in Utah is in a chronic state of strain. I typically only receive phone calls when someone has died, and a couple of weeks ago, it proved no different.
My cousin’s 21 year old wife (and mother of their 3 yr old son), went into her mother-in-law’s bedroom, closed the door, and killed herself with her son, and my other family members sitting in the next room. Sam died instantly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Monday, September 7, 2015 in Ogden, Utah. She was the second young person in my family to commit suicide within the past five years.
I realize the info is rather graphic, but this is the reality behind the numbers. I make a plea in each of my reports for people to stop for a moment to think upon the people, and not just the numbers. Stats are impossible to hold in your hands, and are usually forgotten by the end of our day. People aren’t.
The purpose of these reports is to bring more attention to Utah’s horrific vital stats. I pray they prompt people to ask why Utah, who’s at the center of America’s suicide belt, has held onto one of the highest suicide rates in the nation for decades now. I also hope people would wonder why Utah is at the center of the suicide belt. Is it a coincidence…?
As in my last report, I’m giving an A-Z list of the most notable vital stats in Utah. In no way am I publishing these things for a sensationalistic rating. I’m too old and tired for such frivolous nonsense! The notice I give to this subject stems from a very personal concern for my people there. I hope the reports give pause to anyone who might be thinking about joining their ranks.
For the record, I’m not convinced that Mormonism is the sole cause of the many problems Utah faces year in, and year out. I do believe, however, the inherent problems within the system lends itself to compounding the issues they face and it looks like I’m not alone in that theory.
BYU’s newspaper brought attention to the problem and reported stats that should turn the heads of those in Provo and SLC. Here in part is what the chairwoman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention had to say about why Utah has such a high suicide rate –
“… Utah’s strong religious focus can put a lot of expectations on youth and some of them worry about what happens if they mess up.
“People have this perfection standard,” Aiken said. “We’re not very tolerant, we’re not very accepting. Some of those kids who aren’t part of the predominant culture feel left out and not accepted.”
Whatever the cause, Utah is focusing on prevention programs in state communities and schools by targeting the issue of teen suicide and working to end the stigma associated with this type of death.”
Above all else, my message is about Christ Jesus and Him crucified. It’s only through the propitiation of His works we can approach the throne of grace and find mercy there. If they would turn to Jesus, whom they say they love, they’d find a wealth of healing, and not a dung pile of confusion they face each and every day.
Come alongside us at Life After in continued prayer for these dear people, that they may find the peace and forgiveness all Christians have in Him!
With Love in Christ;
Michelle Grim †
1 Cor. 1:18
Now onto the A-Z guide of Utah Vital Stats!
The two or so years that have passed since our last report ended up being a mixed bag of news. Some vital stats improved, while others went in the tank. For instance, I received the following notices telling me –
Utah had 5th highest rate of overdose deaths, 14th most injury related deaths
In September 2014…
‘Alternet’ reported Utah as the #1 happiest state in the entire nation in spite of dismal stats revealing a different story
But in March 2014…
Utah had lowest rate of alcohol deaths in 11 state 5 yr study
In Sept 2013
The Mormon health code put Utah was on a list of 25 happiest cities.
Most surprising stat…
The Mormon population in Utah grew around 10%. Not a lot you say? Think about this…
Less than five years ago the population of Mormon residents in Utah hovered between 59% – 60.2%. In July 2015 they’re claiming 68-69% of Utahans are LDS. Now, either Utah experienced an historically monumental feat, or they’re not telling the truth.
Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, the lives of 57,496,011 babies were stripped away from them…
That’s an average of more than 1.3 million per year. The US population would be 382 million instead of the estimated 325 million we have today.
As shocking as those numbers are, equally startling was a recent statement made by the director of Planned Parenthood to the Washington Times who commented the start of life isn’t really relevant to abortion discussions. How could it not be relevant? They do realize they’re stopping the life of a human being, right?
Here at Life After Ministries, we believe every person has a right to life, regardless of what society thinks. While Utah’s abortion rates are significantly lower than that of the nation’s, unfortunately, it’s still going on each and every day.
For every year Utah posted a vital stats report on abortion, the ‘reasons’ category documented no cases of incest/rape prompting the abortion. We found this to be telling in light of the reasons why people say they support it.
Utah, Mormonism in particular, has always been keen on having babies. The more babies, the better the chances you have at getting into heaven, and because of that mindset the state typically experiences a 2-3x higher average in natural increase than the nation.
While Utah noticed a slight decrease in 2013 for the number of kids born from 2012, the number of kids born to unwed mothers increased. The decrease was short-lived, as the 2014 stats show, they again had an increase from the previous year.
To see birth data prior to 2011 see our Vital Stats Report here.
Speaking of kids…
KIDS Count, aka The Annie E. Casey Foundation, publishes a yearly report on the overall well-being of kids in each state. Using a 16 point system to rank each state, they use stats from schools, health care systems, economic conditions, and the juvenile justice system, to name a few.
Overall, Utah came in 11th place in spite of worsening, or unchanged conditions in 9 of the 16 categories.
Child abuse, in all forms, is 100% preventable, yet it’s still a pervasive problem in societies worldwide, and one from which Utah isn’t exempt. According to a news station in Utah, KSL, ‘per capita, Utah has the highest number of young people in the country’.
According to CPS, the number of reported child maltreatment cases have dropped 13% from 2010 to 2013. However, after looking at their tables, the numbers don’t add up. Stats from their own report in other places show that 1 out of 4 girls are still being sexually abused, and 1 out of 6 boys are as well. If Utah’s abuse rate went down that far, it’d mean only 1.04% of kids in Utah are being abused in some form or fashion.
Furthermore, their report also states a child is abused or neglected every 50 minutes in Utah, making the report kind of odd…
Making the above stats even more suspicious are other reports from official Utah governmental agencies that provide stats negating the claims above.
In 2013, 7 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. (Child Welfare League of America)
On the other end of the spectrum, another organization, Darkness to Light (D2L)reports that 1 in 7 females are sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday, along with 1 in 25 males before their 18th birthday.
Everyone is in agreement that roughly 60% of the victims keep silent and never tell anyone.
DHS (Department of Health Services) reported (pp. 12-13) in the past 5 years the use of Utah’s domestic violence shelters have increased by 41.1%, and the unmet needs of shelters increased by a whopping 67%. Additionally, they also gave the following stats –
“There are at least three domestic violence-related suicides every month in Utah (Utah Violent Death Reporting System). Since 2000, domestic violence-related homicides accounted for 39.9% of all adult homicides in Utah (DOH/VIPP).”
With numbers like this, it’s difficult to believe that child abuse rates dropped by 13% since 2010.
The NCA (National Children’s Alliance) reported there were 315,606 cases of child abuse in the US in 2014, with sexual abuse topping the list of aggressions. This is equivalent to 65% of child abuse cases.
In Utah there were 5,711 cases for 2014 and of those, sexual abuse was at the top of the list as well with 3,672 cases, or 65%.
Divorce & Marriage Data
In the land of ‘families are forever’ it’s odd Utah’s divorce rate is the same as the rest of the nation.
Domestic Violence Data
Two of the best places to retrieve yearly data on domestic violence and child abuse are from ‘No More Secrets’, and the BCI Report ‘Crime in Utah’. Each portal provides comprehensive reports on violence in Utah, as well as contact info for those who are in need of help.
We’ve extracted a partial list from their reports for 2011 to 2013. If you’d like further information, click on the appropriate link below.
14,782 offenses committed by family members in 2013
18.9% of females reported IPV (intimate partner violence) in the past 12 months. This is up 4.7% from 2008.
Included in that tally were 16 murders of innocent victims, of which 25% were children. (See page 4 of report noted above)
The number of rapes decreased in 2012
20.59% of homicides were domestic violence related
51 Homicides, 14 domestic violence related
1 Rape every 9.55 hours
15,541 offenses committed by family members in 2012. The following are some of the crimes committed: (See p. 4 of report listed above)
22 DV Murders, 6 were children
1,246 sex crimes
20 cases of incest
Note: Data on p. iii contradicts p. 4 mentioned above. Data on p. iii shows 29 DV related deaths for 2012
1 rape every 9.07 hours
43 Total Homicides
11 – domestic violence related, page 35 says 11 family/page 33 says 7, not 11
5 under the age of 15
14,704 offenses committed by family members
Bureau Crime Index for Utah
One rape every 10.05 hours in Utah
52 homicides –
26 domestic violence related
There were two very different reports on the number of homicides in Utah for 2014, both reports listed varying numbers on victims of domestic violence deaths.
For 2014 the SL Tribune reported 47 people were murdered, and the Deseret News reported 64. Links for both articles are provided.
Drug Overdose & Alcohol Abuse Data
Utah has chronically rated higher than the US in drug overdose deaths. The earliest data reports available stretch back to 1999, and if the numbers represented anything else, Utah would outperform its competitors by leaps and bounds.
The latest data available from 2013 didn’t reveal any significant decline in the trend, indicating there’s still a huge problem in the land of Zion.
While they tout impressive stats of having one of the lowest rates of alcohol deaths in the nation, the ugly underbelly of Utah doesn’t carry a smelly odor like booze can.
Their addiction and death rates stink far worse than any fifth of Jack Daniels could ever produce. This addiction is hidden and carried around in the pockets of far too many in Utah, with most of the addicts being of the male persuasion.
‘Utah’s pill related deaths has increased by 400%’, according to a report by Lisa Ling with CNN who cited the state ranks 8th in the nation for the number of prescription drug overdoses.
While there was a marked decline in the number of deaths in 2007, since that time there’s been a gradual incline back to where they were beforehand.
The number five was popular for Utah in recent years. In addition to being one of five states with the lowest rate of alcohol deaths, they also ranked fifth in the nation for states with the highest bankruptcy rates in 2014.
Not to be outdone by others in the US economy, they also enjoyed fifth place in the nation for the lowest unemployment rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Leaving the 5th place spot, we found that Herriman, UT was the 3rd youngest city in the US for 2014. The median age for the town was all of 19.4 yrs, which trailed eight years behind Kiryas, NY, and only four months behind Lakewood, NJ.
And finally, Utah made 1st place for something other than having more Mormons than anyone else in the nation. In 2013 they ranked #1 for being the youngest state in the nation with a median age of 30.2 years young.
We’re hoping there’s enough young people to pay for the large baby boomer population there, as well as pulling the state of out 51st place for school expenditures.
An article from Fox News filed the following report on murder-suicides. Here in part is the startling news they brought to light;
“… statistics from the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition show murder-suicides are more common than people realize.
Adult homicides make up 42 percent of domestic violence cases in Utah since 2000, experts say. The national average is 30 percent.
Each month at least one woman is murdered by her intimate partner in Utah…
According to Utah Department of Health numbers there are three domestic violence related suicides each month.
State numbers also show roughly 80 children every year witness their mother’s murder or attempted murder.”
Mental Health Data
Utah is among five states in the US with the highest rate of SMI (Serious Mental Illness). The other four states are West Virginia, Washington, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Mormon Population & Utah Population
In July 2015 LDS.org reported that approximately 68% of Utah’s population was Mormon which is a substantial increase from previous years. In our last report from 2012, we noted the Mormon population in Utah hovered around 59 – 60%.
According to their site 2,000,554 Mormons now live in Utah.
The numbers they’re touting aren’t matching up with what the Salt Lake Tribsaid just seven months prior to their announcement –
“…Utah overall saw its share of Mormon adherents tick upward for the fourth straight year, reaching 62.64 percent.” – November 30, 2014
We’ll explore this in the upcoming months, but it seems extraordinary Utah has experienced such a large, sudden influx of Mormons amongst themselves when just last year their numbers didn’t reflect any such thing.
Utah fell from a lofty 1st place for highest rate per capita of paid porn viewing in 2009, to the more ‘respectable’ status of 40th in the nation. We’re not listing the data here, nor are we giving the website info for obvious reasons.
We find the drop a refreshing step in the right direction, but it seems odd in light of the other stat we came across. A report from the USOE (Utah State Board of Education) stated one of the biggest problems they face each year are teachers watching online porn while at work.
Prison Population & Expenditures Data
‘De facto mental institutions‘ is what one Utah sheriff called prisons, and Utah’s penitentiary is no exception to that rule. The majority of prisoners around the nation have some sort of mental illness left unattended.
The problems with Utah’s penitentiary are many, and it begins with funding, just as many of the other prisons do.
Utah spends around $29,000 per prisoner each year. Comparatively speaking, they’re spending 3-4x more on felons every year than they are on each student in their public schools. Their numbers remain unchanged from the last time we filed our report.
From 2009-2014 Utah was in the top ten of prison growth in the nation. In the last decade it grew 22%.
31% of Utah prisoners are incarcerated for sex crimes which is far higher than the national average of 7.1%.
Rape Rate Data
In an article from Herald Extra on rape they reported 1 in 3 women in Utah say ‘they’ve been a victim of a sex related crime’. However, only 1 in 8 ever officially report the crime based on shame and fear. According to the report they said BYU and UVU both sustain the 1 in 3 figures as well, placing Utah with higher than the national average of 1 in 4.
Uniform Crime Reports data page also stated the rape rate in Utah has been consistently higher than the U.S. rate. In 2012, Utah’s reported rape rate was significantly higher than the U.S. rate (68.1 and 52.9 per 100,000 females).
The two charts below show how Utah ranks with other states in the nation. In each report I show comparisons of Utah against states located in each corner of the nation, and as you’ll see, the outcome isn’t all that great for Utah, who is now 69% LDS. We have to ask why their rape rates are higher than the national average if so many Mormons are living there?
In addition to comparing Utah with the bordering states, we also look at the rape rate of the Intermountain West, to compare with the national average. As you can see in the stats below for the eight states comprising the region, all but Wyoming carry higher rape rates than the US.
School Population & Expenditures
For detailed info on schools in Utah, see our report published earlier this year on Vital Stats of Utah Schools.
Utah’s school expenditure per pupil is buried in the shadow of its per prisoner expenditure, which hasn’t changed in more than a decade.
Gone are the days when Utah averaged only 306 suicides a year. (See data report for Utah suicides from 1980-2012)
Utah’s IBIS (Indicator-Based Information System) noted the number of Utah suicides soared to the shocking average of 538 per year from 2011-2013.
We’re praying that as the numbers continue to rise, they hit a ceiling that won’t compare with surrounding states in America’s Suicide Belt like Colorado who saw over 1,000 suicides in 2014, and ranked 7th in the nation.
As I stated at the beginning of this report, I collect articles on Utah data between the posting of each report and the sheer number of reports out there is staggering, not to mention contradictory in many cases. The numbers we’ve posted here are from the latest data from each info portal, so the numbers won’t necessarily agree with all newspaper reports you may come across.
Year by year suicide rates climb, making the numbers impossible for the human mind to absorb. What stood out for me personally this time around was reading about the number of children who decided to take their own lives. The subject of suicide always brings a halt to any conversation in the room, but when you throw kids into the mix it takes it to another level altogether.
The following chart gives some perspective on what’s really going on in Utah.
2011-2013 Suicide Stats
With all the data we have here, we’re praying that above all else people will stop to think about the facts, and then decide what to do with the information.
If you’re LDS, ask yourself why these stats aren’t reflective of what the Church tries to portray.
If you’re Christian, utilize them as a witnessing tool for those caught in the snares of Satan’s lies!