Child Abuse in Utah


"[T]he state of Utah, which is predominately Mormon, has a higher than the national average of...child abuse...."
- Facts: Mormons Wont Tell You When They Call at Your Door, MacGregor Ministries

"[Utah] has one of the highest per capita rates of child abuse in the nation."
- Larry Hall, Stop Hurting My Children!, Sword of the Spirit Apologetics

"Social statistics from Utah, for example, show that places where Mormonism is strongest have higher rates of...child abuse...than the nation as a whole."
- James R. Spencer, Why I Love Mormons, but not Mormonism, Take a Stand! Ministries

"[T]he rates of child Utah are above the United States average...."
- Richard Lloyd Measures, Holy Hooks

"According to that state's Department of Vital Statistics, it ranks 13th nationally in child abuse...."
- Mark A. Taylor, Sin & Death in Mormon Country: A Latter-day Tragedy, Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons

"Child abuse is consistently higher in Utah than in the nation as a whole."
- Child Abuse in Mormonism,

" always in the top 3 in the USA in...child abuse cases."
- Neal Humphrey, A Salt Lake City Ex-Mormon Presbyterian Minister's Take On LDS Growth, Latter-day Lampoon

"The frequency of child Utah is also extremely high."

Is Utah's rate higher than the national average?

Utah's rate is actually fairly close to the national average--a little higher in some years, a little lower in others.

Figure 1 shows the child abuse rates for Utah and the United States. Rates are the number of victims of substantiated abuse per 1,000 residents under age 18. In each year shown, Utah's rate is within 13% of the national average.

Figure 1. Child abuse rates for the United States and Utah, 1992-1998.

How does Utah's rate compare to the rest of the country?

Table 1 shows how Utah's rate compares to the rest of the states. A rank of 1 indicates the highest rate. The number following the rank indicates the number of states for which data is available in that year.

Table 1. State child abuse rates for the United States and Utah, and Utah's rank, 1996-2001.
Year High Average Low Utah Rank
1996 40.9 AK 14.0 1.6 ND 12.6 29/48
1997 47.9 AK 12.8 2.0 PA 13.6 20/44
1998 37.1 AK 12.9 1.9 PA 11.4 26/50
2000 36.6 AK 11.9 1.7 PA 12.1 21/48
2001 84.1 AK 12.4 1.7 PA 14.0 16/50


All data is from the tables entitled "Child Abuse and Neglect Cases Reported and Investigated by State" in Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1995-2003. The Statistical Abstract did not report figures for 1999.

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