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 SLC. Salt Lake City has a population of 180,651 as of 2007. The Salt Lake City metropolitan area spans Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties, and has a total estimated population of 1,099,973. Salt Lake City is further situated in a larger urban area known as the Wasatch Front and is part of the Salt Lake City-Ogden-Clearfield CSA that has an estimated population of 1,686,703. The total estimated population of the Wasatch Front is approximately 2,150,000.
The city was founded in 1847 as Great Salt Lake City by a group of Mormon pioneers led by their prophet, Brigham Young, who fled hostility and violence in the Midwestern United States. They extensively irrigated and cultivated the arid valley and faced persecution from the U.S. government for their practice of polygamy, which was abandoned in 1890. Today, Salt Lake City is still home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church). Mining booms and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city was nicknamed the Crossroads of the West. Salt Lake City has since developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based primarily on skiing. Salt Lake City was host to the 2002 Winter Olympics and is the industrial banking center of the United States.