New Data on Utah and Bankruptcies: Tithing Linked to Lower Risk

A new study shows that Utah’s relatively high rate of bankruptcy isn’t directly tied to the LDS faith. In fact, non-Mormons in Utah are somewhat more likely than Mormons to go bankrupt, and those who pay tithing are about 1/3 as likely to file bankruptcy. The key factor in the high bankruptcy rate may be the large family size that is typical in Utah. More children means more financial stress. This could be a cultural and not purely religious factor, since both Mormon and non-Mormon families in Utah tend to have large families- it’s a family oriented state. In any case, having 50% more children per adult than the national average clearly leads to financial stress and higher bankruptcies. But there’s a positive side to this: “nationally, households with children are 300 percent more likely to file for bankruptcy than households without children. But in Utah, that percentage dropped to 191 percent.” So even though having kids puts you at financial risk, the risk may be lower than normal in Utah.

My experience in working with many people in the Church confirms one thing: to reduce financial trouble in your life, pay tithing. Even without the divine blessings that definitely occur in some cases, the discipline that tithing imposes really helps many people manage their finances better. And if you can learn to pay 10% as tithing, in many cases you should also be able to make the sacrifices needed to also put away at least 10% as savings.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

3 thoughts on “New Data on Utah and Bankruptcies: Tithing Linked to Lower Risk

  1. Statistics are easy to manipulate. It’s easy to mix up people who live in Utah with people who are Mormon. That’s why when people want statistical dirt on Mormons, they often take statistics from Utah.

  2. 85% of all statistics about Utah are manipulated, and most of the other 35% are improperly calculated.

  3. My brother-in-law represents the state in bankrupcy matters in Utah. According to him, and he should know, the Utah numbers are way inflated because the paperwork system is so slow that the same people have to refile and refile.

    How this works is that the bankrupcy only covers those bills since the date of initial filing. So, it the entire process takes 3-4 months, then businesses and families end up refiling several times to cover their morgage payments over that time period.

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