Salt Lake City (often shortened to Salt Lake and abbreviated as SLC) is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Utah, as well as the seat of Salt Lake County, the most populous county in Utah. With an estimated population of 200,567 in 2019, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,222,540 (2018 estimate). Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,606,548 (as of 2018 estimates). It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin.
Salt Lake City is the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The city was founded in 1847 by followers of the church, led by Brigham Young, who were seeking to escape persecution they had experienced while living farther east. The Mormon pioneers, as they would come to be known, entered an arid valley and immediately began building, planning, and extending an extensive irrigation network which could feed the population and foster future growth. Salt Lake City's street grid system is based on a standard compass grid plan, with the southeast corner of Temple Square (the area containing the Salt Lake Temple in downtown Salt Lake City) serving as the origin of the Salt Lake meridian.
Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was named Great Salt Lake City. In 1868, the 17th Utah Territorial Legislature dropped the word "Great" from the city's name.
Immigration of international members of the LDS 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. It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913.