This thesis explores the unique history and geography of Polynesians within Utah. In particular, the historic and current migrations of Hawaiians, Samoans, and Tongans to Utah are examined, and the 1980 and 1990 distributions of Polynesians are mapped and analyzed at three scales: in the United States by state, in Utah by county, and in Salt Lake City by census tract.
Historically, Polynesia's relationship with Utah has been religious, specifically of conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints followed by migration to Utah. Today, however, things are changing. Nevertheless, Polynesians continue to migrate to Utah primarily for family, religion, education, and employment.
Currently (1990), Utah ranks third in the continental United States with 7,181 Polynesians. Per capita, however, Utah ranks first with about 1 Polynesian per 250 persons. Furthermore, of the continental states with relatively large Polynesian populations (California, Washington, Utah, and Texas), Utah ranks second with over 70 percent growth in its Polynesian population from 1980 to 1990. Indeed, although different Polynesian ethnic groups tend to settle in different areas of Utah, Salt Lake City remains the locus of Polynesian immigration to Utah, particularly for Tongans.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Geography
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Frazier, Adam M., "The Geography of Polynesians in Utah" (1997). Theses and Dissertations. 4695.
Polynesians, Utah, History, Iosepa Colony