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Nearly three-fourths of U.S. Mormons live in the West, and four in 10 live in Utah, according to new figures from the Pew Research Center.

Surveys done during the past two years found that 74 percent of Mormons live in the western U.S. states even though less that a quarter of the total U.S. population lives in the West.

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. Mormons live in Utah, where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered, the Pew Research Center survey found. Utah is home to 1 percent of the U.S. population.

LDS officials say there are 6.3 million church members in the U.S, less than half of the 14.7 million members worldwide.

Pew Research Center says about 2 percent of Americans self-identify as Mormons.

A previous poll by the organization found that the perception of Mormons in the U.S. changed little from 2011 to 2012 — even after the religion received unprecedented attention with Republican Mormon Mitt Romney running for president last year.

The poll of 1,500 people done in December found that 8 in 10 respondents said they learned little or nothing about the LDS Church during the 2012 presidential election. And fewer than half of Americans still don't know key facts about the faith's history.

There does, however, appear to be a warming in feelings toward Mormons, with the previous survey discovering that nearly a quarter of Americans now use positive terms to describe Latter-day Saints as "good people," "dedicated" and "hardworking," whereas last year it was 18 percent.

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