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Salt Lake City - Governor Jon Huntsman lauded the continued growth of Utah as the U.S. Census Bureau anticipated the arrival of the United States' 300 millionth resident.

"300 million Americans is an historic achievement for our country," said Governor Huntsman.

The Utah Population Estimates Committee (UPEC) reported that the State's population exceeded 2.5 million for the first time in 2005.

"Utah continues to be on the same strong growth track it has experienced for several years," said Robert Spendlove, Chair of the Population Estimates Committee. "We expect this level of growth to continue this year and into the future."

According to the Census Bureau, Utah's population growth is the fifth fastest in the nation. Utah's large population growth rate is due to its strong economy and its unique demographics. Utah's job growth is among the highest in the nation currently and the state's unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation. Additionally, compared to the rest of the nation, Utah has the highest fertility rate, lowest median age, highest household size, and third highest life expectancy.

UPEC's population estimates for 2005 are available on the DEA website and www.governor.utah.gov/dea. New estimates for the state will also be released next month at the same website.

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