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Salt Lake City, Utah - Utah's population reached 2,547,389 persons in 2005, according to the Utah Population Estimates Committee. This is an increase of 78,159 persons (approximately the population of Ogden, Utah), or 3.2%, over the 2004 estimate of 2,469,230. The population increase is the largest in Utah's history, and the growth rate is the largest since 1992.

 

Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. noted that the new estimates are consistent with Utah's strong competitive position in the nation. "These numbers are indicative of what we all know. Utah is a growing, vibrant, and dynamic state." Utah continues to rank as one of the fastest growing states in the country.

 

Utah's growth in 2005 continued the trend of strong births (50,431) and deaths (12,919). The resulting natural increase was 37,512, which is the number of births minus deaths. For the first time since 1997, Utah did not see record births, and for the first time since 1989, Utah did not see births surpass the previous year's amount. This may be an indication that Utah's 25 year baby boom has peaked.

 

The Population Estimates Committee also estimated the net in-migration to Utah to be 40,647 in 2005, another new record for the state. The number of immigrants to Utah more than doubled the amount estimated in 2004. Robert Spendlove, the Chair of the Utah Population Estimates Committee, commenting on the high in-migration estimate for Utah said, "While the magnitude of the increase was unexpected, it is consistent with many of the other economic and demographic indicators we are seeing in the state." Utah continues to rank as one of the fastest growing states in the nation in employment growth. The state has also seen dramatic increases in residential construction, while housing prices in the state remain below national averages, making the state an attractive alternative to more expensive locations in other parts of the country.

 

The most rapid regional growth rates were felt by those counties within or adjacent to the Wasatch Front and in the southwest corner of the state. The populations in Washington, Iron, Wasatch, Utah, and Tooele counties are all expanding rapidly. These counties are in close proximity to urban services, but still provide many of the desirable characteristics found in a suburban setting.

 

The southwestern counties of Washington and Iron, where the urban cities of St. George and Cedar City are located, experienced rapid growth in 2005. These are considered high amenity counties, offering a diversity of educational, tourism, retirement, and economic opportunities for local residents. Both Washington and Iron counties experienced population growth over twice the state rate in 2005.

 

Washington County once again maintained its title as the fastest growing county in the state, with a growth rate of 8.4% in 2005. This growth rate brings the county back to the rates that were recorded in the early part of the 1990s.

 

The highest rates of population growth during 2005 were experienced by the following counties:

 

Washington 8.4%
Iron 6.4%
Wasatch 4.3%
Utah 4.2%
Tooele 4.1%
Davis 3.5%
Summit 3.4%
Cache 3.4%
Morgan 3.2%
Kane 2.6%

 

While the overall state population and the population of many counties in the state increased in 2005, several counties experienced population loss in the year. Counties that lost population in 2005 include Emery, Carbon, Rich, and Wayne.

 

The Utah Population Estimates Committee is a statutory committee charged with preparing the official population estimates for the State of Utah. The Committee's primary data sources are vital statistics (from birth and death certificates), school enrollment, LDS membership, residential building permits, and income tax returns. When preparing the estimates, the Committee also considers job growth and utility connections. Committee membership includes representatives from key data providers and others knowledgeable in the methods used to prepare population estimates, along with people from academic institutions, and the public and private sectors. The Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget staffs the Committee.

 

Tables Figures

 

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