Southern Utah mirrors state’s rising trend in population growth

St. George City as seen from the Dixie Rock/Sugarloaf formation at Pioneer Park, St. George, Utah, July 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A new set of data released by the United States Census Bureau revealed Utah continues to be among the highest in population growth in the nation.

Graphic showing Utah as the fastest growing state in the country from July 2015 to July 2016 | Image courtesy of the United States Census Bureau, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge.

The newly released numbers show population data between July 2015 and July 2016. During that time Utah’s population crested the 3 million mark. It was the only state to grow at a rate of more than 2 percent.

The St. George metropolitan area was ranked as the sixth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country at a rate of 3.08 percent.

The Provo-Orem area also ranked in the top 10 at No. 7 with 2.3 percent growth.

Southern Utah counties including Beaver, Iron, Washington, Kane and San Juan all saw positive growth, while Garfield’s population stayed about the same.

In a sign of Southern Utah’s trending growth, San Juan County came in as the nation’s fastest growing county at a growth rate of 7.56 percent, adding nearly 1,200 new residents to put its population at 16,895.

Chart showing the fastest growing counties in the country from July 2015 to July 2016 includes three Utah counties | Image courtesy of the United States Census Bureau, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge.

Outside migration accounted for the vast majority of the county’s growth, which houses such outdoor attractions as Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Canyonlands National Park and the newly established Bears Ears National Monument.

Two other Utah counties – Wasatch and Juab – were included in the nation’s top 10 growing counties.

The rapid growth in Utah stands in contrast to the nation as a whole. The United States’ overall growth was 0.7 percent, among its lowest rate in nearly a century.

Even with the state’s trending growth, several counties saw negative growth. Most significantly, Uintah County’s population decreased by 3.7 percent, losing approximately 1,400 residents.

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