State of Utah
Flag of Utah State seal of Utah
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Beehive State
Motto(s): Industry
Map of the United States with Utah highlighted
Official language English
Demonym Utahn or Utahan
Capital
(and largest city)
Salt Lake City
Largest metro Salt Lake City
Area Ranked 13th
 - Total 84,899 sq mi
(219,653 km2)
 - Width 270 miles (435 km)
 - Length 350 miles (560 km)
 - % water 3.25
 - Latitude 37° N to 42° N
 - Longitude 109° 3′ W to 114° 3′ W
Number of people Ranked 31st
 - Total 3,051,217 (2016 est)
 - Density 37.15/sq mi  (14.34/km2)
Ranked 41st
 - Average income $66,258 (11th)
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Kings Peak
13,518 ft (4,120.3 m)
 - Average 6,100 ft  (1,860 m)
 - Lowest point Beaver Dam Wash at Arizona border
2,180 ft (664.4 m)
Became part of the U.S. January 4, 1896 (45th)
Governor Gary Herbert (R)
U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R)
Mike Lee (R)
U.S. House delegation
  • 1: Rob Bishop (R)
  • 2: Chris Stewart (R)
  • 3: Jason Chaffetz (R)
  • 4: Mia Love (R) (list)
Time zone Mountain: UTC −7/−6
Abbreviations UT, Ut. US-UT
Website utah.gov
Utah State symbols
Flag of Utah.svg
The Flag of Utah.

Seal of Utah.svg
The Seal of Utah.

Animate insignia
Bird(s) California gull
Fish Bonneville cutthroat trout
Flower(s) Sego lily
Grass Indian ricegrass
Tree Quaking aspen

Inanimate insignia
Dance Square dance
Firearm Browning M1911
Fossil Allosaurus
Gemstone Topaz
Mineral Copper
Song(s) "Utah, This is the Place"
Tartan Utah State Centennial Tartan

Route marker(s)
Utah Route Marker

State Quarter
Quarter of Utah
Released in 2007

Lists of United States state insignia

Utah is a state in the western United States.

It became the 45th state admitted to the U.S. on January 4, 1896.

Utah has a population of more than 3 million (Census estimate for July 1, 2016), approximately 80% of whom live along the Wasatch Front, centering on the state capital Salt Lake City. Utah is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast.

Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS (Mormons), which greatly influences Utahn culture and daily life (although only 41.6% are active members of the faith). The LDS Church's world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City. Utah is the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church.

The state is a center of transportation, education, information technology and research, government services, mining, and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation.

Etymology

The name "Utah" is derived from the name of the Ute tribe. It means "people of the mountains" in the Ute language. According to other sources "Utah" is derived from the Apache name "Yudah" which means "Tall". In the Spanish language it was said as "Yuta", subsequently the English-speaking people adapted the word "Utah"

History

Pre-Columbian

Thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers, the Ancestral Puebloans and the Fremont people lived in what is now known as Utah. These Native American tribes are subgroups of the Ute-Aztec Native American ethnicity and were sedentary. The Ancestral Pueblo people built their homes through excavations in mountains, and the Fremont people built houses of straw before disappearing from the region around the 15th century.

California1838
Map showing Utah in 1838 when it was part of Mexico. From Britannica 7th edition.

Another group of Native Americans, the Navajo, settled in the region around the 18th century. In the mid-18th century, other Uto-Aztecan tribes, including the Goshute, the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Ute people, also settled in the region. These five groups were present when the first European explorers arrived.

Spanish exploration (1540)

The southern Utah region was explored by the Spanish in 1540, led by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, while looking for the legendary Cíbola. A group led by two Catholic priests—sometimes called the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition—left Santa Fe in 1776, hoping to find a route to the coast of California. The expedition traveled as far north as Utah Lake and encountered the native residents. The Spanish made further explorations in the region, but were not interested in colonizing the area because of its desert nature. In 1821, the year Mexico achieved its independence from Spain, the region became known as part of its territory of Alta California.

European trappers and fur traders explored some areas of Utah in the early 19th century from Canada and the United States. The city of Provo, Utah was named for one, Étienne Provost, who visited the area in 1825. The city of Ogden, Utah was named after Peter Skene Ogden, a Canadian explorer who traded furs in the Weber Valley.

In late 1824, Jim Bridger became the first known English-speaking person to sight the Great Salt Lake. Due to the high salinity of its waters, Bridger thought he had found the Pacific Ocean; he subsequently found that this body of water was a giant salt lake. After the discovery of the lake, hundreds of American and Canadian traders and trappers established trading posts in the region. In the 1830s, thousands of migrants traveling from the Eastern United States to the American West began to make stops in the region of the Great Salt Lake, then known as Lake Youta.

LDS settlement (1847)

BrighamYoung1
Brigham Young led the first Mormon pioneers to the Great Salt Lake

Following the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, Brigham Young as president of the Quorum of the Twelve became the effective leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. To address the growing conflicts between his people and their neighbors, Young agreed with Illinois Governor Thomas Ford in October 1845 that the Mormons would leave by the following year.

Brigham Young and the first band of Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Over the next 22 years, more than 70,000 pioneers crossed the plains and settled in Utah. For the first few years, Brigham Young and the thousands of early settlers of Salt Lake City struggled to survive. The arid desert land was deemed by the Mormons as desirable as a place where they could practice their religion without harassment.

The Mormon settlements provided pioneers for other settlements in the West. They developed irrigation to support fairly large pioneer populations along Utah's Wasatch front (Salt Lake City, Bountiful and Weber Valley, and Provo and Utah Valley). Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, Mormon pioneers established hundreds of other settlements in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, California, Canada, and Mexico – including in Las Vegas, Nevada; Franklin, Idaho (the first European settlement in Idaho); San Bernardino, California; Mesa, Arizona; Star Valley, Wyoming; and Carson Valley, Nevada.

Utah was Mexican territory when the first pioneers arrived in 1847. Early in the Mexican–American War in late 1846, the United States had taken control of New Mexico and California. The entire Southwest became U.S. territory upon the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848. The treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on March 11. Learning that California and New Mexico were applying for statehood, the settlers of the Utah area (originally having planned to petition for territorial status) applied for statehood with an ambitious plan for a State of Deseret.

Utah Territory (1850–1896)

Saltlakecity1850
Sketch of Salt Lake 1860
A sketch of Salt Lake City in 1860
Deseret Village
Deseret Village recreates pioneer life in Utah for tourists
East and West Shaking hands at the laying of last rail Union Pacific Railroad - Restoration
The Golden Spike where the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in the U.S. on May 10, 1869 in Promontory, Utah

The Utah Territory was much smaller than the proposed state of Deseret, but it still contained all of the present states of Nevada and Utah as well as pieces of modern Wyoming and Colorado. It was created with the Compromise of 1850, and Fillmore, named after President Millard Fillmore, was designated the capital. The territory was given the name Utah after the Ute tribe of Native Americans. Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as the territorial capital in 1856.

In September 1857, about 120 American settlers of the Baker–Fancher wagon train, en route to California from Arkansas, were murdered by Utah Territorial Militia and some Paiute Native Americans in the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Salt Lake City was the last link of the First Transcontinental Telegraph, completed in October 1861. Brigham Young was among the first to send a message, along with Abraham Lincoln and other officials.

Because of the American Civil War, federal troops were pulled out of Utah Territory in 1861. This was a boon to the local economy as the army sold everything in camp for pennies on the dollar before marching back east to join the war. The territory was then left in LDS hands until Patrick E. Connor arrived with a regiment of California volunteers in 1862. Connor established Fort Douglas just 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Salt Lake City and encouraged his people to discover mineral deposits to bring more non-Mormons into the territory. Minerals were discovered in Tooele County and miners began to flock to the territory.

Beginning in 1865, Utah's Black Hawk War developed into the deadliest conflict in the territory's history. Chief Antonga Black Hawk died in 1870, but fights continued to break out until additional federal troops were sent in to suppress the Ghost Dance of 1872. The war is unique among Indian Wars because it was a three-way conflict, with mounted Timpanogos Utes led by Antonga Black Hawk fighting federal and LDS authorities.

On May 10, 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed at Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake. The railroad brought increasing numbers of people into the territory and several influential businesspeople made fortunes there.

Statehood was officially granted to Utah on January 4, 1896.

20th century

Children reading 1940
Children reading in Santa Clara, Utah, in 1940
Lawton Redman 2002 Winter Olympics b
Biathlon race at Soldier Hollow during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah

Beginning in the early 20th century, with the establishment of such national parks as Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, Utah became known for its natural beauty. Southern Utah became a popular filming spot for arid, rugged scenes featured in the popular mid-century western film genre. From such films, most US residents recognize such natural landmarks as Delicate Arch and "the Mittens" of Monument Valley. During the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, with the construction of the Interstate highway system, accessibility to the southern scenic areas was made easier.

Since the establishment of Alta Ski Area in 1939 and the subsequent development of several ski resorts in the state's mountains, Utah's skiing has become world-renowned. The dry, powdery snow of the Wasatch Range is considered some of the best skiing in the world (the state license plate claims "the Greatest Snow on Earth"). Salt Lake City won the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and this served as a great boost to the economy. The ski resorts have increased in popularity, and many of the Olympic venues built along the Wasatch Front continue to be used for sporting events. Preparation for the Olympics spurred the development of the light-rail system in the Salt Lake Valley, known as TRAX, and the re-construction of the freeway system around the city.

In 1957, Utah created the Utah State Parks Commission with four parks. Today, Utah State Parks manages 43 parks and several undeveloped areas totaling over 95,000 acres (380 km2) of land and more than 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) of water. Utah's state parks are scattered throughout Utah; from Bear Lake State Park at the Utah/Idaho border to Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum deep in the Four Corners region, and everywhere in between. Utah State Parks is also home to the state's off highway vehicle office, state boating office and the trails program.

During the late 20th century, the state grew quickly. In the 1970s growth was phenomenal in the suburbs of the Wasatch Front. Sandy was one of the fastest-growing cities in the country at that time. Today, many areas of Utah continue to see boom-time growth. Northern Davis, southern and western Salt Lake, Summit, eastern Tooele, Utah, Wasatch, and Washington counties are all growing very quickly. Management of transportation and urbanization are major issues in politics, as development consumes agricultural land and wilderness areas, with density of uses creating air pollution.

Geography

Delicatearch1
Delicate Arch, Arches National Park
LCLfallfoliage2005
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Deer Creek Reservoir
Deer Creek Reservoir
American Fork Canyon from Timpanogos Cave entrance
Landscape in American Fork Canyon
Utah Counties
Utah county boundaries

Utah is known for its natural diversity and is home to features ranging from arid deserts with sand dunes to thriving pine forests in mountain valleys. It is a rugged and geographically diverse state that is located at the convergence of three distinct geological regions: the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau.

Utah is one of the Four Corners states, and is bordered by Idaho in the north, Wyoming in the north and east; by Colorado in the east; at a single point by New Mexico to the southeast; by Arizona in the south; and by Nevada in the west. It covers an area of 84,899 sq mi (219,890 km2). The state is one of only three U.S. states (with Colorado and Wyoming) that have only lines of latitude and longitude for boundaries.

One of Utah's defining characteristics is the variety of its terrain. Running down the middle of the northern third of the state is the Wasatch Range, which rises to heights of almost 12,000 ft (3,700 m) above sea level. Utah is home to world-renowned ski resorts, made popular by the light, fluffy snow, and winter storms which regularly dump 1 to 3 feet of overnight snow accumulation. In the northeastern section of the state, running east to west, are the Uinta Mountains, which rise to heights of over 13,000 feet (4,000 m). The highest point in the state, Kings Peak, at 13,528 feet (4,123 m), lies within the Uinta Mountains.

At the western base of the Wasatch Range is the Wasatch Front, a series of valleys and basins that are home to the most populous parts of the state. It stretches approximately from Brigham City at the north end to Nephi at the south end. Approximately 75 percent of the population of the state live in this corridor, and population growth is rapid.

Western Utah is mostly arid desert with a basin and range topography. Small mountain ranges and rugged terrain punctuate the landscape. The Bonneville Salt Flats are an exception, being comparatively flat as a result of once forming the bed of ancient Lake Bonneville. Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, Sevier Lake, and Rush Lake are all remnants of this ancient freshwater lake, which once covered most of the eastern Great Basin. West of the Great Salt Lake, stretching to the Nevada border, lies the arid Great Salt Lake Desert. One exception to this aridity is Snake Valley, which is (relatively) lush due to large springs and wetlands fed from groundwater derived from snow melt in the Snake Range, Deep Creek Range, and other tall mountains to the west of Snake Valley. Great Basin National Park is just over the Nevada state line in the southern Snake Range. One of western Utah's most impressive, but least visited attractions is Notch Peak, the tallest limestone cliff in North America, located west of Delta.

Much of the scenic southern and southeastern landscape (specifically the Colorado Plateau region) is sandstone, specifically Kayenta sandstone and Navajo sandstone. The Colorado River and its tributaries wind their way through the sandstone, creating some of the world's most striking and wild terrain (the area around the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers was the last to be mapped in the lower 48 United States). Wind and rain have also sculpted the soft sandstone over millions of years. Canyons, gullies, arches, pinnacles, buttes, bluffs, and mesas are the common sight throughout south-central and southeast Utah.

This terrain is the central feature of protected state and federal parks such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion national parks, Cedar Breaks, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Hovenweep, and Natural Bridges national monuments, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (site of the popular tourist destination, Lake Powell), Dead Horse Point and Goblin Valley state parks, and Monument Valley. The Navajo Nation also extends into southeastern Utah. Southeastern Utah is also punctuated by the remote, but lofty La Sal, Abajo, and Henry mountain ranges.

Eastern (northern quarter) Utah is a high-elevation area covered mostly by plateaus and basins, particularly the Tavaputs Plateau and San Rafael Swell, which remain mostly inaccessible, and the Uinta Basin, where the majority of eastern Utah's population lives. Economies are dominated by mining, oil shale, oil, and natural gas-drilling, ranching, and recreation. Much of eastern Utah is part of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. The most popular destination within northeastern Utah is Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal.

Southwestern Utah is the lowest and hottest spot in Utah. It is known as Utah's Dixie because early settlers were able to grow some cotton there. Beaverdam Wash in far southwestern Utah is the lowest point in the state, at 2,000 feet (610 m). The northernmost portion of the Mojave Desert is also located in this area. Dixie is quickly becoming a popular recreational and retirement destination, and the population is growing rapidly. Although the Wasatch Mountains end at Mount Nebo near Nephi, a complex series of mountain ranges extends south from the southern end of the range down the spine of Utah. Just north of Dixie and east of Cedar City is the state's highest ski resort, Brian Head.

Like most of the western and southwestern states, the federal government owns much of the land in Utah. Over 70 percent of the land is either BLM land, Utah State Trustland, or U.S. National Forest, U.S. National Park, U.S. National Monument, National Recreation Area or U.S. Wilderness Area. Utah is the only state where every county contains some national forest.

Climate

Mojave2
Joshua trees, yucca plants, and jumping cholla cactus occupy the far southwest corner of the state in the Mojave Desert

Utah features a dry, semi-arid to desert climate, although its many mountains feature a large variety of climates, with the highest points in the Uinta Mountains being above the timberline. The dry weather is a result of the state's location in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada in California. The eastern half of the state lies in the rain shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. The primary source of precipitation for the state is the Pacific Ocean, with the state usually lying in the path of large Pacific storms from October to May. In summer, the state, especially southern and eastern Utah, lies in the path of monsoon moisture from the Gulf of California.

RoseParkStreets
Snow in Rose Park, Salt Lake City

Utah's temperatures are extreme, with cold temperatures in winter due to its elevation, and very hot summers statewide (with the exception of mountain areas and high mountain valleys). Utah is usually protected from major blasts of cold air by mountains lying north and east of the state, although major Arctic blasts can occasionally reach the state. Average January high temperatures range from around 30 °F (−1 °C) in some northern valleys to almost 55 °F (13 °C) in St. George.

Utah, like most of the western United States, has few days of thunderstorms. On average there are fewer than 40 days of thunderstorm activity during the year, although these storms can be briefly intense when they do occur. They are most likely to occur during monsoon season from about mid-July through mid-September, especially in southern and eastern Utah. Dry lightning strikes and the general dry weather often spark wildfires in summer, while intense thunderstorms can lead to flash flooding, especially in the rugged terrain of southern Utah. Although spring is the wettest season in northern Utah, late summer is the wettest period for much of the south and east of the state. Tornadoes are uncommon in Utah, with an average of two striking the state yearly, rarely higher than EF1 intensity.

Demographics

Utah Sign during RAAM 2015 by D Ramey Logan
Welcome to Utah Sign

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Utah was 2,995,919 on July 1, 2015.

The center of population of Utah is located in Utah County in the city of Lehi. Much of the population lives in cities and towns along the Wasatch Front, a metropolitan region that runs north–south with the Wasatch Mountains rising on the eastern side. Growth outside the Wasatch Front is also increasing. The St. George metropolitan area is currently the second fastest-growing in the country after the Las Vegas metropolitan area, while the Heber micropolitan area is also the second fastest-growing in the country (behind Palm Coast, Florida).

Utah contains 5 metropolitan areas (Logan, Ogden-Clearfield, Salt Lake City, Provo-Orem, and St. George), and 6 micropolitan areas (Brigham City, Heber, Vernal, Price, Richfield, and Cedar City).

Ancestry and race

At the 2010 Census, 81.4% of the population was non-Hispanic White, down from 91.2% in 1990, 1% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 1% non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native, 2% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.9% non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.8% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 13.0% of Utah's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (of any race).

The largest ancestry groups in the state are:

  • 26.0% English
  • 11.9% German
  • 11.8% Scandinavian (5.4% Danish, 4.0% Swedish, 2.4% Norwegian)
  • 9.0% Mexican
  • 6.6% American
  • 6.2% Irish
  • 4.6% Scottish
  • 2.7% Italian
  • 2.4% Dutch
  • 2.2% French
  • 2.2% Welsh
  • 1.4% Scotch Irish
  • 1.3% Swiss

Most Utahns are of Northern European descent. In 2011 one-third of Utah's workforce was reported to be bilingual, developed through a program of acquisition of second languages beginning in elementary school, and related to Mormonism's missionary goals for its young people.

Religion

Salt Lake LDS Temple
The LDS Salt Lake Temple, the primary attraction in the city's Temple Square
Holi Festival of Colors Utah, United States 2013
A Holi Festival called 'The Festival of Color' takes place each spring at the Hindu Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork.
First Presbyterian
First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City

A majority of the state's residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As of 2012, 62.2% of Utahns are counted as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons currently make up between 34%–41% of the population within Salt Lake City. However, many of the other major population centers such as Provo, Logan and St. George tend to be predominantly Mormon as well as many suburban and rural areas. The religious body with the largest number of congregations is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with 4,815 congregations).

According to a report produced by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life the self-identified religious affiliations of Utahns over the age of 18 as of 2008 are:

Margin of error +/− 6%

Languages

The official language in the state of Utah is English. Utah English is primarily a merger of Northern and Midland American dialects carried west by the Mormons, whose original New York dialect later incorporated features from southern Ohio and central Illinois. Conspicuous in Mormon speech in the central valley, although less frequent now in Salt Lake City, is a reversal of vowels, so that 'farm' and 'barn' sound like 'form' and 'born' and, conversely, 'form' and 'born' sound like 'farm' and 'barn'.

Economy

City Creek Center - Richards Street south entrance - 12 September 2012
The Wasatch Front region has seen large growth and development despite the economic downturn. Shown is the City Creek Center project, a development in downtown Salt Lake City with a price tag of $1.5–2.5 billion.
IM Flash exterior-11
One out of every 14 flash memory chips in the world is produced in Lehi, Utah.
Zion angels landing view
Zion National Park in southern Utah is one of five national parks in the state
Farms and ranches

In eastern Utah petroleum production is a major industry. Near Salt Lake City, petroleum refining is done by a number of oil companies. In central Utah, coal production accounts for much of the mining activity.

Tourism

Tourism is a major industry in Utah. With five national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion), Utah has the third most national parks of any state after Alaska and California. In addition, Utah features eight national monuments (Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Hovenweep, Natural Bridges, Bears Ears, Rainbow Bridge, and Timpanogos Cave), two national recreation areas (Flaming Gorge and Glen Canyon), seven national forests (Ashley, Caribou-Targhee, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-La Sal, Sawtooth, and Uinta-Wasatch-Cache), and numerous state parks and monuments.

The Moab area, in the southeastern part of the state, is known for its challenging mountain biking trails, including Slickrock. Moab also hosts the famous Moab Jeep Safari semiannually.

Utah has seen an increase in tourism since the 2002 Winter Olympics. Park City is home to the United States Ski Team. Utah's ski resorts are primarily located in northern Utah near Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, and Provo. Between 2007 and 2011 Deer Valley in Park City, has been ranked the top ski resort in North America in a survey organized by Ski Magazine.

In addition to having prime snow conditions and world-class amenities, Northern Utah's ski resorts are well liked among tourists for their convenience and proximity to a large city and international airport, as well as the close proximity to other ski resorts, allowing skiers the ability to ski at multiple locations in one day. The 2009 Ski Magazine reader survey concluded that six out of the top ten resorts deemed most "accessible" and six out of the top ten with the best snow conditions were located in Utah. In Southern Utah, Brian Head Ski Resort is located in the mountains near Cedar City. Former Olympic venues including Utah Olympic Park and Utah Olympic Oval are still in operation for training and competition and allows the public to participate in numerous activities including ski jumping, bobsleigh, and speed skating.

Utah features many cultural attractions such as Temple Square, the Sundance Film Festival, the Red Rock Film Festival, the DOCUTAH Film Festival, and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Temple Square is ranked as the 16th most visited tourist attraction in the United States by Forbes magazine, with over five million annual visitors.

Other attractions include Monument Valley, the Great Salt Lake, the Bonneville Salt Flats, and Lake Powell.

2005-12-27 GK USA BryceCanyon
Bryce Canyon National Park Amphitheater (winter view)

Mining

BinghamCanyon
Mining has been a large industry in Utah since it was first settled. The Bingham Canyon Mine in Salt Lake County is one of the largest open pit mines in the world.

Beginning in the late 19th century with the state's mining boom (including the Bingham Canyon Mine, among the world's largest open pit mines), companies attracted large numbers of immigrants with job opportunities. Since the days of the Utah Territory mining has played a major role in Utah's economy. Historical mining towns include Mercur in Tooele County, Silver Reef in Washington County, Eureka in Juab County, Park City in Summit County and numerous coal mining camps throughout Carbon County such as Castle Gate, Spring Canyon, and Hiawatha.

These settlements were characteristic of the boom and bust cycle that dominated mining towns of the American West. Park City, Utah, and Alta, Utah were a boom towns in the early twentieth centuries. Rich silver mines in the mountains adjacent to the towns led to many people flocking to the towns in search of wealth. During the early part of the Cold War era, uranium was mined in eastern Utah. Today mining activity still plays a major role in the state's economy. Minerals mined in Utah include copper, gold, silver, molybdenum, zinc, lead, and beryllium. Fossil fuels including coal, petroleum, and natural gas continue to play a large role in Utah's economy, especially in the eastern part of the state in counties such as Carbon, Emery, Grand, and Uintah.

Transportation

SLC airport, 2010
Salt Lake International Airport is the largest airport in Utah
Frontrunner north temple station
FrontRunner commuter rail serves cities from Ogden to Salt Lake City to Provo
Green line Trax at Gallivan Plaza
TRAX light rail serves Salt Lake County

TRAX, a light rail system in the Salt Lake Valley, consists of three lines.

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which operates TRAX, also operates a bus system that stretches across the Wasatch Front, west into Grantsville, and east into Park City.

In addition, UTA provides winter service to the ski resorts east of Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo. Several bus companies also provide access to the ski resorts in winter, and local bus companies also serve the cities of Cedar City, Logan, Park City, and St. George.

A commuter rail line known as FrontRunner, also operated by UTA, runs between Pleasant View and Provo via Salt Lake City. Amtrak's California Zephyr, with one train in each direction daily, runs east–west through Utah with stops in Green River, Helper, Provo, and Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City International Airport is the only international airport in the state and serves as one of the hubs for Delta Air Lines. The airport has consistently ranked first in on-time departures and had the fewest cancellations among U.S. airports.

Major cities and towns

Utah's population is concentrated in two areas, the Wasatch Front in the north-central part of the state, with a population of over 2 million; and Washington County, in southwestern Utah, locally known as "Dixie", with over 150,000 residents in the metropolitan area.

Utah
Rank
City Population
(2010)
within
city limits
Land
area
Population
density
(/mi2)
Population
density
(/km2)
County
1 Salt Lake City 186,440 109.1 sq mi (283 km2) 1,666.1 630 Salt Lake
2 West Valley City 129,480 35.4 sq mi (92 km2) 3,076.3 1236 Salt Lake
3 Provo 112,488 39.6 sq mi (103 km2) 2,653.2 1106 Utah County
4 West Jordan 103,712 30.9 sq mi (80 km2) 2,211.3 1143 Salt Lake
5 Orem 88,328 18.4 sq mi (48 km2) 4,572.6 1881 Utah County
6 Sandy 87,461 22.3 sq mi (58 km2) 3,960.5 1551 Salt Lake
7 Ogden 82,825 26.6 sq mi (69 km2) 2,899.2 1137 Weber
8 St. George 72,897 64.4 sq mi (167 km2) 771.2 385 Washington
9 Layton 67,311 20.7 sq mi (54 km2) 2,823.9 1153 Davis
10 Taylorsville 58,652 10.7 sq mi (28 km2) 5,376.1 2094 Salt Lake
Combined statistical area Population
(2010)
Salt Lake City-Ogden-Clearfield
comprises:
Salt Lake City and Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Areas and
Brigham City and Heber Micropolitan Areas (as listed below)
1,744,886
Utah
Rank
Metropolitan area Population
(2010)
Counties
1 Salt Lake City* 1,124,197 Salt Lake, Tooele, Summit
2 Ogden-Clearfield* 547,184 Weber, Davis, Morgan
3 Provo-Orem 526,810 Utah
4 St. George 138,115 Washington
5 Logan 125,442 Cache, Franklin (Idaho)
  • Until 2003, the Salt Lake City and Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan areas were considered as a single metropolitan area.
Utah
Rank
Micropolitan area Population
(2010)
1 Brigham City 49,015
2 Cedar City 44,540
3 Vernal 29,885
4 Heber 21,066
5 Price 19,549
6 Richfield 18,382

Branding

UtahLifeElevatedArch plate
The Delicate Arch Utah license plate with the "Life Elevated" state slogan

The state of Utah relies heavily on income from tourists and travelers visiting the state's parks and ski resorts, and thus the need to "brand" Utah and create an impression of the state throughout the world has led to several state slogans, the most famous of which being "The Greatest Snow on Earth", which has been in use in Utah officially since 1975 (although the slogan was in unofficial use as early as 1962) and now adorns nearly 50 percent of the state's license plates. In 2001, Utah Governor Mike Leavitt approved a new state slogan, "Utah! Where Ideas Connect", which lasted until March 10, 2006, when the Utah Travel Council and the office of Governor Jon Huntsman announced that "Life Elevated" would be the new state slogan.

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