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Utah Colleges

Utah Colleges


Utah is the state that most of us know as the desert with the salt lake and the Mormon settlers.  There is much more to the state today.   Salt Lake City is the capital and largest city. As of 2005, the state’s population was just over two and a half million.  It was the fourth-fastest growing state in the country between 1990 and 2000.


Interestingly, about 80% of Utah's population, or just over 2,000,000, live along the Wasatch Front. The Wasatch Front is 120 miles long, and an average of 5 miles wide.  It is a continuous urban area in Utah, encompassing three U.S. Census defined metropolitan areas. The most northern one is the Ogden-Clearfield with a population of about 470,000. In the center sits the Salt Lake City metro area at one million. The southern end is made up of the Provo-Orem at just over 400,000.


As of 2005, all three together have a population a little over two million residents Utah's population is highly concentrated and is the seventh most urbanized in the U.S. 88% of the population lives in what the Census Bureau defines as urban. This in a state that has always had the public image of a sparsely populated desert area, although vast expanses of the state are still relatively uninhabited.


Utah has been a mining state for over one hundred years.  Oil production has become important to the economy in the last several decades.  The state’s agricultural production is dominated by livestock, due to the arid nature of the state’s climate.  Tourism is an increasingly important business that has gotten a big boost by the development of important skiing resorts in the Utah mountains.  Matched with the summer tourists driving through the spectacular scenery, the winter sports make Utah a four-season tourist state.


The state is second to none, however, in recruiting research facilities, biotech and electronics firms and telecommunications businesses.  Sixty percent of the state’s populace are Mormon by faith; it is fair to say that the Mormon Church has always been led by businesslike, professional elders.  The state’s approach to governance reflects that same dedication to professionalism, efficiency and pragmatism.  The result has been a remarkable growth rate.


That growth rate has also diversified the ethnic mix.  Nearly twenty percent of the state’s residents are Hispanic.  There is a significant Pacific Islander population of Tongans, Samoans and others – many of whom are members of the LDS Church.  Salt Lake has had some difficulty with urban decay, as the flight to the suburbs was particularly pronounced in Utah with the development of reasonably priced houses in new neighborhoods.  The city is undergoing a number of successful revitalizations in selected neighborhoods, with the return of young urban dwellers who see opportunity in the older housing stock and cheap storefronts.


Utah’s growth rate is base on quality industries entering the state.  It is small, at two and a half million residents and doing your research once you’re on the ground will be a manageable task.  A successful, diverse economy assembled in such a seemingly spectacular but unforgiving environment is indeed a place worth exploring.

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