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Utah’s ‘unique’ growth leads rest of U.S., post recession

Utah's population growth surges

UTAH — Since last decade’s economic recession, new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Utah’s population has grown faster than all 49 other states.  In the last year, the Beehive State’s unique growth, which includes considerations of new births versus deaths, increased at the highest rate in the nation.

Research from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute cites a strong job market, low unemployment and policies that welcome refugees as reasons for the swell of new faces here.  Utah has a current unemployment rate of 3.2 percent, compared to 3.7 nationally.  According to the institute’s research, foreigners have been recruited to faculty positions at state colleges, helping forge tighter global connections.

The Beehive State has added approximately 400,000 new residents since 2010, an increase of 14.4 percent, in part fueled by the state’s young, growing families.  Census data shows Utah’s growth is part of an overall population expansion across the Intermountain West, with neighboring states Nevada and Idaho also seeing a spike in population, mostly as a result of newcomers moving from other states.

Despite these growth numbers, Utah’s population remains relatively small.  Since 2010, Texas has grown by more people than the total population of Utah – 3.2 million.  The Lone Star State has a total population of more than 28 million.  The District of Columbia claims the highest growth rate in the nation, at 16 percent, to 700,000 residents.