ST. GEORGE — Utah ranks as the fastest growing state in the nation at a rate of growth that is over twice the national average, according to U.S. Census data released earlier this month. Iron and Washington counties also saw populations increases over the last decade.
Utah saw a growth rate of 18.4% since 2010, which equates to a population gain of over 507,700 people putting the state’s overall population at 3.27 million. In contrast, the United States had an overall growth rate of 7.4% from 2010. As for the growth in Utah, 35% came from people moving into the state while 65% was due to internal increase (births).
The under-18 population grew by nearly 9% in Utah even as the share of children in the U.S. declined because of falling birth rates and aging baby boomers.
This growth rate has been declining over the last two decades, however. Utah had a growth rate of 30% in the 1990s and 24% during the 2000s, according to the census.
Nationally, a drop was also recorded in people who identified as white. This fell from 64% in 2010 to 58% in 2020. In Utah, that number went from 86% white to 78%. Individuals with Hispanic or Latino backgrounds make up Utah’s largest minority at 14.4% of the population,
Iron and Washington counties
Both Iron and Washington counties saw growth rates above that of the state level at 24.1% and 30.5% respectively since 2010. Iron County’s 2020 population is reported to be 57,289 from 46,163, while Washington County’s 2020 population stands at 180,279 from 138,115.
Both county estimates are roughly 3,000 more people than originally estimated in the census’ 2019 numbers.
Both counties remain predominantly White, with Iron County at 86% and Washington County at 84%. Mirroring the state, those of Hispanic or Latino backgrounds make up the majority of the minority population at 9% and 11% for Iron and Washington counties respectively.
Utah’s household median income was recorded at $71,621. Iron and Washington counties come in below the state average. Iron County’s median household income is $51,807 while Washington County’s is $59,839
Individuals listed as experiencing poverty Utah are listed at 8.9% of the general population. Iron County’s poverty levels are listed at 13.1%, while Washington County is listed at 9.5%.
Utah’s growth, which has helped power the state’s economy, increased tourism and expanded its middle class, has also had some negative side effects, such as skyrocketing housing prices that have largely outstripped income growth. While the number of places to live grew faster than the rest of the country with a 17.5% growth in housing units, it didn’t grow as quickly as the population, which grew by 18.4% over the last 10 years.
According to the census, the median value of a home in Utah is $279,100. Average rates for monthly mortgage is $1,551 while rent comes in at $1,017. In Iron County, the median cost for a home is considered to be $213,600, with a monthly mortgage of around $1,200 and rent coming in at $813. Washington County’s median house value is $283,800, with a mortgage averaging nearly $1,500 and rent mirroring the state average at $1,015.
Some city 2020 census highlights
Highlights of population changes in Iron County’s two largest cities and Washington County’s three largest cites are featured below. While four of the cities exceeded the census’ 2019 growth projections, Washington City came in at roughly 1,100 below the 29,174 projection with a population of nearly 28,000 recorded for 2020. Despite this, Washington City grew the fastest out of the five cities at 49.2% over the last 10 years, followed closely by Hurricane at 45.7%.
- Cedar City’s population grew by 22.1% percent from 28,857 in 2010 to 35,235 in 2020.
- Average median income stands at $48,346. Poverty levels in the city are listed at 20.3%
- The median cost for a home in Cedar City is $215,900 with and average mortgage at $1,250 and rent at nearly $800.
- Enoch’s population grew by 27% from 5,803 to 7,374 over the last 10 years.
- Average median income stands at $61,857. Poverty levels in the city are listed at 9.5%
- The median cost for a home in Enoch is $208,700 with and average mortgage at $1,172 and rent at nearly $1,000.
- St. George’s population grew by 30.7% from 71,807 to 95,342 over the last 10 years.
- Average median income stands at $58,259. Poverty levels in the city are listed at 13%
- The median cost for a home in St. George is $286,000 with and average mortgage at $1,517 and rent at nearly $1,000.
- Washington City’s population grew by 49.2% from 18,771 to 27,993 over the last 10 years.
- Average median income stands at $66,479. Poverty levels in the city are listed at 9.3%
- The median cost for a home in Washington City is $291,900 with and average mortgage at $1,637 and rent at around $1,170.
- Hurricane’s population grew by 45.7% from 13,748 to 20,036 over the last 10 years.
- Average median income stands at $55,190. Poverty levels in the city are listed at 12.4%
- The median cost for a home in Hurricane is $238,800 with and average mortgage at $1,314 and rent at nearly $1,000.
What the census data is used for
Data gathered by the census once every 10 years is used to help redraw legislative, congressional and school board district boundaries in a process called redistricting. In some cases this also leads to the enlargement or shrinking of districts in geographical size, as well as the or creation of new districts and offices to represent the people within them.
While Utah did not grow enough to gain another seat in congress, within the state, places like Utah and Washington counties, which have seen a high level of growth since 2010, are seen as areas that will likely pick up seats in the Utah Legislature once the redistricting process is finalized near the end of the year.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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