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State of Utah
Flag of Utah State seal of Utah
Flag of Utah Seal
Nickname(s): Beehive State
Motto(s): Industry
Map of the United States with Utah highlighted
Official language English
Capital Salt Lake City
Largest city Salt Lake City
Area Ranked 13th
 - Total 84,876 sq mi
(219,887 km2)
 - Width 270 miles (435 km)
 - Length 350 miles (565 km)
 - % water 3.25
 - Latitude 37°N to 42°N
 - Longitude 109°W to 114°W
Number of people Ranked 35th
 - Total 2,763,885[1]
 - Density 33.6/sq mi  (12.6/km2)
Ranked 43rd
 - Average income $50,614 (11th)
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Kings Peak[2]
13,528 ft (4,126 m)
 - Average 6,100 ft  (1,860 m)
 - Lowest point Beaverdam Wash[2]
2,000 ft (610 m)
Became part of the U.S. January 4, 1896 (45th)
Governor Gary R. Herbert (R)
U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R)
Mike Lee (R)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Abbreviations UT, US-UT

Utah is a state in the west United States. The capital and largest city is Salt Lake City.


Utah is bordered by Idaho and Wyoming in the north and Colorado in the east. It touches a single point of New Mexico to the southeast at Four Corners. Utah is bordered by Arizona in the south, and by Nevada in the west. It covers an area of 84,899 square miles (219,887 km²).

An arche Arches National Park, Utah

Utah is mostly rocky with three distinct geological regions: the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau. Utah is a great geographical tourism place. 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.


Utah has a dry, semi-arid to climate, although its many mountains has large, wide, differences of climates, with the highest points in the Uinta Mountains being above the . The dry weather from the state lying mostly in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada in California. The eastern half of the state is in the rain shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. The primary source of rain for the state is the Pacific Ocean, with the state normally lying in the path of large Pacific storms from mid-October through April, although northern Utah often sees these large storms earlier and later. In summer, the state, normally southern and eastern Utah, is in the path of monsoon from the Gulf of California. Most of the lowland areas get less than 12 inches (300 mm) of rain a year. The Great Salt Lake Desert is the driest area of the state, with less than 5 inches (125 mm). Snowfall is common in all but the far southern valleys. Although St. George only gets about 3 inches (7.5 cm) per year, Salt Lake City sees about 60 inches (150 cm), enhanced by the lake-effect snow from the Great Salt Lake, which increases snowfall totals to the south, southeast, and east of the lake. Some areas of the Wasatch Range in the path of the lake-effect get up to 700 inches (1,770 cm) per year. The dry, fluffy, snow led Utah's ski industry to get the slogan "the Greatest Snow on Earth" in the 1980s. In the winter, temperature are a phenomenon across Utah's low basins and valleys, leading to thick humidity and fog that can sometimes last for weeks at a time, normally in the Uintah Basin.


The center of population of Utah is in Utah County in the city of "Lehi."[3] As of July 1, 2008 the Census Bureau believes Utah has a population of 2,736,424.[4] In 2008, the US Census Bureau determined Utah to be the fastest growing state in the country in terms of population growth.[5]

Much of the population lives in cities and towns along the Wasatch Front, a 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 right now the second-fastest growing in the country after the Las Vegas metropolitan area, while the Heber metropolitan area is also the second-fastest growing in the country (right in front of Palm Coast, Florida).


The University of Utah says that the gross state product of Utah in 2005 was $92 billion, or 0.74% of the total United States GDP of $12.4 trillion for the same year. The per capital personal income was $24,977 in 2005. Major companies of Utah are: mining, cattle ranching, salt production, and government services.

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

Age and Gender

Utah has a high total birth rate, and the youngest population of any U.S. state. It is also one of the few non-Southern states that has more males than females.

In 2000, the gender percents of Utah were estimated as:

  • 49.9 percent female
  • 50.1 percent male


Most of the state's people are members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", commonly referred to as the Mormons or the LDS Church. As of 2007, members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" are 60.7 percent of everyone in the state..[6] Mormons are now not as common in Salt Lake City, while rural areas are normally almost all Mormon. Though the LDS Church has a policy of in regards to political parties,[7] the church's doctrine has a strong connection with politics. In the past, many of Utah's lawmakers have been church members; the effect has contributed to the state's towards alcohol (sales and content) and gambling. Another effect can be seen in Utah's high birth rate (25 percent higher than the national normal; the highest for a state in the U.S.). The Mormons in Utah normally have conservative views when it comes to most political and most voter-age Utahns do not belong to a political party (60%) but vote almost all Republican. John McCain got 62.5% of the vote in the 2008 Presidential Election while 70.9% of people of Utah chose George W. Bush in 2004.

Popular towns and cities

Salt Lake City

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 southwestern Utah, locally known as "Dixie", with nearly 150,000 people who live there.

According to the 2000 Census, Utah was the fourth fastest growing state (at 29.6 percent) in the United States between 1990 and 2000. St. George, in the southwest, is the second-fastest growing area in the United States, right behind Greeley, Colorado.

The state's two fastest growing counties are: "Summit" (at 91.6 percent; ranking it 8th in the country) and "Washington" (at 86.1 percent; ranking it 12th). The cities (defined as having at least 9,000 people living there in 2000) that saw the greatest increases between 1990 and 2000 were: "Draper" (248 percent), "South Jordan" (141 percent), "Lehi" (125 percent), "Riverton" (122 percent), and "Syracuse" (102 percent). Between 1990 and 2000 the five fastest-growing cities of any size were "Cedar Hills" (302 percent), "Draper" (248 percent), "Woodland Hills" (213 percent), "Ivins" (173 percent), and "South Jordan" (141 percent). The U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the five fastest-growing cities of any size between 2000 and 2008 were "Saratoga Springs" (1,501%), "Herriman" (1,061%), "Eagle Mountain" (934%), "Cedar Hills" (209%), and "Lehi" (146%).

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