Panel says Utah population tops 2.8 million

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2009 3:29 PM

The estimated number of people living in Utah has grown by more than 42,000 since July 2008.

The Utah Population Estimates Committee said Wednesday more than 2.8 million people now live in Utah. The figure was up by about 1.5 percent from 2008.

About 96 percent of the growth was driven by the number of children born in the state, which significantly outpaced deaths.

There were 54,548 births and 13,785 deaths for the period measured from July 2008 to July 2009, the committee said.

The net gain in terms of people moving to Utah from out of state was just 1,547 _ or 4 percent of the state's total population growth. Last year, 29 percent of the population growth involved people moving into Utah.

That slowing migration is a sign of the region's economic problems, officials said.

"Though net in-migration is much lower than in previous years, it is still positive, which suggests that Utah's economic opportunities are still better than in other states," Juliette Tennert, Utah's state demographer, said in a statement.

The counties with the fastest growth rates were Duchesne, Morgan, San Juan and Wasatch. All grew by 2.5 percent or more.

Washington County _ the state's fastest-growing county in 2005 _ was the second slowest in 2009, adding just 756 people for an increase of less than 1 percent.

Carbon County was the only county in the state to see a population decline.

Utah County added 11,810 people and Salt Lake County added 11,606.

The Utah Population Estimates Committee includes members of Gov. Gary Herbert's staff, state officials, university researchers and representatives from local governments.