61,242 People Moved To Utah Last Year. Want To Know Where?
It doesn't take much more than a cursory glance around the area to see we're getting more and more neighbors. Information from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah indicates that Utah's population increased by 61,242 from 2021 to 2022. That translates to a 1.8% increase in Utah's population year over year.
So where are all those people landing? Your first response might be to say “my neighborhood!” as your streets become a little more congested. But, both in terms of actual numbers and percentage of growth, the increases are, by in large, spread through out the state.
According to the report, 28 of Utah's 29 counties saw population growth in 2022, and of those 28 all the growth was led by net migration, or by more people moving in to the county as opposed to natural increase, where the population increases by childbirth. There was one of the 28 counties, however, migration was not the leading factor and I'll mention that later.
Before going further here are some terms to understand. Net migration is the figure achieved by subtracting out migration (people moving from an area) from in migration (the number of people moving in). Natural Increase is the number arrived at by subtracting the amount of annual deaths from the number of annual births in a geographic area.
In terms of a percentage of growth for a county, it was once again Iron County leading the way for the second straight year. Iron County saw a 4.3% population jump from 2021 to 2022. That number was actually of a little from the year before when the county saw a 6.2% increase.
Juab, Kane, Rich, Sanpete, Utah, and Wasatch counties all had over 3% growth year over year, and when we look and the actual number of population growth, the Utah County number becomes even more impressive.
In looking at the number of new people living in a county, people still seem to want to head to Happy Valley. Year over year, Utah County saw a population growth of 23,980 persons, and most of that came through net migration. That was well ahead of Salt Lake County which had a population increase of 9,998 persons. Davis County was next with an increase of 5,708 persons. Then came Washington County with a population increase of 4,276. Weber and Iron Counties both saw growth of more than 2,000 persons.
An interesting note about Salt Lake County, it was the only county in the state where less than 50% of the growth came from migration. In fact, migration only accounted for about a third of the growth in that county.
Dagget County was the only county to see a population decrease year over year.
The report also broke down the state by regions, and it was interesting to me that while the Greater Salt Lake Economic Region, or what we sometimes call the Wasatch Front, still had by far the biggest population. The second biggest population center, however, is right here in the Southwest Economic Region.
One thing's for sure, there are no signs on the horizon saying this is going to slow down in the immediate future, so this might be a good time to go next door and meet your new neighbors.
A "CIVILLE" MATTER
I guess I have a little “ville” envy. I always thought it was cool when someone told me they were from somewhereville. There's just something about the “ville” part that, to my mind, adds a real sense of belonging.
And in Utah, we have several “villes” to choose from. You've got Wellsville and Millville up in Cache County, Honeyville in Box Elder County. Weber County contributes Harrisville to the list. In Davis County you've got your Centerville and Kaysville. Springville is in Utah County.
More in our part of the state, Garfield County is the home to Cannonville and Henrievill. Hanksville is out there in eastern part of the state. Toquerville is the contribution of Washington County, and of course we can't forget Kanarraville here in Iron County.
Even Salt Lake County gets in the “ville��� act with Taylorsville.
But the “ville” champion of the state appears to be Beaver County, the home of Adamsville, Greenville, and Minersville.
I like “ville” places. These generally smaller, close-knit communities may not offer the bustling city life, but they have their own set of distinctive charms and advantages that make them special.
The cool thing about being from a ville town is the strong sense of community. In these tight-knit communities, everyone knows one another, and there's a genuine feeling of belonging. It's not uncommon to have close relationships with neighbors, local business owners, and even community leaders. This sense of familiarity and connection creates a supportive and comforting atmosphere where people look out for each other.
Another cool aspect of being from a "ville" town is the simplicity of life. Life moves at a different pace. There's a slower rhythm, allowing residents to appreciate life's small pleasures – a leisurely stroll in the park, impromptu gatherings at the local diner, or starlit nights spent chatting with friends.
The peaceful atmosphere in ville towns is another remarkable aspect. Life tends to be less hectic and more relaxed compared to the hustle and bustle of the city. There's a tranquility in these communities that can be soothing and conducive to a slower, more contemplative lifestyle.
Unique traditions and local events also stand out in ville towns. From quirky parades (think sheep) to time-honored festivals, these communities have a way of celebrating their identity in ways that are cherished by residents. These traditions create lasting memories and a sense of pride in being a part of the community.
The cool thing about being from a ville town lies in the tight bonds of community, the peaceful environment, access to nature, unique local traditions, and the more affordable cost of living. These factors combine to create a special way of life that many cherish and wouldn't trade for the world. Ville towns may not be for everyone, but for those who call them home, the experience is nothing short of extraordinary.
So, while I'm not suggesting a name change, it wouldn't bother me at all if someone said, “oh, you must be from Cedar Cityville.”
Classic Halloween TV Episodes
Gallery Credit: Corey Irwin