February 24, 2011 | The Salt Lake Tribune | Original Article

Utah’s Latino population up 78%, ‘10 Census shows

Long-awaited Utah results from the 2010 Census show that growth among Latinos here exploded by 78 percent in the past decade, West Jordan officially became the state’s fourth largest city, and Salt Lake County topped 1 million residents.

Also, one out of every four new Utahns during the past decade was a minority. That also means that one of every five Utahns now is a minority.

The Census Bureau has been releasing detailed data for a few states each week in preparation for lawmakers drawing new political district boundaries, and Thursday was Utah’s turn.

Perhaps the most dramatic number is that the number of Latinos in the Beehive State swelled by 156,781 people between 2000 and 2010.

University of Utah research economist Pam Perlich said data also show that three of every 10 new Utahns in the last decade were Latino, and four of every 10 were minorities.

Meanwhile, West Jordan grew by a whopping 35,376 residents during the decade, and jumped from the seventh largest city in Utah to No. 4 . Its population is now 103,712.

It is behind Salt Lake City at 186,440; West Valley City at 129,480; and Provo at 112,480.

Cities that made the top 20 largest for the first time include Lehi, now 13th largest at 47,407 (up 28,379 residents); Spanish Fork at No. 19 with 34,691 (up 14,445); and Pleasant Grove at No. 20 with 33,509 (up 10,041).

Dropping out of the top 20 were Midvale, Clearfield and Tooele.

The data also show that Salt Lake County topped 1 million residents. To be exact, its population is 1,029,655 — and it added 131,268 residents in the decade. Utah County had the largest growth in the decade, adding 148,028 residents for a total population of 516,564.

The Census Bureau previously announced that Utah’s total population in 2010 was 2,763,885, up 23.8 percent over the past decade. That made Utah the third-fastest growing among the states.

Utah’s population increased by 530,716 people since the 2000 Census.


“Utah’s population increased by 145 people each day during the decade,” state demographer Juliette Tennert said.

Perlich said about 70 percent of Utah’s growth during the decade came from “natural increase,” thanks to Utah’s highest-in-the-nation birthrate. She said the other 30 percent came from in-migration from other states and nations, mostly during the early part of the decade when Utah’s economy was booming and people came seeking jobs.

The numbers released Thursday were specifically to help lawmakers draw new political boundaries. However, lawmakers say they don’t plan to work on redistricting until after the current session of the Legislature.

“It starts in April and will go all summer long,” Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said about planned hearings and efforts to redraw boundaries. Because of growth, Utah has earned a fourth U.S. House seat — and lawmakers must decide how to split the state among four districts instead of three.