By: Dr. Pamela Perlich, Ph.D.
The DemographyUTAH team estimates that the Utah population has reached 3,000,000 as of October 2015. As with all estimates, there is an element of uncertainty. Migration is always the wild card. If migration has been more rapid than estimated, we may have achieved this milestone in August. Conversely, if migration is less than estimated, the three million mark may not be reached until January of 2016.
Regardless of the exact date, Utah has been on an amazing population growth path that few could have imagined 65 years ago. Rewind to 1950 and Utah was, along with most intermountain states, a collection of geographically isolated communities with state populations of about half a million people (Colorado, on the other side of the divide with its eastward economic orientation is the exception). These were classic rural western economies, dependent upon agriculture, extractive industries, and federal military installations. Who could have imagined, that in the mere span of 65 years, Arizona would exceed 6 million, Colorado would reach 5 million, Utah would hit 3 million, while, Wyoming would just surpass half a million.