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3 Utah cities tops in US population growth

Posted at 10:30 AM, Mar 24, 2022

ST. GEORGE, Utah — New data shows three Utah cities among the Top 10 areas in the U.S. with the largest growth rate.

The report released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau is topped by St. George with 5.1% growth recorded between July 2020 and July 2021. A few steps below finds Provo-Orem in 8th, followed by Logan in 10th.

Utah fell just short of Florida, which placed four areas on the Top 10 list.

According to the census bureau, St. George grew by 10,000 people during the 10 year period, with a population of 191,226 at the mid-year point of 2021.

On the list of counties with the largest numeric population growth, Utah County was listed 10th overall with an increase of 21,843 residents.

The data is part of a report showing the majority of the country experienced a natural decrease in population in 2021. More than 73% of U.S. counties experienced natural decrease last year, up from 55.5% a year earlier.

Natural decrease "occurs when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given time period," the report explains. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the increased mortality rate in 2021, while fewer births and an aging population helped boost the natural decrease numbers.

Along with the three Utah cities listed in the Top 10, more than 250 metro areas in the U.S. showed population gains between 2020 and 2021, while cities such as San Francisco-Oakland and Chicago posted sharp declines.

TOP 10 U.S. CITIES IN PERCENT GROWTH (2020-2021)

  1. ST. GEORGE (5.1%)
  2. Coeur d'Alene, ID
  3. Myrtle Beach, SC
  4. Punta Gorda, FL
  5. The Villages, FL
  6. Boise, ID
  7. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
  8. PROVO-OREM (3.3%)
  9. Fort Myers, FL
  10. LOGAN (2.9%)

The chart below shows America's 25 biggest cities measured as combined statistical areas (CSAs). CSAs look at cities as regions with residents connected by commuting patterns around a central urban core.

Salt Lake City’s CSA stretches across the Wasatch Front, Summit, Wasatch and Tooele Counties. It’s 2.74 million residents make it the America’s 22nd biggest city, and only Phoenix is growing faster among the Top 25.