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UTAH (/ˈjuːtɔː/ or /ˈjuːtɑː/ ( listen )) is a state in the western United States
United States
. It became the 45th state admitted to the U.S. on January 4, 1896. Utah
Utah
is the 13th-largest by area , 31st-most-populous , and 10th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States . Utah
Utah
has a population of more than 3 million (Census estimate for July 1, 2016), approximately 80% of whom live along the Wasatch Front , centering on the state capital Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
. Utah
Utah
is bordered by Colorado
Colorado
to the east, Wyoming
Wyoming
to the northeast, Idaho
Idaho
to the north, Arizona
Arizona
to the south, and Nevada
Nevada
to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico
New Mexico
in the southeast.

Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS ( Mormons ), which greatly influences Utahn culture and daily life (although only 41.6% are active members of the faith). The LDS Church's world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City. Utah
Utah
is the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church.

The state is a center of transportation, education, information technology and research, government services, mining, and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Utah
Utah
had the second fastest-growing population of any state. St. George was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States
United States
from 2000 to 2005. Utah
Utah
also has the 14th highest median average income and the least income inequality of any U.S. state . A 2012 Gallup national survey found Utah
Utah
overall to be the "best state to live in" based on 13 forward-looking measurements including various economic, lifestyle, and health-related outlook metrics.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Pre-Columbian * 2.2 Spanish exploration (1540) * 2.3 LDS settlement (1847) * 2.4 Utah Territory (1850–1896) * 2.5 20th century

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Climate

* 3.2 Wildlife

* 3.2.1 Mammals * 3.2.2 Birds * 3.2.3 Insects

* 3.3 Vegetation

* 4 Demographics

* 4.1 Health and fertility * 4.2 Ancestry and race * 4.3 Religion * 4.4 Languages * 4.5 Age and gender

* 5 Economy

* 5.1 Taxation * 5.2 Tourism
Tourism

* 5.3 Mining

* 5.3.1 Incidents

* 5.4 Energy

* 5.4.1 Potential to use renewable energy sources

* 6 Transportation

* 7 Law and government

* 7.1 Counties * 7.2 Women\'s rights * 7.3 Constitution * 7.4 Alcohol, tobacco and gambling laws * 7.5 Same-sex marriage * 7.6 Politics

* 8 Major cities and towns * 9 Colleges and universities * 10 Sports * 11 Branding

* 12 Entertainment

* 12.1 Books * 12.2 Film * 12.3 Television * 12.4 Music videos * 12.5 Video games

* 13 See also * 14 References * 15 Further reading

* 16 External links

* 16.1 General * 16.2 Government * 16.3 Military * 16.4 Maps and demographics * 16.5 Tourism
Tourism
and recreation * 16.6 Other

ETYMOLOGY

The name "Utah" is derived from the name of the Ute tribe . It means "people of the mountains" in the Ute language . According to other sources "Utah" is derived from the Apache name "Yudah" which means "Tall". In the Spanish language it was said as "Yuta", subsequently the English-speaking people adapted the word "Utah".

HISTORY

Main article: History of Utah

PRE-COLUMBIAN

Thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers, the Ancestral Puebloans and the Fremont people lived in what is now known as Utah. These Native American tribes are subgroups of the Ute-Aztec Native American ethnicity and were sedentary. The Ancestral Pueblo people built their homes through excavations in mountains, and the Fremont people built houses of straw before disappearing from the region around the 15th century. Map showing Utah
Utah
in 1838 when it was part of Mexico. From Britannica 7th edition.

Another group of Native Americans, the Navajo , settled in the region around the 18th century. In the mid-18th century, other Uto-Aztecan tribes, including the Goshute , the Paiute
Paiute
, the Shoshone , and the Ute people , also settled in the region. These five groups were present when the first European explorers arrived.

SPANISH EXPLORATION (1540)

The southern Utah
Utah
region was explored by the Spanish in 1540, led by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado , while looking for the legendary Cíbola . A group led by two Catholic priests—sometimes called the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition —left Santa Fe in 1776, hoping to find a route to the coast of California. The expedition traveled as far north as Utah Lake and encountered the native residents. The Spanish made further explorations in the region, but were not interested in colonizing the area because of its desert nature. In 1821, the year Mexico
Mexico
achieved its independence from Spain, the region became known as part of its territory of Alta California .

European trappers and fur traders explored some areas of Utah
Utah
in the early 19th century from Canada and the United States. The city of Provo, Utah was named for one, Étienne Provost , who visited the area in 1825. The city of Ogden, Utah was named after Peter Skene Ogden
Peter Skene Ogden
, a Canadian explorer who traded furs in the Weber Valley.

In late 1824, Jim Bridger
Jim Bridger
became the first known English-speaking person to sight the Great Salt Lake . Due to the high salinity of its waters, Bridger thought he had found the Pacific Ocean; he subsequently found that this body of water was a giant salt lake . After the discovery of the lake, hundreds of American and Canadian traders and trappers established trading posts in the region. In the 1830s, thousands of migrants traveling from the Eastern United States to the American West began to make stops in the region of the Great Salt Lake, then known as Lake Youta.

LDS SETTLEMENT (1847)

Brigham Young led the first Mormon pioneers to the Great Salt Lake

Following the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, Brigham Young as president of the Quorum of the Twelve became the effective leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois
Nauvoo, Illinois
. To address the growing conflicts between his people and their neighbors, Young agreed with Illinois
Illinois
Governor Thomas Ford in October 1845 that the Mormons would leave by the following year.

Brigham Young and the first band of Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Over the next 22 years, more than 70,000 pioneers crossed the plains and settled in Utah. For the first few years, Brigham Young and the thousands of early settlers of Salt Lake City struggled to survive. The arid desert land was deemed by the Mormons as desirable as a place where they could practice their religion without harassment.

The Mormon
Mormon
settlements provided pioneers for other settlements in the West. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
became the hub of a "far-flung commonwealth" of Mormon
Mormon
settlements. With new church converts coming from the East and around the world, Church leaders often assigned groups of church members as missionaries to establish other settlements throughout the West. They developed irrigation to support fairly large pioneer populations along Utah's Wasatch front (Salt Lake City, Bountiful and Weber Valley, and Provo and Utah
Utah
Valley). Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, Mormon pioneers established hundreds of other settlements in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, California, Canada, and Mexico
Mexico
– including in Las Vegas, Nevada
Nevada
; Franklin, Idaho
Idaho
(the first European settlement in Idaho); San Bernardino, California
California
; Mesa, Arizona
Arizona
; Star Valley, Wyoming
Wyoming
; and Carson Valley, Nevada
Nevada
.

Prominent settlements in Utah
Utah
included St. George , Logan , and Manti (where settlers completed the first three temples in Utah, each started after but finished many years before the larger and better known temple built in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
was completed in 1893), as well as Parowan, Cedar City, Bluff, Moab, Vernal, Fillmore (which served as the territorial capital between 1850 and 1856), Nephi, Levan, Spanish Fork, Springville, Provo Bench (now Orem), Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi, Sandy, Murray, Jordan, Centerville, Farmington, Huntsville, Kaysville, Grantsville, Tooele, Roy, Brigham City, and many other smaller towns and settlements. Young had an expansionist's view of the territory that he and the Mormon pioneers were settling, calling it Deseret – which according to the Book of Mormon was an ancient word for "honeybee". This is symbolized by the beehive on the Utah
Utah
flag, and the state's motto, "Industry".

Utah
Utah
was Mexican territory when the first pioneers arrived in 1847. Early in the Mexican–American War in late 1846, the United States had taken control of New Mexico
New Mexico
and California. The entire Southwest became U.S. territory upon the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo , February 2, 1848. The treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on March 11. Learning that California
California
and New Mexico were applying for statehood, the settlers of the Utah
Utah
area (originally having planned to petition for territorial status) applied for statehood with an ambitious plan for a State of Deseret .

UTAH TERRITORY (1850–1896)

Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
in 1850 A sketch of Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
in 1860 Deseret Village recreates pioneer life in Utah
Utah
for tourists The Golden Spike where the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in the U.S. on May 10, 1869 in Promontory, Utah

The Utah Territory was much smaller than the proposed state of Deseret, but it still contained all of the present states of Nevada and Utah
Utah
as well as pieces of modern Wyoming
Wyoming
and Colorado. It was created with the Compromise of 1850 , and Fillmore , named after President Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore
, was designated the capital. The territory was given the name Utah
Utah
after the Ute tribe of Native Americans. Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as the territorial capital in 1856.

Disputes between the Mormon
Mormon
inhabitants and the U.S. government intensified due to the practice of plural marriage , or polygamy , among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons were still pushing for the establishment of a State of Deseret with the new borders of the Utah
Utah
Territory. Most, if not all, of the members of the U.S. government opposed the polygamous practices of the Mormons.

Members of the LDS Church were viewed as un-American and rebellious when news of their polygamous practices spread. In 1857, particularly heinous accusations of abdication of government and general immorality were stated by former associate justice William W. Drummond, among others. The detailed reports of life in Utah
Utah
caused the administration of James Buchanan
James Buchanan
to send a secret military "expedition" to Utah. When the supposed rebellion should be quelled, Alfred Cumming would take the place of Brigham Young as territorial governor. The resulting conflict is known as the Utah War , nicknamed "Buchanan's Blunder" by the Mormon
Mormon
leaders.

In September 1857, about 120 American settlers of the Baker–Fancher wagon train, en route to California
California
from Arkansas, were murdered by Utah
Utah
Territorial Militia and some Paiute
Paiute
Native Americans
Americans
in the Mountain Meadows massacre .

Before troops led by Albert Sidney Johnston entered the territory, Brigham Young ordered all residents of Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
to evacuate southward to Utah Valley and sent out a force, known as the Nauvoo Legion , to delay the government's advance. Although wagons and supplies were burned, eventually the troops arrived in 1858, and Young surrendered official control to Cumming, although most subsequent commentators claim that Young retained true power in the territory. A steady stream of governors appointed by the president quit the position, often citing the traditions of their supposed territorial government. By agreement with Young, Johnston established Camp Floyd , 40 miles (60 km) away from Salt Lake City, to the southwest.

Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
was the last link of the First Transcontinental Telegraph , completed in October 1861. Brigham Young was among the first to send a message, along with Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
and other officials.

Because of the American Civil War , federal troops were pulled out of Utah Territory in 1861. This was a boon to the local economy as the army sold everything in camp for pennies on the dollar before marching back east to join the war. The territory was then left in LDS hands until Patrick E. Connor arrived with a regiment of California volunteers in 1862. Connor established Fort Douglas just 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
and encouraged his people to discover mineral deposits to bring more non- Mormons into the territory. Minerals were discovered in Tooele County and miners began to flock to the territory.

Beginning in 1865, Utah\'s Black Hawk War developed into the deadliest conflict in the territory's history. Chief Antonga Black Hawk died in 1870, but fights continued to break out until additional federal troops were sent in to suppress the Ghost Dance of 1872. The war is unique among Indian Wars because it was a three-way conflict, with mounted Timpanogos Utes led by Antonga Black Hawk fighting federal and LDS authorities.

On May 10, 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed at Promontory Summit , north of the Great Salt Lake . The railroad brought increasing numbers of people into the territory and several influential businesspeople made fortunes there.

During the 1870s and 1880s laws were passed to punish polygamists due, in part, to the stories coming forth regarding Utah. Notably, Ann Eliza Young—tenth wife to divorce Brigham Young, women's advocate, national lecturer and author of _Wife No. 19 or My Life of Bondage_ and Mr. and Mrs. Fanny Stenhouse, authors of _The Rocky Mountain Saints_ (T. B. H. Stenhouse, 1873) and _Tell It All: My Life in Mormonism_ (Fanny Stenhouse, 1875). Both of these women, Ann Eliza and Fanny, testify to the happiness of the very early Church members before polygamy began to be practiced. They independently published their books in 1875. These books and the lectures of Ann Eliza Young have been credited with the United States
United States
Congress passage of anti-polygamy laws by newspapers throughout the United States
United States
as recorded in "The Ann Eliza Young Vindicator", a pamphlet which detailed Ms Young's travels and warm reception throughout her lecture tour.

T. B. H. Stenhouse, former Utah
Utah
Mormon
Mormon
polygamist, Mormon
Mormon
missionary for thirteen years and a Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
newspaper owner, finally left Utah
Utah
and wrote _The Rocky Mountain Saints_. His book gives a witnessed account of his life in Utah, both the good and the bad. He finally left Utah
Utah
and Mormonism after financial ruin occurred when Brigham Young sent Stenhouse to relocate to Ogden, Utah, according to Stenhouse, to take over his thriving pro- Mormon
Mormon
_Salt Lake Telegraph_ newspaper. In addition to these testimonies, _The Confessions of John D. Lee_, written by John D. Lee—alleged "Scape goat" for the Mountain Meadow Massacre —also came out in 1877. The corroborative testimonies coming out of Utah
Utah
from Mormons and former Mormons influenced Congress and the people of the United States.

In the 1890 Manifesto , the LDS Church banned polygamy. When Utah applied for statehood again, it was accepted. One of the conditions for granting Utah
Utah
statehood was that a ban on polygamy be written into the state constitution. This was a condition required of other western states that were admitted into the Union later. Statehood was officially granted on January 4, 1896.

20TH CENTURY

Children reading in Santa Clara, Utah, in 1940

Beginning in the early 20th century, with the establishment of such national parks as Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park , Utah
Utah
became known for its natural beauty. Southern Utah
Utah
became a popular filming spot for arid, rugged scenes featured in the popular mid-century western film genre. From such films, most US residents recognize such natural landmarks as Delicate Arch and "the Mittens" of Monument Valley . During the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, with the construction of the Interstate highway system, accessibility to the southern scenic areas was made easier.

Since the establishment of Alta Ski Area in 1939 and the subsequent development of several ski resorts in the state's mountains, Utah's skiing has become world-renowned. The dry, powdery snow of the Wasatch Range is considered some of the best skiing in the world (the state license plate claims "the Greatest Snow on Earth"). Salt Lake City won the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games , and this served as a great boost to the economy. The ski resorts have increased in popularity, and many of the Olympic venues built along the Wasatch Front continue to be used for sporting events. Preparation for the Olympics spurred the development of the light-rail system in the Salt Lake Valley , known as TRAX , and the re-construction of the freeway system around the city.

In 1957, Utah
Utah
created the Utah State Parks Commission with four parks. Today, Utah State Parks manages 43 parks and several undeveloped areas totaling over 95,000 acres (380 km2) of land and more than 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) of water. Utah's state parks are scattered throughout Utah; from Bear Lake State Park at the Utah/Idaho border to Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum deep in the Four Corners region, and everywhere in between. Utah State Parks is also home to the state's off highway vehicle office, state boating office and the trails program.

During the late 20th century, the state grew quickly. In the 1970s growth was phenomenal in the suburbs of the Wasatch Front. Sandy was one of the fastest-growing cities in the country at that time. Today, many areas of Utah
Utah
continue to see boom-time growth. Northern Davis , southern and western Salt Lake , Summit , eastern Tooele , Utah
Utah
, Wasatch , and Washington counties are all growing very quickly. Management of transportation and urbanization are major issues in politics, as development consumes agricultural land and wilderness areas, with density of uses creating air pollution.

GEOGRAPHY

See also: List of canyons and gorges in Utah and List of Utah counties Delicate Arch , Arches National Park Pariette Wetlands, Utah. Little Cottonwood Canyon
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Deer Creek Reservoir Köppen climate types of Utah
Utah
Landscape in American Fork Canyon Utah
Utah
county boundaries

Utah
Utah
is known for its natural diversity and is home to features ranging from arid deserts with sand dunes to thriving pine forests in mountain valleys. It is a rugged and geographically diverse state that is at the convergence of three distinct geological regions: the Rocky Mountains , the Great Basin , and the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau .

Utah
Utah
is one of the Four Corners states, and is bordered by Idaho
Idaho
in the north, Wyoming
Wyoming
in the north and east; by Colorado
Colorado
in the east; at a single point by New Mexico
New Mexico
to the southeast; by Arizona
Arizona
in the south; and by Nevada
Nevada
in the west. It covers an area of 84,899 sq mi (219,890 km2). The state is one of only three U.S. states (with Colorado
Colorado
and Wyoming) that have only lines of latitude and longitude for boundaries.

One of Utah's defining characteristics is the variety of its terrain . Running down the middle of the state's northern third is the Wasatch Range , which rises to heights of almost 12,000 ft (3,700 m) above sea level. Utah
Utah
is home to world-renowned ski resorts , made popular by the light, fluffy snow, and winter storms which regularly dump 1 to 3 feet of overnight snow accumulation. In the state's northeastern section, running east to west, are the Uinta Mountains , which rise to heights of over 13,000 feet (4,000 m). The highest point in the state, Kings Peak , at 13,528 feet (4,123 m), lies within the Uinta Mountains.

At the western base of the Wasatch Range is the Wasatch Front , a series of valleys and basins that are home to the most populous parts of the state. It stretches approximately from Brigham City at the north end to Nephi at the south end. Approximately 75 percent of the state's population lives in this corridor, and population growth is rapid.

Western Utah
Utah
is mostly arid desert with a basin and range topography. Small mountain ranges and rugged terrain punctuate the landscape. The Bonneville Salt Flats are an exception, being comparatively flat as a result of once forming the bed of ancient Lake Bonneville
Lake Bonneville
. Great Salt Lake , Utah Lake , Sevier Lake , and Rush Lake are all remnants of this ancient freshwater lake, which once covered most of the eastern Great Basin . West of the Great Salt Lake , stretching to the Nevada border, lies the arid Great Salt Lake Desert . One exception to this aridity is Snake Valley , which is (relatively) lush due to large springs and wetlands fed from groundwater derived from snow melt in the Snake Range , Deep Creek Range , and other tall mountains to the west of Snake Valley. Great Basin National Park is just over the Nevada
Nevada
state line in the southern Snake Range. One of western Utah's most impressive, but least visited attractions is Notch Peak , the tallest limestone cliff in North America, located west of Delta .

Much of the scenic southern and southeastern landscape (specifically the Colorado
Colorado
Plateau region) is sandstone , specifically Kayenta sandstone and Navajo sandstone . The Colorado
Colorado
River and its tributaries wind their way through the sandstone, creating some of the world's most striking and wild terrain (the area around the confluence of the Colorado
Colorado
and Green Rivers was the last to be mapped in the lower 48 United States). Wind and rain have also sculpted the soft sandstone over millions of years. Canyons, gullies, arches, pinnacles, buttes, bluffs, and mesas are the common sight throughout south-central and southeast Utah.

This terrain is the central feature of protected state and federal parks such as Arches , Bryce Canyon , Canyonlands , Capitol Reef , and Zion national parks, Cedar Breaks , Grand Staircase-Escalante , Hovenweep , and Natural Bridges national monuments, Glen Canyon National Recreation
Recreation
Area (site of the popular tourist destination, Lake Powell ), Dead Horse Point and Goblin Valley state parks, and Monument Valley . The Navajo Nation also extends into southeastern Utah. Southeastern Utah
Utah
is also punctuated by the remote, but lofty La Sal , Abajo , and Henry mountain ranges.

Eastern (northern quarter) Utah
Utah
is a high-elevation area covered mostly by plateaus and basins, particularly the Tavaputs Plateau and San Rafael Swell , which remain mostly inaccessible, and the Uinta Basin , where the majority of eastern Utah's population lives. Economies are dominated by mining, oil shale , oil , and natural gas-drilling, ranching , and recreation . Much of eastern Utah
Utah
is part of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation . The most popular destination within northeastern Utah
Utah
is Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal .

Southwestern Utah
Utah
is the lowest and hottest spot in Utah. It is known as Utah's Dixie because early settlers were able to grow some cotton there. Beaverdam Wash in far southwestern Utah
Utah
is the lowest point in the state, at 2,000 feet (610 m). The northernmost portion of the Mojave Desert is also located in this area. Dixie is quickly becoming a popular recreational and retirement destination, and the population is growing rapidly. Although the Wasatch Mountains end at Mount Nebo near Nephi , a complex series of mountain ranges extends south from the southern end of the range down the spine of Utah. Just north of Dixie and east of Cedar City is the state's highest ski resort, Brian Head .

Like most of the western and southwestern states, the federal government owns much of the land in Utah. Over 70 percent of the land is either BLM land , Utah
Utah
State Trustland, or U.S. National Forest , U.S. National Park , U.S. National Monument , National Recreation
Recreation
Area or U.S. Wilderness Area . Utah
Utah
is the only state where every county contains some national forest.

CLIMATE

Joshua trees, yucca plants, and jumping cholla cactus occupy the far southwest corner of the state in the Mojave Desert

Utah
Utah
features a dry, semi-arid to desert climate , although its many mountains feature a large variety of climates, with the highest points in the Uinta Mountains being above the timberline . The dry weather is a result of the state's location in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada
Nevada
in California. The eastern half of the state lies in the rain shadow of the Wasatch Mountains . The primary source of precipitation for the state is the Pacific Ocean, with the state usually lying in the path of large Pacific storms from October to May. In summer, the state, especially southern and eastern Utah, lies in the path of monsoon moisture from the Gulf of California .

Most of the lowland areas receive less than 12 inches (305 mm) of precipitation annually, although the I-15 corridor, including the densely populated Wasatch Front , receives approximately 15 inches (381 mm). The Great Salt Lake Desert is the driest area of the state, with less than 5 inches (127 mm). Snowfall is common in all but the far southern valleys. Although St. George only receives about 3 inches (8 cm) per year, Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
sees about 60 inches (152 cm), enhanced by the lake-effect snow from the Great Salt Lake , which increases snowfall totals to the south, southeast, and east of the lake.

Some areas of the Wasatch Range in the path of the lake-effect receive up to 500 inches (1,270 cm) per year. The consistently deep powder snow led Utah's ski industry to adopt the slogan "the Greatest Snow on Earth" in the 1980s. In the winter, temperature inversions are a common phenomenon across Utah's low basins and valleys, leading to thick haze and fog that can sometimes last for weeks at a time, especially in the Uintah Basin . Although at other times of year its air quality is good, winter inversions give Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
some of the worst wintertime pollution in the country.

Previous studies have indicated a widespread decline in snowpack over Utah
Utah
accompanied by a decline in the snow–precipitation ratio while anecdotal evidence claims have been put forward that measured changes in Utah's snowpack are spurious and do not reflect actual change. A 2012 study found that the proportion of winter (January–March) precipitation falling as snow has decreased by 9% during the last half century, a combined result from a significant increase in rainfall and a minor decrease in snowfall. Meanwhile, observed snow depth across Utah
Utah
has decreased and is accompanied by consistent decreases in snow cover and surface albedo. Weather systems with the potential to produce precipitation in Utah
Utah
have decreased in number with those producing snowfall decreasing at a considerably greater rate. Snow in Rose Park, Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City

Utah's temperatures are extreme, with cold temperatures in winter due to its elevation, and very hot summers statewide (with the exception of mountain areas and high mountain valleys). Utah
Utah
is usually protected from major blasts of cold air by mountains lying north and east of the state, although major Arctic blasts can occasionally reach the state. Average January high temperatures range from around 30 °F (−1 °C) in some northern valleys to almost 55 °F (13 °C) in St. George.

Temperatures dropping below 0 °F (−18 °C) should be expected on occasion in most areas of the state most years, although some areas see it often (for example, the town of Randolph averages about 50 days per year with temperatures dropping that low). In July, average highs range from about 85 to 100 °F (29 to 38 °C). However, the low humidity and high elevation typically leads to large temperature variations, leading to cool nights most summer days. The record high temperature in Utah
Utah
was 118 °F (48 °C), recorded south of St. George on July 4, 2007, and the record low was −69 °F (−56 °C), recorded at Peter Sinks in the Bear River Mountains of northern Utah on February 1, 1985. However, the record low for an inhabited location is −49 °F (−45 °C) at Woodruff on December 12, 1932.

Utah, like most of the western United States, has few days of thunderstorms. On average there are fewer than 40 days of thunderstorm activity during the year, although these storms can be briefly intense when they do occur. They are most likely to occur during monsoon season from about mid-July through mid-September, especially in southern and eastern Utah. Dry lightning strikes and the general dry weather often spark wildfires in summer, while intense thunderstorms can lead to flash flooding , especially in the rugged terrain of southern Utah. Although spring is the wettest season in northern Utah, late summer is the wettest period for much of the south and east of the state. Tornadoes are uncommon in Utah, with an average of two striking the state yearly, rarely higher than EF1 intensity.

One exception of note, however, was the unprecedented F2 Salt Lake City Tornado that moved directly across downtown Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
on August 11, 1999, killing 1 person, injuring 60 others, and causing approximately $170 million in damage. The only other reported tornado fatality in Utah's history was a 7-year-old girl who was killed while camping in Summit County on July 6, 1884. The last tornado of above (E)F0 intensity occurred on September 8, 2002, when an F2 tornado hit Manti . On August 11, 1993, an F3 tornado hit the Uinta Mountains north of Duchesne at an elevation of 10,500 feet (3,200 m), causing some damage to a Boy Scouts campsite. This is the strongest tornado ever recorded in Utah.

WILDLIFE

Utah
Utah
is home to "more than 600 vertibrate animals" as well as numerous invertebrates and insects.

Mammals

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Mammals are found in every area of Utah. Non-predatory larger mammals include the wood bison , elk , moose , mountain goat , mule deer , pronghorn , and multiple types of bighorn sheep . Non-predatory small mammals include muskrat , and nutria . Predatory mammals include the brown and black bear , cougar , Canada lynx , bobcat , fox (gray , red , and kit ), coyote , badger , gray wolf , black-footed ferret , mink , stoat , long-tailed weasel , raccoon , and otter .

Birds

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Insects

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There are many different insects found in Utah. One of the most rare is the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle , found only in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park , near Kanab . It was proposed in 2012 to be listed as a threatened species, but the proposal was not accepted.

In February 2009, Africanized honeybees were found in southern Utah. The bees had spread into eight counties in Utah, as far north as Grand and Emery counties by May 2017.

VEGETATION

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Several thousand plants are native to Utah.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Demographics of Utah Welcome to Utah
Utah
Sign

The United States
United States
Census Bureau estimates that the population of Utah was 2,995,919 on July 1, 2015, an 8.40% increase since the 2010 United States Census . The center of population of Utah
Utah
is located in Utah County in the city of Lehi . Much of the population lives in cities and towns along the Wasatch Front , a metropolitan region that runs north–south with the Wasatch Mountains rising on the eastern side. Growth outside the Wasatch Front is also increasing. The St. George metropolitan area is currently the second fastest-growing in the country after the Las Vegas metropolitan area , while the Heber micropolitan area is also the second fastest-growing in the country (behind Palm Coast, Florida ).

Utah
Utah
contains 5 metropolitan areas (Logan , Ogden -Clearfield , Salt Lake City , Provo -Orem , and St. George ), and 6 micropolitan areas (Brigham City , Heber , Vernal , Price , Richfield , and Cedar City ).

HEALTH AND FERTILITY

Utah
Utah
ranks 47th in teenage pregnancy , lowest in percentage of births out of wedlock , lowest in number of abortions per capita, and lowest in percentage of teen pregnancies terminated in abortion. However, statistics relating to pregnancies and abortions may also be artificially low from teenagers going out of state for abortions because of parental notification requirements. Utah
Utah
has the lowest child poverty rate in the country, despite its young demographics. According to the Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index as of 2012 , Utahns ranked fourth in overall well-being in the United States. A 2002 national prescription drug study determined that antidepressant drugs were "prescribed in Utah
Utah
more often than in any other state, at a rate nearly twice the national average." The data shows that depression rates in Utah
Utah
are no higher than the national average.

ANCESTRY AND RACE

At the 2010 Census, 81.4% of the population was non-Hispanic White , down from 91.2% in 1990, 1% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 1% non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska
Alaska
Native, 2% non-Hispanic Asian , 0.9% non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.8% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 13.0% of Utah's population was of Hispanic , Latino, or Spanish origin (of any race).

HISTORICAL POPULATION

CENSUS POP.

1850 11,380

1860 40,273

253.9%

1870 86,336

114.4%

1880 143,963

66.7%

1890 210,779

46.4%

1900 276,749

31.3%

1910 373,351

34.9%

1920 449,396

20.4%

1930 507,847

13.0%

1940 550,310

8.4%

1950 688,862

25.2%

1960 890,627

29.3%

1970 1,059,273

18.9%

1980 1,461,037

37.9%

1990 1,722,850

17.9%

2000 2,233,169

29.6%

2010 2,763,885

23.8%

EST. 2016 3,051,217

10.4%

Source: 1910–2010 2016 estimate

UTAH RACIAL BREAKDOWN OF POPULATION RACIAL COMPOSITION 1970 1990 2000 2010

White 97.4% 93.8% 89.2% 86.1%

Asian 0.6% 1.9% 1.7% 2.0%

Native 1.1% 1.4% 1.3% 1.2%

Black 0.6% 0.7% 0.8% 1.0%

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander – – 0.7% 0.9%

Other race 0.2% 2.2% 4.2% 6.0%

Two or more races – – 2.1% 2.7%

Utah
Utah
Population Density Map

The largest ancestry groups in the state are:

* 26.0% English * 11.9% German * 11.8% Scandinavian (5.4% Danish , 4.0% Swedish , 2.4% Norwegian ) * 9.0% Mexican * 6.6% American * 6.2% Irish * 4.6% Scottish * 2.7% Italian * 2.4% Dutch * 2.2% French * 2.2% Welsh * 1.4% Scotch Irish * 1.3% Swiss

Most Utahns are of Northern European descent. In 2011 one-third of Utah's workforce was reported to be bilingual, developed through a program of acquisition of second languages beginning in elementary school, and related to Mormonism's missionary goals for its young people.

In 2011, 28.6% of Utah's population younger than the age of one were ethnic minorities, meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white.

RELIGION

The LDS Salt Lake Temple , the primary attraction in the city's Temple Square A Holi Festival
Holi Festival
called 'The Festival
Festival
of Color' takes place each spring at the Hindu
Hindu
Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork . First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City

A majority of the state's residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As of 2012 , 62.2% of Utahns are counted as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons currently make up between 34%–41% of the population within Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
. However, many of the other major population centers such as Provo, Logan and St. George tend to be predominantly Mormon
Mormon
as well as many suburban and rural areas. The religious body with the largest number of congregations is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with 4,815 congregations).

Though the LDS Church officially maintains a policy of neutrality in regards to political parties, the church's doctrine has a strong regional influence on politics. Another doctrine effect can be seen in Utah's high birth rate (25 percent higher than the national average; the highest for a state in the U.S.). The Mormons in Utah tend to have conservative views when it comes to most political issues and the majority of voter-age Utahns are unaffiliated voters (60%) who vote overwhelmingly Republican . Mitt Romney received 72.8% of the Utahn votes in 2012, while John McCain
John McCain
polled 62.5% in the United States presidential election, 2008 and 70.9% for George W. Bush in 2004. In 2010 the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) reported that the three largest denominational groups in Utah
Utah
are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 1,910,504 adherents; the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
with 160,125 adherents, and the Southern Baptist Convention with 12,593 adherents. There is a growing Jewish presence in the state including Chabad and Rohr Jewish Learning Institute .

According to a report produced by the Pew Forum on Religion "> are:

* The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 58% (labeled as Mormon
Mormon
on survey) * Unaffiliated 16% * Catholic Church
Catholic Church
10% * Evangelicals 7% * Mainline Protestants 6% * Black Protestant Churches 1% * Other Faiths 1% * Buddhism
Buddhism
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Utah
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