Census data: What was Utah’s fastest growing city in 2022?

May 19, 2023, 6:12 AM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 1:01 pm

A stunning view of Utah County from Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah....

A stunning view of Utah County from Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah, on March 21st. (KSLTV viewer submitted)

(KSLTV viewer submitted)

LEHI, Utah — One Utah County city is among the nation’s fastest-growing large cities, while another is one of three municipalities across the country now considered a large city, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday.

The agency unveiled its 2022 municipality population estimates, an analysis of U.S. towns and cities, giving even greater clarity to the state and county population estimates it released over the past few months.

Lehi, with an estimated population percentage growth of 5.6%, was the 14th fastest-growing large city — cities with 50,000 residents or more in 2021 — in the nation between July 2021 and July 2022, according to the agency. It’s estimated that Lehi gained 4,456 residents during that time, reaching a population of a little more than 84,000 by mid-2022.

That said, Lehi’s growth was no match for a pair of other northern Utah County cities. Combined, Saratoga Spring and Eagle Mountain added nearly 10,000 residents in year-over-year growth, according to the newly released data.

Eagle Mountain is one of three U.S. cities that surpassed 50,000 residents for the first time in 2022, joining the large city list moving forward. It would have been the second fastest-growing large city in the nation, but it did not have at least 50,000 residents in the bureau’s 2021 estimate.

Saratoga Springs, on the other hand, is on pace to join the large city list when the 2023 estimates are released.

Utah County led the state in absolute growth, accounting for about 40% of the state’s population gains from July 2021 to July 2022, the Census Bureau reported in March. The new data released Thursday shows that multiple towns and cities in the county grew; however, its two largest cities, Provo and Orem, lost an estimated 3,620 residents.

“We still have the same trend of Utah County and Washington County really driving the statewide growth,” Emily Harris, a senior demographer at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, told KSL.com in March. “Those two counties account for more than half of the statewide growth, so those are counties that we’re always watching.”

St. George, in Washington County, was the third fastest-growing large city in Utah last year.

While Utah County continues to lead in growth, the Census Bureau did name Tooele County as the state’s fastest-growing county in 2022. West Haven, in Weber County, (12.9%), and Tremonton (12.8%) had the largest growth among Utah towns and cities among cities that had between 10,000 and 49,999 residents in 2021, showing the power of growth that still exists just outside of the Wasatch Front.

Utah’s fastest-growing large cities

  • Lehi:4,456 added residents (5.6% growth)
  • South Jordan:3,411 residents (4.3%)
  • George:2,339 residents (2.3%)
  • Herriman:1,024 residents (1.8%)
  • Salt Lake City:3,492 residents (1.7%)

Note: Based on cities with 50,000 people or more in the 2021 estimate.

Other fast-growing towns and cities

  • West Haven:2,563 added residents (12.9% growth)
  • Tremonton:1,343 residents (12.8%)
  • Saratoga Springs:5,234 residents (11.8%)
  • Santaquin:1,533 (10%)
  • Eagle Mountain:4,492 residents (9%)

Note: Based on towns and cities with 10,000 to 49,999 people in the 2021 estimate. Eagle Mountain is now considered a large city but was not in 2021.

Source: Census Bureau

The new data also offers better insight into Salt Lake County’s trends, which lost 183 residents between the 2021 and 2022 estimates.

The Census Bureau named South Jordan and Salt Lake City as two of the five fastest-growing large cities in Utah, each gaining almost 3,500 residents over the past year, while Herriman and West Jordan also grew in population. But it found population decreases in Draper, Millcreek, Murray, Sandy, Taylorsville, and West Valley City, offsetting any of the gains.

Utah led the nation in housing unit growth between 2021 and 2022, growing its housing stock by 3.3%. Wasatch County (7.7%) led in this category among the U.S. counties in that span.

U.S. trends in the data

In general, the trend of people moving to areas in the South and West is alive and well. Thursday’s data release better shows which communities are growing in Florida and Texas, the two states that led population growth overall between 2021 and 2022.

Georgetown, Texas, located just north of Austin, led all large U.S. cities in growth, expanding by 14.4% to an estimated population of 86,507, according to the Census Bureau. Kyle, Leander, and Little Elm, all in Texas, also landed in the Top 5, behind Santa Cruz, California. Fort Worth and San Antonio were first and third in numeric growth.

Florida had three cities in the top 10 in percentage growth, which are North Port, Cape Coral, and Port St. Lucie. The latter two also landed in the top 10 in numeric growth. Phoenix and Seattle were second and fourth in numeric growth, among Western cities.

New York City remains the largest city in the country, holding more than 8.3 million people.

Related: Utah County’s rapid population growth causing growing pains

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Census data: What was Utah’s fastest growing city in 2022?