Tuesday morning, the U.S. Census Bureau released information showing the state’s population at 2,763,885. That’s an increase of 530,000 people over the past decade – or about the population of Utah County.
The state’s growth reportedly was the third highest in the country – percentage-wise.
It trailed neighboring Arizona and Nevada, percentage-wise, with Nevada mushrooming to 2.7 million people, or nearly to Utah’s population.
The West and South picked up the bulk of the population increase, material from the Census Bureau said. California remained comfortably the most populous state, at 37.2 million people, while Wyoming was still the least populated, at 563,626. Texas grew the most in terms of new residents, gaining 4,293,741 to 25.1 million. Nevada added the most in terms of percentage gain, at 35.1 percent.
The nation’s population, meanwhile, grew by 9.7 percent, growing from 281,421,906 at the 2000 Census to 308,745,538.
It is mandated by law that a Census be conducted every 10 years, with the first one conducted in 1790.
“I am pleased that Utahns will have greater representation in Congress,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, who represents Davis County and the state’s First Congressional District.
“This is something that should have occurred 10 years ago and I still believe the process should be improved to include a more accurate count,” he said.
A decade ago, Utah lost out to Virginia on an additional seat when it was ruled 11,000 LDS missionaries, while U.S. and Utah residents, couldn’t be counted. That’s because they were outside of the country at the time, serving in foreign assignments.
“Anytime you can give a greater voice to the people of Utah and an additional seat at the table in Washington, it’s a good thing,” Bishop said. “Having worked on redistricting while I was in the State Legislature, I know first-hand some of the challenges that lie ahead.”
In Utah, redistricting is done by the Legislature, although there was a major push by some to form an independent, dedicated committee to that end.
Population figures for individual counties and cities will be released later as part of the roll out of data received as a part of the Census. That information will be released starting in February and is expected to be concluded by March 31, the Census Bureau said.
Population estimates currently put Davis County at 307,000 residents. However, that is not based on data from the latest Census.
Census data is used to determine funding distribution for many federal programs. That directly impacts cities, counties and states.