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Vernal, Heber City rank high for growth in U.S.

Published: Tuesday, March 19 2013 12:16 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah cities ranked in the top 10 growing areas for their size in the U.S. in 2012, according to Census Bureau population estimates.

Vernal and Heber City ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, among the fastest-growing micro areas — areas with an urban core population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 — in the nation during 2012. Vernal also ranked No. 10 for the largest numeric increase in U.S. micropolitan population.

Also, according to the census estimates, the fastest-growing counties in Utah were Uintah, 4 percent; Wasatch, 4 percent; Washington, 2 percent; Duchesne, 2 percent; and Utah, 2 percent. Statewide, the population grew 1.5 percent during 2012.

The oil and gas field boom of the Uintah Basin drove population growth in Uintah and Duchesne counties, following a similar pattern to the U.S. population expansion.

Roughly one-third of Utah’s counties showed population declines, including Sevier, 1 percent; Wayne, 1 percent; Garfield, 2 percent; Rich, 2 percent; and Daggett, 6 percent.

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