Utah has had a patchwork of growth during the past decade - including stagnant or declining populations in economically depressed eastern Utah, booming growth in Summit County and Utah's Dixie and high or moderate growth in the remainder of the state, new U.S. Census numbers show.

The official 1990 Census count, released Thursday, shows that Washington County, driven by a thriving retirement community and growth indicative of the Southwest, was by far the fastest-growing area in Utah. Over the decade the county grew by 86.3 percent. County seat St. George increased by 116.81 percent over the decade.The next closest high-growth area was Summit County. The county, home to ski resorts and a high cost of living, boosted its population by 52.17 percent. Park City grew by 57.77 percent.

In all, Utah grew by 17.92 percent, making it the 10th fastest-growing state during the 1980s.

The growth will mean shifts in political representation in both the Legislature and the makeup of Utah's three U.S. House of Representative districts. The Legislature is expected to tackle redistricting in a special session after the U.S. Census Bureau delivers block-by-block counts and other demographic data to Gov. Norm Bangerter in April.

Other counties with more than 20 percent growth in population included Davis, Cache, Utah, Kane and Millard counties. Davis County's growth was enough to boost it past neighboring Weber County and make it Utah's third-largest county. Part of the reason was slower growth in Weber County, including a slight dip in the county's urban center, Ogden.

Ogden, traditionally thought of as one of Utah's largest cities, also dropped in the most-populous rankings to sixth, behind population up-and-comers Sandy and Orem.

Still leading in the ranks of most populous counties in the state were Salt Lake and Utah counties. Salt Lake County still posted the largest single gain in population, adding 106,890 residents over the decade. Behind Davis and Weber counties, Cache checked in as the fifth-largest Utah county.

In eastern Utah, the Census meant only bad news for most of a region already strapped by slowdowns and shutdowns in the oil and coal industry. Grand County was the hardest hit with a decline of 19.67 percent in population. The county's population center, Moab, was one of Utah's biggest population losers, losing more than one-quarter of its residents over the decade.

Emery and Carbon counties also lost population, while Duchesne registered only a blip of an increase, adding only 80 to its population count over the decade. For Utah's least-populated county, Daggett, a loss of 79 residents over the decade meant a 10.27 percent dip in population, which now stands at only 690. The only gainer in eastern Utah was Uintah County, which posted an 8.13 percent population increase.

In addition, Rich and Piute counties in eastern Utah also lost population.

The numbers, mailed to state and local officials, did reflect some additions to preliminary counts that had been disputed. For example, some 722 people were added to the final count of the Utah portion of the Navajo Reservation. Indian officials, seeking greater clout in San Juan County, had disputed the earlier figures and the Census Bureau recanvassed remote areas of the reservation.


Utah population

County 1990 1980 %Change

Beaver 4,765 4,378 +8.84

Box Elder 36,485 33,222 +9.82

Cache 70,183 57,176 +22.75

Carbon 20,228 22,179 -8.80

Daggett 690 769 -10.27

Davis 187,941 146,540 +28.25

Duchesne 12,645 12,565 +.64

Emery 10,332 11,451 -9.77

Garfield 3,980 3,673 +8.36

Grand 6,620 8,241 -19.67

Iron 20,789 17,349 +19.83

Juab 5,817 5,530 +5.19

Kane 5,169 4,024 +28.45

Millard 11,333 8,970 +26.34

Morgan 5,528 4,917 +12.43

Piute 1,277 1,329 -3.91

Rich 1,725 2,100 -17.86

Salt Lake 725,956 619,066 +17.27

San Juan 12,621 12,253 +3.00

Sanpete 16,259 14,620 +11.21

Sevier 15,431 14,727 +4.78

Summit 15,518 10,198 +52.17

Tooele 26,601 26,033 +2.18

Uintah 22,211 20,506 +8.31

Utah 263,590 218,106 +20.85

Wasatch 10,089 8,532 +18.25

Washington 48,560 26,065 +86.30

Wayne 2,177 1,911 +13.92

Weber 158,330 144,616 +9.48

STATE 1,722,850 1,461,037 +17.92

Source: U.S. Census Bureau