General Information

Utah's Natural History State Name - Ute Indian word meaning "home on mountain top"
State Capital - Salt Lake City
Population: 2,699,554 (2007 Estimate)
Statehood Day - January 4, 1896 (45th state)

Geography

Land Area
84,916 sq. mi, 65% of the state of Utah is owned by the federal government.

Highest and Lowest Point
King's Peak 13,528 ft (Uinta Mountains, Duchesne Co. - NE part of state)
Beaver Dam Wash 2,350 ft. (Near St. George, Washington Co. SW part of state

"Utah is the rooftop of the United States. The average elevation of the tallest peaks in each of Utah�s counties is 11,222 ft. above sea level - higher than the same average in any other state." (Hiking Utah�s Summits by Paula Huff)

Great Salt Lake
Area - 1,060,000 acres
Average elevation - 4,200 ft.
Highest elevation (1986) - 4,211.85 ft.
Lowest elevation (1963) - 4,191 ft.

Major Mountain Ranges
Uinta - Named after the Ute Indians, only major East-West axis mountains in North America
Wasatch - Ute Indian name meaning "mountain pass" or "low place in a high mountain"

Major Rivers
Bear
Colorado
Green
Provo
San Juan
Sevier
Weber

Current State of Utah Governorship

Governor - Gary Herbert
Lieutenant Governor - Greg Bell

Current Utah Congressmen
Jason Chaffetz - R. 2yr. 1st elected 2008
Jim Matheson - D. 2yr. 1st elected 2000
Rob Bishop - R. 2yr. 1st elected 2000

Current Utah Senators
Robert Bennett - R. 6yr. 1st elected 1992
Orin Hatch - R. 6yr. 1st elected 1976

Education

Utah System of Higher Education
University of Utah
Utah State University
Weber State University
Salt Lake Community College
Utah Valley State College
Southern Utah University
Dixie College
Snow College
College of Eastern Utah
Utah College of Applied Technology

Utah Private Institutions
Brigham Young University
Westminster College
LDS Business College
Western Governors University

Other Accredited Institutions
University of Phoenix
Webster University
Columbia College
Neumont University
Stevens-Henager College
Eagle Gate College
Provo College
Utah Career College

Utah ranks 4th in the nation in the percent of persons 25-years and over who have completed high school - 91% (Census 1992, 1993).

Utah ranks 11th in the nation in the percent of persons 25-years and older who have attained bachelor degrees - 27.9% (Census 1992,1993).

In a national study, 94% of the Utah population 18- to 64-years-olds were classified as literate - the highest literacy rate in the nation. (State Policy Research, Inc., States in Profile, 2nd Edition, 1992)

Employment

Largest Public Employer - Utah State Government 21,500
Largest Private Employer - Brigham Young University 16,500

Utah is a right-to-work state, with 5.5% of manufacturing employees affiliated with unions.

The quality of the labor market in Utah is enhanced by the highest literacy rate in the U.S. (See Education above)

Employment by sector (1999)
Services 28%
Trade 16%
Government 18%
Manufacturing 13%
Transportation/Communication 7%
Construction 8%
Unemployment 3.3%

Famous Utahns

Literary

Richard Paul Evans, author
Hector Ahumada, author
Fawn McKay Brodie, author
Stephen Covey, author
Bernard DeVoto, Pulitzer Prize winner
John Dennis Fitzgerald, author Great Brain series
Judith Freeman, author
Brewster Ghislen, poet
Phyllis McGinley, Pulitzer Prize winning poet
Harold Ross, started The New Yorker Magazine
Virginia Sorenson, fiction
Wallace Stegner, Pulitzer Prize winner
May Swenson, poet awarded MacArthur Grant

Notorious
Gary Gilmore, first person executed in U.S. after a ten year moratorium on the death penalty.
Joe Hill, IWW agitator, song writer; executed in 1915 for murder of a grocer and son in SLC.
Bill Haywood, labor organizer one of two Americans whose ashes are interred in the Kremlin Wall.
Robert LeRoy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy outlaw.

Performing Arts
David Archuleta - entertainer
Ken Jennings - television
Maude Adams - Broadway
Rosanne Barr - television
John Gilbert - motion pictures
Otto Harbach - Broadway composer
Osmond Family - entertainers
Robert Redford - motion pictures
Leora Thatcher - Broadway
Loretta Young - motion pictures

Political
Jon Huntsman - U.S. ambassador to China
Michael O. Leavitt - Former US Secretary of Health and Human Services; Former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
T H Bell - Former Secretary of Education
Ezra Taft Benson - Former Secretary of Agriculture
Reva Beck Bosone - first woman to serve in Congress from Utah
Martha Hughes Cannon - first women elected as a state senator in the United States
George H. Dern - Former Secretary of War
Marriner S. Eccles - Former Federal Reserve Board Chair
Esther Peterson - Former Consumer Affairs leader
Ivy Baker Priest - Former Treasurer of the United States
George Sutherland - Former Supreme Court Justice
Jean Westwood - first woman to serve as chairperson of the National Democratic Party

Religious
Gordon B Hinckley - former president Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Sri Daya Mata - leader Self Realization Fellowship
Brigham Young - former president Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Science/Business
John M. Browning - guns
Philo T. Farnsworth - vacuum tube for television
Debbie Fields - Mrs. Fields Cookies
Jon M. Huntsman - Huntsman Chemical Corp.
Robert Jarvic - artificial heart
Willem Kolff - artificial heart
Lester Wire - traffic light
Evelyn Wood - Reading Dynamics

Sports
Missy Marlow - gymnastics
Helen Hofmann Bertagnole - golf
Jan Bucher - skiing
Jack Dempsey - boxing
Alf Engen - skiing
Stein Eriksen - skiing
Gene Fullmer - boxing
Ab Jenkins - land speed record
Danny Lopez - boxing
Karl Malone - basketball
Merlin Olsen - football
Alma Richards - Olympic gold medalist
John Stockton - basketball
Picabo Street - skiing
Steve Young - football
Mike Weir - golf
Mike Reid - golf
Dan Forsman - golf
Johnny Miller - golf

Visual Arts
Cyrus Edwin Dallin - sculptor
John Held, Jr. - illustrator
Mahonri Young - sculptor

Information courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

Back to top Print this page E-mail this page