Salt Lake County, Utah: Wikis

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Salt Lake County, Utah
Map of Utah highlighting Salt Lake County
Location in the state of Utah
Map of the U.S. highlighting Utah
Utah's location in the U.S.
Seat Salt Lake City
Largest city Salt Lake City
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

808 sq mi (2,092 km²)
737 sq mi (1,910 km²)
70 sq mi (182 km²), 8.72%
PopulationEst.
 - (2008)
 - Density

1,022,651
1,388/sq mi (535/km²)
Founded 1852
Named for Great Salt Lake
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website www.slco.org

Salt Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Utah. As of July 1, 2008, the population was estimated at 1,022,651[1], up from a 2000 Census figure of 898,387. It was named for the Great Salt Lake nearby. Its county seat and largest city is Salt Lake City, the state capital and largest city[2]. It occupies a valley, Salt Lake Valley, as well as parts of the surrounding mountains, the Oquirrh Mountains to the west and the Wasatch Range to the east. In addition, the Great Salt Lake is partially within the northwestern section of the county. The county is famous for its ski resorts, which led to Salt Lake City hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Salt Lake County is part of the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Salt Lake City–OgdenClearfield Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 808 square miles (2,092 km²), of which, 737 square miles (1,910 km²) of it is land and 70 square miles (182 km²) of it (8.72%) is water.

Perhaps the most dominating physical feature in Salt Lake County are the Wasatch Mountains in the eastern portion of the county, famous for both summer and winter activities. The snow in the region is often coined the "Greatest Snow on Earth" for its soft, powdery texture, and led to Salt Lake City winning the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics. In Salt Lake County there are four ski resorts; Snowbird and Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Solitude and Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Hiking and camping are especially popular summer activities. Marking the western portion of the county are the Oquirrh Mountains. These two mountain ranges together, along with the much smaller Traverse Mountains to the south of the valley, delimit Salt Lake Valley, which is also flanked on the northwest by the Great Salt Lake.

Salt Lake County as seen from space.

All of the entrances to the valley are narrow. These include Parley's Canyon leading into Summit County to the northeast, Emigration Canyon leading into Morgan County, also to the northeast, the space between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake leading into Davis County to the north, the "Point of the Mountain" leading to Utah County to the south, and a space between the Oqiurrh Mountains and the Great Salt Lake leading to Tooele County to the northwest. On the north and east benches, the houses sometimes climb as far as halfway up the mountain, and new communities are also being constructed on the steeper southern and western slopes. Rapid residential construction continues in the west-central, southwest, and southern portions of the valley. In the far west, southwest, and northwest, rural areas still exist, but rapid growth threatens what remains of the natural environment in the valley.

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Adjacent counties

Climate

The Salt Lake Valley receives, on average, approximately 15 inches (380 mm) of precipitation annually, usually with more on the east side and less on the west side, as most storms come from the Pacific Ocean. This leaves much of the west side in the rain shadow of the Oquirrh Mountains. Up to 20 inches (500 mm) is received on the benches. Most of this precipitation is received in spring. The summer is dry, with the majority of precipitation arriving from the monsoon that rises from the south. Short, localized, and often dry thunderstorms are usually associated with the monsoon. However, some of them can be very intense. These storms can also cause flash floods and wildfires (due to dry lightning and powerful winds). Precipitation is heaviest in late fall/early winter and in spring, while early summer is the driest season.

The valley receives 55 inches (140 cm) or more of snow in a year, with up to 100 inches (250 cm) received on the benches. Most of the snow falls from mid-November through March. The mountains receive up to 500 inches (1,270 cm) of light, dry snow and up to 55 inches (1400 mm) of precipitation annually. The dry snow is often considered good for skiing, contributing to the four ski resorts in the county. Snow usually falls from October through May. The heavy snow totals across the county can be attributed to the lake-effect, where precipitation is intensified by the warm waters of the Great Salt Lake, which never entirely freezes due to the lake's high salinity. The lake-effect can affect any area of the county. The dry snow is attributed to the low humidity of the region.

During winter, temperature inversions are a common problem. The inversion will trap pollutants, moisture, and cold temperatures in the valley while the surrounding mountains enjoy warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine. This can cause some melting snow in the mountains and unhealthy air quality and low visibility in the valley. This weather event lasts from a few days to up to a month in extreme cases, and is caused by a very strong high pressure positioned over the Great Basin.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 6,157
1860 11,295 83.4%
1870 18,337 62.3%
1880 31,977 74.4%
1890 58,457 82.8%
1900 77,725 33.0%
1910 131,426 69.1%
1920 159,282 21.2%
1930 194,102 21.9%
1940 211,623 9.0%
1950 274,895 29.9%
1960 383,035 39.3%
1970 458,607 19.7%
1980 619,066 35.0%
1990 725,956 17.3%
2000 898,387 23.8%
Est. 2008 1,022,651 13.8%
sources:[3][4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 898,387 people, 295,141 households, and 213,977 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,218 people per square mile (470/km²). There were 310,988 housing units at an average density of 422 per square mile (163/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.34% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 2.56% Asian, 1.23% Pacific Islander, 5.36% from other races, and 2.57% from two or more races. 11.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The top 5 Ethnic Groups in Salt Lake County are:

By 2007 Non-Hispanic whites were 76.5% of Salt Lake County's population and Latinos now were 15.7% of the population. African-Americans were now 1.7% of the population. Asians were 3% of the population, while Pacific Islanders were 1.3%. Native Americans were still 1% of the population.[6] The Census' 2005 American Community Survey indicated that 11.4% of Salt Lake County's population living in households (as opposed to group arrangements such as college dormitories) spoke Spanish at home.

In 2000 there were 295,141 households out of which 40.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.53.

In the county, the population was spread out with 30.50% under the age of 18, 12.90% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 18.00% from 45 to 64, and 8.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 101.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,373, and the median income for a family was $54,470. Males had a median income of $36,953 versus $26,105 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,190. About 5.70% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.00% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.

By 2008 the county population had risen 13.8% to 1,022,651. This was a rise below the rate for the state overall; however, Utah was the fastest growing state in 2008 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.[7]

History

19th century

The area that was to become Salt Lake County was settled in 1847 when Mormon pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS or Mormon Church), fleeing persecution in the East, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after traveling through Emigration Canyon. Brigham Young, their leader, declared "This is the right place" after seeing the valley, which was at the time arid, dry, and unpromising. However, they soon developed a flourishing, self-sufficient city, Great Salt Lake City, through extensive irrigation techniques. Thousands of Mormons from around the world followed in the next several decades. The county was officially formed on January 31, 1850, with just over 11,000 residents recorded.[8]

Settlements were scattered across the valley and beyond, and the territorial capital was moved to Great Salt Lake City in 1857, when the name was subsequently shortened to Salt Lake City. In 1858, when the Utah Territory was declared in rebellion after governor Brigham Young refused to step down for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' polygamous practices, the government sent troops to install a new governor and keep watch over the place. However, the valley was abandoned and the troops set up Camp Floyd to the south in Utah County. In 1862, Fort Douglas was established on the eastern bench, near the current site of the University of Utah, to make sure that the territory maintained its allegiance during the American Civil War.

Patrick Edward Connor, who was the leader of the garrison stationed at Fort Douglas, was openly anti-Mormon and sent out parties to scout for mineral resources in the nearby mountains to encourage non-Mormons to settle there. During the late 19th century, mines were established in the mountains, most notably around Alta. Exploiting the mineral wealth was difficult until the Utah Central Railroad arrived in 1870. The Bingham Canyon Mine, which contains vast deposits of copper and silver, was the most notable of the mines that was established. The mine, located in the Oquirrh Mountains in the southwest portion of the county, attracted thousands of settlers to the narrow canyon. At its peak, the city of Bingham Canyon contained 20,000 residents all crowded along the steep walls of the canyon, and natural disasters were a frequent occurrence. By the early 20th century, most of the mines in the county had closed. However, the Bingham Canyon Mine kept on expanding, and today is among the largest open-pit mines in the world.

20th century

After the railroad came to the county, the population began to expand more rapidly and non-Mormons began to settle in the city. During the early 20th century, heavy industry came to the valley as well, diversifying its economy, and a trolley system was in place in what are now Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake. The trolley system was mostly dismantled by 1945 as cars outpaced public transportation across the country. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the east side of the valley began to be heavily-settled. In 1942, Camp Kearns, a massive military installation created for World War II, was created in what is now Kearns and Taylorsville on the western side of the valley. After the camp was closed in 1946, the land was sold off and rapid settlement of the area began. Other major defensive installations were set up along the Wasatch Front and in the Great Salt Lake Desert during World War II, further encouraging growth and boosting the economy, as well as establishing Utah as a major military center. In the nation-wide suburb boom of the late 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, such cities as South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale, and much of the east side of the valley grew rapidly.

The airport was upgraded to international status in the 1960s and became Salt Lake City International Airport. Like all of the industrialized cities throughout the nation, Salt Lake City faced inner-city decay beginning especially in the 1960s, while the suburbs grew tremendously. Growth in such cities as Sandy, West Jordan, and what would become West Valley City was phenomenal in the 1970s and 1980s. Huge residential tracts were created through the center of the valley, and within ten years, the entire area had been converted from farmland into sprawling bedroom communities to Salt Lake City. West Valley City was created from the merger of the three unincorporated cities of Granger, Hunter, and Chesterfield in 1980. However, not every area of the county saw growth. Not only was Salt Lake City facing urban decay, but the cities that provided residences for the miners in Bingham Canyon were torn down in the 1960s and 1970s. The city of Bingham Canyon was completely torn down and swallowed up in the mine by 1972, and the dismantling of Lark in 1980 completed the process. The only remaining mining town in the county is Copperton, located southwest of West Jordan, with approximately 800 residents.

Beginning especially in the 1990s, rapid growth shifted further south and west. Old farmland and pastureland was swallowed up by new residential development. The cities of West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, Herriman, and Draper are some of the fastest growing cities in the state. During the 1990s, Salt Lake City began reversing the trend of inner-city decay, and its population grew for the first time in 40 years. Salt Lake City's selection as the host of the 2002 Winter Olympics spurred a construction boom in the city that continued well after the Olympics left, until a recession began in 2008. As the county's population has surpassed 1 million, one of the main issues in the county is urbanization. Only a few small rural areas remain in the far west of the valley. Other issues facing the county today include pollution and transportation.

According to data from the LDS Church and the State of Utah, Salt Lake County was 53% LDS (Mormon) in 2004, as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune.[9][10] Extrapolating corresponding figures of 62% LDS in 1994 and 57% in 1999, along with the 2004 figure of 53%, renders an estimate that Salt Lake County is very likely less than 50% LDS today.[citation needed]

Economy

The region's economy used to revolve around LDS services and mining. While both are still important to the economy, they have declined in significance greatly since the 19th century. Since World War II, defense industries in the region have also played a very important role in the economy due to its strategic central location in the Western United States, as well as the largely uninhabited and desolate Great Salt Lake Desert to the west.

Beginning in 1939, with the opening of Alta Ski Area, skiing and other winter sports (as well as summer sports), have become a major force in the economy. In 1995, Salt Lake City won the bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. The 2002 Olympics boosted tourism and the economy, and helped to dramatically improve transportation throughout the county. Transportation has been a major focus, as the county continues to rapidly grow in population. It was drastically improved beginning in the late 80s and through the 90s, and continues to this day. Beginning in the 1960s, a more service-oriented economy began to develop, and information technologies began to arrive in the 80s and 90s. Although this business has waned in recent years, information and computer companies, such as Overstock.com, are still a thriving business here.

Law and government/Politics

Salt Lake County is unique in that it has a partisan county mayor. The current county mayor is Peter Corroon, a Democrat. Former county mayors include Nancy Workman and Alan Dayton (Workman's deputy mayor; Sworn in as acting mayor in September 2004 when Nancy Workman was placed on paid administrative leave).

County council

Besides a mayor, Salt Lake County also has a county council. Members include three elected at-large and six elected by district. Council members from districts serve four-year staggered terms in partisan elections while at-large members serve six years.

At-large council members

District council members

  • Joe Hatch — 1st district
  • Michael Jensen — 2nd district (council chairman)
  • David Wilde — 3rd district
  • Jani Iwamoto — 4th district
  • Jeff Allen — 5th district
  • Max Burdick — 6th district

Politics

In 2004 Republican George Bush won Salt Lake County over Democrat John Kerry 59% to 37%. In 2008 Democrat Barack Obama won Salt Lake County by 296 votes over Republican John McCain or a margin of 48.17% to 48.09%.[2] It was the first time since 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson was the Democratic candidate, that Salt Lake County had voted for a Democrat.

Education

Salt Lake County includes five separate public school districts. Salt Lake City and Murray operate their own school districts (although a recent annexation by Murray leaves a part of the city within the Granite School District). The Granite School District, the largest in the state, is a broad district that covers a swath from Kearns and Taylorsville through West Valley City, Utah and eastward to South Salt Lake and Millcreek Township, among others. The Jordan School District, with approximately 48,000 students, covers the southwest part of the county, including West Jordan; the new Canyons School District includes Sandy, and Draper. On November 6, 2007, the east side residents of the Jordan School District in Sandy, Draper, Midvale, Cottonwood Heights, and nearby unincorporated areas, voted to split from the Jordan District. A similar vote to make West Jordan its own district, however, failed.[11]

Public High Schools in Salt Lake County
School District Location
Alta High School Canyons Sandy
Bingham High School Jordan South Jordan
Brighton High School Canyons Cottonwood Heights
Copper Hills High School Jordan West Jordan
Cottonwood High School Granite Murray
Cyprus High School Granite Magna
East High School Salt Lake City Salt Lake City
Granger High School Granite West Valley City
Highland High School Salt Lake City Salt Lake City
Hillcrest High School Canyons Midvale
Hunter High School Granite West Valley City
Jordan High School Canyons Sandy
Kearns High School Granite Kearns
Murray High School Murray Murray
Olympus High School Granite Holladay
Riverton High School Jordan Riverton
Skyline High School Granite Millcreek
Taylorsville High School Granite Taylorsville
West High School Salt Lake City Salt Lake City
West Jordan High School Jordan West Jordan

Two high schools have closed:

  • South High School in Salt Lake City closed in 1988; it is now occupied by the City Campus of the Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).
  • Granite High School in South Salt Lake was reformed into an alternative school in 2006, although it remains a public school. However, this venture was not a financial success and the school is set to close in 2009.

In addition, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City operates 8 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 2 high schools, and 2 preschools in Salt Lake County. Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City is the largest Catholic high school in Utah. The Catholic Church also operates Juan Diego High School in Draper.

Salt Lake County also has several independent schools including:

National protected area

Transportation

The county is traversed by three Interstate Highways and one U.S. Highway, as well as an additional freeway and one major expressway. US-89 enters from Davis County to the north and traverses the county arrow-straight until merging with I-15 in north Draper. It is known as State Street along most of the route and is the primary surface road in the valley. I-15 and I-80 intersect just west of Downtown Salt Lake City, merging for approximately 3 miles (5 km) north-to-south. I-80 continues west past the Salt Lake City International Airport and east through Parley's Canyon and into the Wasatch Range. I-15 traverses the valley north-to-south, providing access to the entire urban corridor. The freeway is 10-12 lanes wide after a major expansion project from 1998 to 2001 undertaken in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics. I-215 directly serves many of the suburbs of Salt Lake City in the western, central, and eastern portions of the valley in a 270° loop. SR-201, alternatively known as the "21st South Freeway", provides access to West Valley City and the west side of the valley. Bangerter Highway (SR-154) is an expressway that traverses the entire western end of the valley from the airport, ending at I-15 in southern Draper. SR-68, or Redwood Road, is the only surface street that traverses the entire valley from north-to-south.

A light rail system, known as TRAX, is operated by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and runs from the Salt Lake Central Station in downtown Salt Lake City south to Sandy, with another line east to the University of Utah; the system currently has 28 stops. Extensions to the airport, West Valley City, and South Jordan are under construction and another to Draper has been approved, with completion of all four expected by 2014. A commuter rail line, FrontRunner, began operation in April 2008 between the Salt Lake Central Station in downtown Salt lake City and Pleasant View. An extension south to Provo is under construction and is expected to be complete by 2012. UTA also operates bus routes to nearly every location in the valley and routes to the ski resorts in winter. The Legacy Parkway opened in 2008 to connect with I-215 at the north end of the valley, providing an alternative route into Davis County to alleviate congestion. The Mountain View Corridor is a freeway planned to be constructed down the far west side of the valley. A historic streetcar is also being considered along 2100 South from the TRAX station to the historic business district in the Sugar House neighborhood.[12]

Cities and town

Current

At present there are 15 cities and one town (Alta) in the county:

Former

  • Forest Dale, incorporated 1902, disincorporated 1912 and reabsorbed into Salt Lake City.[13]

Unincorporated communities

The county has created "townships" and "community councils" in unincorporated areas, largely for planning purposes only. Some are also census-designated places (CDPs), but the boundaries set by the Census Bureau and the county do not always coincide.

Townships:

Community Councils:

Notes

  1. ^ Source: http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/counties.html
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ census.gov Utah population by county, 1900-90 accessed 2009-05-14
  4. ^ quickfacts.census.gov - Salt Lake County accessed 2009-05-14
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Salt Lake County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  7. ^ Source: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/013049.html
  8. ^ Arave, Lynn (January 5, 2006). "Tidbits of history — Unusual highlights of Salt Lake County". Deseret Morning News. pp. S1-S2. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,650218849,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  9. ^ See: http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site297/2005/0726/20050726_101404_DTTTRB24A10.PDF
  10. ^ http://www.udot.utah.gov/slcountyeastwest/downloads/trib_111607.pdf
  11. ^ Toomer-Cook, Jennifer (November 7, 2007). "East side votes to split Jordan District". Deseret Morning News. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695225545,00.html. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  12. ^ {{cite news | author=Palmer, Rebecca | title=South S.L. makeover to begin within week | work=[[Deseret Morning News| date=February 16, 2008 | url=http://www.deseretnews.com/article/695253748/South-SL-makeover-to-begin-within-week.html | accessdate=2009-06-30}}
  13. ^ Microsoft PowerPoint - Forest Dale National Register Historic District January 22, 2009 Presentation

References

  • Stilltoe, Linda (1996). A History of Salt Lake County. Salt Lake City: Utah Historical Society. ISBN 0-913738-04-2
  • Utah Catholic Schools

External links

Coordinates: 40°40′N 111°56′W / 40.67°N 111.93°W / 40.67; -111.93


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Salt Lake County, Utah
Map
File:Map of Utah highlighting Salt Lake County.png
Location in the state of Utah
Map of the USA highlighting Utah
Utah's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1852
Seat Salt Lake City
Largest City Salt Lake City
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 8.72%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2006)
 - Density

978701
Website: www.slco.org
Named for: Great Salt Lake

Salt Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Utah. As of 2005, the population was estimated at 948,172, up from a 2000 Census figure of 898,387. In November 2006, the population was estimated to surpass 1,000,000. It was named for the Great Salt Lake nearby. Its county seat and largest city is Salt Lake City6. It occupies a valley, Salt Lake Valley, as well as parts of the surrounding mountains, the Oquirrh Mountains to the west and the Wasatch Range to the east. In addition, the Great Salt Lake is partially within the northwestern section of the county. The county is famous for its ski resorts, and Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Contents

History

19th century

The area that was to become Salt Lake County was settled in 1847 when Mormon Pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS or Mormon Church), fleeing persecution in the East, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after traveling through Emigration Canyon. Brigham Young, their leader, declared "This is the right place" after seeing the valley, which was at the time arid, dry, and unpromising. However, they soon developed a flourishing, self-sufficient city, Great Salt Lake City, through extensive irrigation techniques. Thousands of Mormons from around the world followed in the next several decades. The county was officially formed on January 31, 1850, with just over 11,000 residents recorded[1].

Settlements were scattered across the valley and beyond, and the territorial capital was moved to Great Salt Lake City in 1857, when the name was subsequently shortened to Salt Lake City. In 1858, when the Utah Territory was declared in rebellion after governor Brigham Young refused to step down for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' polygamous practices, the government sent troops to install a new governor and keep watch over the place. However, the valley was abandoned and the troops set up Camp Floyd to the south in Utah County. In 1862, Fort Douglas was established on the eastern bench, near the current site of the University of Utah, to make sure that the territory maintained its allegiance during the American Civil War.

Patrick Edward Connor, who was the leader of the garrison stationed at Fort Douglas, was thoroughly anti-Mormon and sent out parties to scout for mineral resources in the nearby mountains to encourage non-Mormons to settle there. During the late 19th Century, mines were established in the mountains, most notably around Alta. Exploiting the mineral wealth was difficult until the Utah Central Railroad arrived in 1870. The Bingham Canyon Mine, which contains vast deposits of copper and silver, was the most notable of the mines that was established. The mine, located in the Oquirrh Mountains in the southwest portion of the county, attracted thousands of settlers to the narrow canyon. At its peak, the city of Bingham Canyon contained 20,000 residents all crowded along the steep walls of the canyon, and natural disasters were a frequent occurrence. By the early 20th Century, most of the mines in the county had closed. However, the Bingham Canyon Mine kept on expanding, and today is among the largest open-pit mines in the world.

20th century

Salt Lake County

After the railroad came to the county, the population began to expand more rapidly and non-Mormons began to settle in the city. During the early 20th century, heavy industry began to come to the valley as well, diversifying its economy, and a trolley system was in place in what are now Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake. The trolley system was mostly dismantled by 1945 as cars outpaced public transportation across the country. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the east side of the valley began to be heavily-settled. In 1942, Camp Kearns, a massive military installation created for World War II, was created in what is now Kearns and Taylorsville on the western side of the valley. After the camp was closed in 1946, the land was sold off and rapid settlement of the area began. Other major defensive installations were set up along the Wasatch Front and in the Great Salt Lake Desert during World War II, further encouraging growth and boosting the economy. In the nation-wide suburb boom of the late 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, such cities as South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale, and much of the east side of the valley grew rapidly.

The airport was upgraded to international status in the 1960s and became Salt Lake City International Airport. Like all of the industrialized cities throughout the nation, Salt Lake City faced inner-city decay beginning especially in the 1960s, while the suburbs grew tremendously. Growth in such cities as Sandy, West Jordan, and what would become West Valley City was phenomenal in the 1970s and 1980s. Huge residential tracts were created through the center of the valley, and within ten years, the entire area had been converted from farmland into sprawling bedroom communities to Salt Lake City. West Valley City was created from the merger of the three unincorporated cities of Granger, Hunter, and Chesterfield in 1980. All was not well in every part of the valley, however. Not only was Salt Lake City facing urban decay, but the cities that provided residences for the miners in Bingham Canyon were torn down in the 1960s and 1970s. The city of Bingham Canyon was completely torn down and swallowed up in the mine by 1972, and the dismantling of Lark in 1980 completed the process. The only remaining mining town in the county is Copperton, located southwest of West Jordan, with approximately 800 residents.

Beginning especially in the 90's, rapid growth shifted further south and west. Old farmland and pastureland was swallowed up by new residential development. The cities of West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, Herriman, and Draper are some of the fastest growing cities in the state. During the 90's, Salt Lake City was able to partially reverse the trend of inner-city decay, and its population grew for the first time in 40 years. As the county's population approaches 1 million, one of the main issues in the county is urbanization. Only a few small rural areas remain in the far west, and in the northwest and southwest corners of the valley. All other natural vegetation, except for the trees growing around streams, has been almost completely replaced with structures and roads. Other issues facing the county today include pollution and transportation.

Economy

The region's economy used to revolve around LDS services and mining. While both are still important to the economy, they have declined in significance greatly since the 19th century. Since World War II, defense industries in the region have also played a very important role in the economy due to its strategic central location in the Western United States, as well as the largely uninhabited and desolate Great Salt Lake Desert to the west.

Beginning in 1939, with the opening of Alta Ski Area, skiing and other winter sports (as well as summer sports), have become a major force in the economy. In 1995, Salt Lake City won the bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. The 2002 Olympics boosted tourism and the economy, and helped to dramatically improve transportation throughout the county. Transportation has been a major focus, as the county continues to rapidly grow in population. It was drastically improved beginning in the late 80s and through the 90s, and continues to this day. Beginning in the 1960s, a more service-oriented economy began to develop, and information technologies began to arrive in the 80s and 90s. Although this business has waned in recent years, information and computer companies, such as Overstock.com, are still a thriving business here.

Law and government

Salt Lake County is unique in that it has a partisan county mayor. The current county mayor is Peter Corroon, a Democrat. Former county mayors include Nancy Workman and Alan Dayton (Workman's deputy mayor; Sworn in as acting mayor in September 2004 when Nancy Workman was placed on paid administrative leave).

County council

Besides a mayor, Salt Lake County also has a county council. Members include three elected at-large and six elected by district. Council members from districts serve four-year staggered terms in partisan elections while at-large members serve six years.

At-large council members

  • Randy Horiuchi
  • Jenny Wilson
  • Jim Bradley

District council members

  • Joe Hatch — 1st district
  • Michael Jensen — 2nd district (council chairman)
  • David Wilde — 3rd district
  • Mark Crockett — 4th district
  • Cortlund G. Ashton — 5th district
  • Marvin Hendrickson — 6th district

Education

School districts in Salt Lake County include:

Public High Schools in Salt Lake County
School District Location
Alta High School Jordan Sandy
Bingham High School Jordan South Jordan
Brighton High School Jordan Cottonwood Heights
Copper Hills High School Jordan West Jordan
Cottonwood High School Granite Murray
Cyprus High School Granite Magna
East High School Salt Lake City Salt Lake City
Granger High School Granite West Valley City
Granite High School Granite South Salt Lake
Highland High School Salt Lake City Salt Lake City
Hillcrest High School Jordan Midvale
Hunter High School Granite West Valley City
Jordan High School Jordan Sandy
Kearns High School Granite Kearns
Murray High School Murray Murray
Olympus High School Granite Holladay
Riverton High School Jordan Riverton
Skyline High School Granite Millcreek
Taylorsville High School Granite Taylorsville
West High School Salt Lake City Salt Lake City
West Jordan High School Jordan West Jordan
See also: List of high schools in Utah#Salt Lake County

In addition, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City operates 8 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 2 high schools, and 2 preschools in Salt Lake County.

Geography

Salt Lake County as seen from space.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,092 km² (808 sq mi). 1,910 km² (737 sq mi) of it is land and 182 km² (70 sq mi) of it (8.72%) is water.

Perhaps the most dominating physical feature in Salt Lake County are the Wasatch Mountains in the eastern portion of the county, famous for both summer and winter activities. The snow in the region is often coined the "Greatest Snow on Earth" for its soft, powdery texture, and led to Salt Lake City winning the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics. In Salt Lake County there are four ski resorts; Snowbird, Alta (in Little Cottonwood Canyon), Solitude, and Brighton (in Big Cottonwood Canyon). Hiking and camping are especially popular summer activities. Marking the western portion of the county are the Oquirrh Mountains. These two mountain ranges together, along with the much smaller Traverse Mountains to the south of the valley, delimit Salt Lake Valley, which is also flanked on the northwest by the Great Salt Lake.

All of the entrances to the valley are narrow. These include Parley's Canyon leading into Summit County to the northeast, Emigration Canyon leading into Morgan County, also to the northeast, the space between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake leading into Davis County to the north, the "Point of the Mountain" leading to Utah County to the south, and a space between the Oqiurrh Mountains and the Great Salt Lake leading to Tooele County to the northwest. On the north and east benches, the houses sometimes climb as far as halfway up the mountain, and new communities are also being constructed on the steeper southern and western slopes. Rapid residential construction continues in the west-central, southwest, and southern portions of the valley. In the far west, southwest, and northwest, rural areas still exist, but rapid growth threatens what remains of the natural environment in the valley.

Salt Lake County borders Davis County to the north, Morgan County to the northeast, Summit County to the east, Tooele County to the west, Wasatch County to the southeast, and Utah County to the south.

Climate

The Salt Lake Valley receives, on average, approximately 15 in (380 mm) of precipitation annually, usually with more on the east side and less on the west side, as most storms come from the Pacific Ocean. This leaves much of the west side in the rain shadow of the Oquirrh Mountains. Up to 20 in (500 mm) is received on the benches. Most of this precipitation is received in spring. The summer is dry, with the majority of precipitation arriving from the monsoon that rises from the south. Short, localized, and sometimes dry thunderstorms are usually associated with the monsoon. Flash floods and wildfires may be experienced during these thunderstorms as well. Precipitation is heaviest in spring and late fall, while summer is the driest season.

The valley receives 55 in (140 cm) or more of snow in a year, with up to 100 in (250 cm) received on the benches. Most of the snow falls from mid-November through March, although snow has been recorded as early as late September and as late as mid-May. The mountains receive up to 500 in (1,270 cm) of light, dry, fluffy snow and up to 55 in (1400 mm) of precipitation annually. The dry snow is often considered good for skiing, contributing to the four ski resorts in the county. Snow usually falls from early October through May. The heavy snow totals can be attributed to the lake-effect, where precipitation is intensified by the warm, unfrozen waters of the Great Salt Lake. The dry snow is attributed to the low humidity of the region.

During winter, temperature inversions are a common problem. The valley will experience fog, haze, smog, and cool temperatures while the surrounding mountains enjoy warmer temperatures and sunshine. This can cause some melting snow in the mountains and unhealthy air quality and low visibility in the valley. This weather event lasts from a few days to over a month in extreme cases, and is caused by a very strong high pressure positioned over the Great Basin. Only a storm can mix up the atmosphere enough to force out the high pressure that causes the inversion.

Transportation

U.S. 89 runs most of the length of the county, splitting off from I-15 near the border with Davis County to the north, and running southward to north Draper, mostly as State Street. I-15 enters from Davis County in the north and continues nearly straight south before entering Utah County at the "Point of the Mountain." I-80 enters from Tooele County to the west and, after passing Salt Lake City International Airport, briefly merges with I-15 before splitting east again and entering Summit County through Parley's Canyon. Emerging from the southern I-80/I-15 split is SR-201, also known locally as the 21st South Freeway. It runs west from the interchange, marking the border between West Valley City and Salt Lake City before being downgraded to an expressway and passing through Magna, eventually terminating at I-80 near Tooele County. This provides an alternative to I-80 when needed. I-215 enters from Davis County paralleling I-15 before curving east, intersecting I-15 in Murray. From there, it turns north, parallel to I-15 and the Wasatch Range, before ending at I-80 at the mouth of Parley's Canyon. I-215 provides an alternate route to I-15 and I-80 and also as access to many of Salt Lake City's suburbs. SR-154, known locally as Bangerter Highway, is an expressway that begins at the airport and runs down the west side of the valley, ending at I-15 in Riverton.

A light rail system, known as TRAX, is operated by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and runs from EnergySolutions Arena (formerly the Delta Center) in downtown Salt Lake City south to Sandy, and east to the University of Utah. Several expansions to the west side of the county, including the airport, are planned for the future. A commuter rail line, FrontRunner, began construction in August 2005 to operate between Salt Lake City and Pleasant View, a northern suburb of Ogden. UTA also operates bus routes to nearly every location in the valley and routes to the ski resorts in winter. The Legacy Parkway section of the Legacy Highway project is eventually planned to intersect with I-215 near the northern border of the county. The Mountain View Corridor is a freeway planned to be constructed down the far west side of the valley. It is part of the Legacy Highway project.

There is also a private effort to restore a heritage style rail trolley to connect the TRAX station at 2100 South to the Sugar House Business District two miles east. The same group is also proposing a trolley connection from the TRAX station in Sandy to Utah County.[1]

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 898,387 people, 295,141 households, and 213,977 families residing in the county. The population density was 470/km² (1,218/sq mi). There were 310,988 housing units at an average density of 163/km² (422/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 86.34% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 2.56% Asian, 1.23% Pacific Islander, 5.36% from other races, and 2.57% from two or more races. 11.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The top 5 Ethnic Groups in Salt Lake County are:

By 2005 Non-Hispanic whites were 78.1% of Salt Lake County's population. African-Americans were now 1.3% of the population. Native Americans were still 0.9% of the population. Asians were 2.9% of the population, while Pacific Islanders were 1.3%. Latinos now were 14.7% of the population.[2] The Census' 2005 American Community Surcey indicated that 11.4% of Salt Lake County's population living in households (as opposed to group arrangements such as college dormitories) spoke Spanish at home.

In 2000 there were 295,141 households out of which 40.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.53.

In the county, the population was spread out with 30.50% under the age of 18, 12.90% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 18.00% from 45 to 64, and 8.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 101.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,373, and the median income for a family was $54,470. Males had a median income of $36,953 versus $26,105 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,190. About 5.70% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.00% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.

By 2006 the county population had risen 8.9%to 978,701. This was a rise below the rate for the state overall.

Cities and town

Fifteen cities and one town (Alta) have been established in the county:

Unincorporated communities

The county has created "townships" and "community councils" in unincorporated areas, largely for planning purposes only. Some are also census-designated places (CDPs, marked with an asterisk below), but the boundaries set by the Census Bureau and the county do not always coincide.

Townships:

Community Councils:

Notes

  1. ^ Arave, Lynn. "Tidbits of history — Unusual highlights of Salt Lake County", {{subst:#ifexist:Deseret Morning News|[[Deseret Morning News|]]|[[Wikipedia:Deseret Morning News|]]}}, January 5, 2006, pp. S1-S2. Retrieved on 2007-01-05. 
  2. ^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/49/49035.html

References

  • Stilltoe, Linda (1996). A History of Salt Lake County. Salt Lake City: Utah Historical Society. ISBN 0-913738-04-2
  • Utah Catholic Schools

External links

Coordinates: 40°40′N 111°56′W / 40.67, -111.93

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Salt Lake County, Utah. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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This article uses material from the "Salt Lake County, Utah" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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