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Front Page » September 3, 2002 » Local News » Mountain Region Registers Top Expansion Rate in U.S.
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Mountain Region Registers Top Expansion Rate in U.S.

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The mountain states represented the fastest growing region in the nation during the decade from 1990-2000 decade.

The region averaged a 2.9 percent annual population growth in the 10-year period, indicates the latest Utah Data Guide.

Statistics from the United States Census 2000 classification system show that the majority of the region's population is concentrated in urban territories.

Among the mountain states, Nevada took the lead in the proportion of population that was urban at 91.5 percent. Utah and Arizona ranked second at 88.2 percent, followed by Colorado at 84.5 percent.

Montana had the lowest proportion of urban population at 54.1percent, followed by Wyoming at 65.1 percent and Idaho at 66.2 percent.

According to the census classification, Utah's total urban population constitutes 90 percent of the state's total population. The population resides in Utah's five urbanized areas and 26 urban clusters.

In 1990, based on the previous classification, Utah's urban population was 87 percent.

Utah's urbanized areas under the 2000 classification system include Salt Lake City with a population of 887,650, Ogden-Layton with 417,933 residents, Provo-Orem with 303,680, St. George at 62,630 and Logan at 76,187.

In addition to the urban population information, the U.S. Census Bureau recently released reports documenting federal government expenditure obligations

Federal funds are allocated to states and local entities through five major categories: grants, salaries and wages for U.S. government employees, retirement and disability payments, direct payments and procurement contracts to agencies and programs.

According to the census reports, a total of $1.8 trillion was obligated for direct expenditure by the federal government for fiscal year 2001. The figure reflects a 12.5 percent increase compared to 2000. An additional $823 billion was committed for other federal assistance type loans and insurance.

California continued to benefit the most in the amount of federal funds allocated per capita. California received $188 billion in federal revenues, followed by New York at $116 billion, Texas at $112 billion, Florida at $100 billion and Pennsylvania at $79 billion. Utah received $11.4 billion in 2002 federal allocations, an increase of 11 percent from fiscal year 2001.

The highest category of federal expenditures in Utah was retirement and disability payments, registering at 31.6 percent. Grants to state and local governments followed at 19.7 percent. Procurement contract funds registered at 18.3 percent, federal employee salaries and wages at 15.5 percent and other direct payments at 14.8 percent.

Federal grant monies to Utah show interesting trends in the major categories. For instance, child care and development grants increased by as much as 63 percent, climbing from $28.6 million in fiscal year 2000 to $46.8 million in 2001. Federal funding for temporary assistance for needy families registered a 56 percent jump from the year before at $85.7 million, compared to $54.7 million.

Other grant categories receiving increased federal funding included low rent housing assistance, $3.06 million for 16 percent ; Medicaid, $688.5 million, for 8 percent and WIC, $30.9 million for 1 percent.

On the downside, federal allocations for emergency shelter and homeless assistance in Utah dropped 5 percent to total $3 million and the food stamp program reflected a significant 33 percent decrease at $22.7 million

In the retirements and disability category, Utah's Social Security payments witnessed an 8 percent increase in 2001, reflecting the national trend of a gradually aging population.

As the trend continues, Utah analysts anticipate significant increases in Social Security and Medicare expenditure obligations earmaked by the federal government to all states.

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