Preliminary results of the 1990 census show that Ogden slipped two notches in the past decade to sixth place in the ranking of Utah's most populous cities while the capital city continued its trend of losing residents.

In all, the Census Bureau says it had counted 1,711,117 Utahns, up 14.7 percent since the last official head count in 1980. That's slightly below state projections that its residents would number 1,743,000 this year.According to the numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau, both Sandy and Orem have moved up in the top-10 rankings to surpass Ogden, along with West Valley and Provo, the second and third largest cities. Salt Lake City still remains No. 1, but the city's residents number 158,130 - about 5,000 fewer residents than 10 years ago.

That continues a 30-year trend of population loss. Salt Lake City had almost 190,000 people in 1960, according to the Census Bureau.

The fast-growing communities of West Jordan and Layton also edged out Bountiful in the results of the 20th U.S. Census. Logan, despite earlier state projections that Murray had outgrown it, hung on to its ranking as the state's 10th largest city with 32,876. Murray has 30,997 residents.

The numbers show the fastest-growing Utah counties over the past decade were Washington County, with a 45.5 percent increase in population; Summit County, with a 34 percent increase; and Davis County, with a 21.7 percent increase.

Salt Lake County grew 14.1 percent and Utah County 16.5 percent.

Deon Gillespie, Census Bureau media specialist in Denver, emphasized that the numbers are preliminary and don't include field follow-up programs or people counted in a "Were You Counted" campaign. Final state population figures will be released to President Bush on Dec. 31. Even more detailed compilations will be released to Gov. Norm Bangerter and the Utah Legislature April 1, 1991, to be used in redistricting for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and state Legislature.

Patrick Bustos, Census Bureau community relations specialist meeting Wednesday morning with state and local government officials at the Salt Lake County Government Center, said he was confident that the preliminary estimates would change little. He said that the estimates represent about 99.9 percent of Utah's population.

"We are fairly confident that we have all of the housing units accounted for," Bustos said.

All county and city elected officials in Utah received population estimates for their jurisdictions this week and will have 15 days to dispute the numbers. Bustos explained that officials cannot dispute population counts, only counts of housing units.

If officials, through utility hookups or other means, dispute the number of housing units, the Census Bureau will send enumerators to the area later this month to recheck their numbers.

Bustos commended Utahns for their initial response to the census. In urban areas, 69 percent of the population mailed in their census form. Nationally, the Census Bureau had a 65 percent return rate.

Since those initial returns, enumerators have both called and visited homes to visit missed residents. If after six contacts they couldn't get a response, an enumerator went to the housing unit to get general information from neighbors or landlords about age and sex.


(Additional information)

Utah's 10 largest cities

1990 1980

Census* Census

1. Salt Lake City 158,130 163,034

2. WVC 86,826 72,509

3. Provo 85,155 74,111

4. Sandy 74,391 52,210

5. Orem 67,355 52,399

6. Ogden 63,457 64,407

7. West Jordan 42,261 27,327

8. Layton 41,497 26,403

9. Bountiful 36,553 32,877

10.Logan 32,876 26,844

State Population* 1,711,1171,461,000

*Preliminary figures

Source: U.S. Census Bureau