Date of Statehood: January 4, 1896
Capital: Salt Lake City
Population: 2,763,885 (2010)
Size: 84,897 square miles
Nickname(s): Beehive State
Tree: Blue Spruce
Flower: Sego Lily
Bird: California Seagull
- In the summer of 1848, flocks of seagulls came to Mormon pioneers’ rescue by gorging themselves on the crickets that were destroying their newly planted crops. To honor the “miracle,” the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated the Seagull Monument, located on Temple Square, in 1913. In 1955, the California Seagull was designated the state bird.
- On May 10, 1869, the first transcontinental railroad was completed when the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined rails at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory. A tie made of California laurelwood bearing a silver plaque with the railroad’s completion date and four precious metal spikes were presented during the Golden Spike Ceremony; however, an ordinary tie and iron spikes were used to unite the rail lines.
- Although annual precipitation averages less than 5 inches within the Great Salt Lake Desert, the northern Wasatch Mountains receives more than 60. During the drought of 1976-1977, communities were forced to ration water as the state suffered from its driest period on record with only 7.7 inches of precipitation.
- In 2010, Utah had the youngest population in the U.S. with 33 percent of residents under the age of 18. It also maintained the highest birth rate, with 86.7 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
- Arches National Park in southeastern Utah contains over 2,000 natural rock arches. The widest, known as Landscape Arch, extends 306 feet from one base to the other.