OGDEN — Weber County is apparently a bigger relative draw to those living outside its borders than Utah’s other largest counties.
According to new U.S. Census Bureau figures, just over half of the population growth in the county between 2017 and 2018, or 50.1 percent of the total, came from migration, that is, people coming here from other places in the United States or abroad. In Utah’s three other largest counties, the natural increase — births minus deaths — factored most in growth.
More specifically, Weber County’s population increased by nearly 4,500 to 256,359 in the year. Of those, 2,251 came from elsewhere — 1,840 from other places in the country and 411 from other countries. The natural increase totaled 2,240, 49.9 percent of the overall jump.
By contrast, natural increases were clearly the biggest driver in population growth in Utah’s three other largest counties:
Salt Lake County’s population grew to 1,152,633 from 1,137,820 and of that 14,813 jump, the natural increase accounted for 72 percent of the newcomers. Only about 28 percent came from migration.
Utah County’s population grew to 622,213 from 606,503, up 15,710. The natural increase accounted for 62.2 percent of the increase while migration accounted for 37.7 percent.
Davis County’s population rose to 351,713 from 346,881, up 4,832. The natural increase accounted 80.7 percent of the rise while migration accounted for just under 20 percent.
In Washington County in southwestern Utah, the state’s fifth most populous county and a popular destination for retirees, outside migration was the biggest motor to growth, easily surpassing even the figure for Weber County.
The population there grew to 171,700 from 165,859, with 83.3 percent of the increase due to migration. The natural increase accounted for only around 16 percent of the growth.
The latest figures from the Census Bureau reflect population estimates as of July 1, 2018.