Utah is a state located in the Mountain West region of the United States. Despite being the 13th largest state in the Union in terms of total area, its population of 2.8 million residents ranks it 34 in the U.S. in terms of total population and 41st in terms of population density. It was originally founded as the Utah Territory in 1850 after the end of the Mexican War and remained a territory of the United States until 1896, when it was admitted to the Union as the 45th state. Utah is the most homogeneously-religious state, with 63% of residents belonging to the Mormon Church of Latter-Day Saints, or the LDS Church.
I-15 is the primary north-south interstate and runs through the state’s largest city, Salt Lake City, where it intersects with I-80, the primary east-west interstate in the state. Utah has a relatively sparse population and despite its many state roads, the lack of primary interstates is a problem for many auto transport carriers – it requires them to travel further into the state, off their primary routes, and that in turn can end up costing you a bit more money than it would to many other populated areas. Utah is a major east-west corridor, especially Salt Lake City, though during the winter months many carriers move to more southern-based routes and try to avoid Utah and its heavy winter snows.
Much of the state resides in a semi-arid climate, which means that it frequently has hot daytime temperatures in the summer coupled with a sharp decrease in temperature as the sun goes does. Temperatures during the summer months peak in the low-to-mid 90’s, though triple-digit temperatures are not unheard of. Snowfall is uncommon at the lower elevations, though higher elevations – especially those in the eastern mountain ranges – tend to see more snow, on average. I-15 can see heavy snowfall at times, though it is typically rare. Transportation to and from the state during the winter is much more limited due to the smaller customer base shipping to and from Utah, so prices tend to be a bit higher during those times.
Though mining is what started bringing people to Utah in the mid 19th century, it is the state’s natural geography that has sparked a huge boom in tourism during the 20th. Much of Utah’s economy is based on tourism; whether it be from one of its five national parks of the many ski slopes and biking trails that bring people, plenty of people pay to visit Utah. Aside from mining and tourism, however, the 2oth century has brought a large business climate to the state; it was ranked as the Best State for Business in 2010 by Forbes. Major businesses in the state include several petroleum companies, healthcare, retail and service-based industries, and some manufacturing (though not much). Because of the high population of LDS Church-goers, which requires all members to donate 10% of their earnings to the church and participate in volunteerism, Utah has the highest number of volunteers who’s combined work equaled more than $3.8 billion.
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