St. George is a city located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Utah on the Utah-Arizona border, and the county seat of Washington County, Utah. It is the principal city of the St. George Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is 117 miles (188 km) northeast of Las Vegas, and 303 miles (488 km) south-southwest of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15.
As of 2012 St. George had a population of 75,561. St. George was the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States, only after Greeley, Colorado in 2005, this trend continued through 2007, when growth slowed substantially due to the economic recession. In 2012, the St. George metropolitan area (defined as Washington County) had an estimated 144,809 residents.
The hub of southern Utah and Utah's Dixie, a nickname given to the area when Mormon pioneers grew cotton in the warm climate, St. George is the seventh-largest city in Utah and the largest city in the state outside of the Wasatch Front. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it had the distinction in the late 2000s of having the fastest white population growth in the nation. It has been observed that the conservative social culture of the region shows, on the one hand, friction between "business-driven conservatives" and "anti-illegal immigration social conservatives," and on the other, some tensions between Mormons (by far a majority of the population) and non-Mormons.