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 St. George valley lies in the northeastern-most part of the Mojave Desert, at the convergence of three distinct geological areas; the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin. It is 118 miles (190 km) northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and 303 miles (488 km) south-southwest of Salt Lake City along Interstate 15.
As of 2014, St. George had a population of 78,505. In 2005, St. George was the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States, only after Greeley, Colorado. This trend continued through 2007, when growth slowed substantially due to the economic recession. However, growth has since greatly rebounded. In 2014, the St. George metropolitan area (defined as Washington County) had an estimated 151,948 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.