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Perlich says the basin has “a history of boom and bust. It’s not necessarily permanent population coming in,” and the temporary influx of mostly male adult workers may give local governments time to keep pace with new demands in such things as schools.

Van Tassell - who has also lived through bust times in the basin - says he hopes this boom will be long lasting. He said high oil prices are driving it now, but demand for natural gas is also increasing and could bring more stability to energy demands.

Basin officials are also working with counties to the south - including Carbon, Emery and Grand - hoping they can handle some of the boom, he said. They are working on new highways from that direction into oil fields to take some pressure off heavily used U.S. 40.

Expanding growth to the south could help address worsening air pollution in the basin, and spread out demand for housing and schools. Also, the coal-mining industry important to those southern counties is declining.

In fact, Carbon and Emery counties lost population last year.

Perlich said the new data show international immigration and births and deaths in Utah are flat - but domestic in-migration is up, especially in Davis, Utah and Salt Lake counties. She said they are showing slow, steady growth that is sustainable.

“Utah is on the move,” she said.

Washington County is finally achieving significant net in-migration it had not seen since before the recession, she said.

But some areas with little or no in-migration are surprising, including in Cache and Iron counties.

Perlich guesses that lower Mormon missionary age limits may have led to fewer college students and changed migration in those college counties - or that an improving economy may see more people choosing jobs over school.

Another boom of sorts hit Heber City and Wasatch County.

Heber was the nation’s third fastest-growing micropolitan area - faster than even Vernal - and Wasatch was the nation’s seventh fastest-growing county.

It’s not oil, “but clean air and great views,” Heber City Mayor Alan W. McDonald said. “It’s a great selling point.”

He says the area has become a distant suburb for Utah and Salt Lake counties. Perlich said it is also a cheaper housing area for people who work in Park City.

“A lot of people come from the valleys,” McDonald said, “to try to get away from the smog and pollution and get to the open space.”

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