As of the 2010 U.S. Census, St. George had a population of 72,897. From 1990, St. George became one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas within the United States. This trend continued through 2007, when growth slowed substantially. In 2009, the metropolitan area (defined as Washington County) had an estimated 137,473 residents.
St. George is the population and commercial center of Utah's Dixie, a nickname given to the area when Mormon pioneers grew cotton in the warm climate. St. George's trademark is its geology — red bluffs make up the northern part of the city with two peaks covered in lava rock in the city's center. The northeastern edges of the Mojave Desert are visible to the south. Zion National Park can be seen to the east, and the Pine Valley Mountains loom over the city to the north and northwest. The climate has more in common with the Desert Southwest than the rest of the state, with scorching hot summers and mild, mostly snowless winters.