This is the 15th in a weekly series of stories highlighting interesting facts about cities in Utah County.
You may have been to one of the fun events at Highland's annual Highland Fling ceremony, but how much do you know about the city? Here are 10 interesting facts about the northern Utah County city.
— Stacy Johnson, Daily Herald
There are more than 18,000 residents in the city.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 population estimates, Highland has a city population of 18,647. That makes the city smaller than 10 other Utah County cities and larger than 13 cities and towns in the county.
Highland is growing.
The U.S. Census Bureau recorded the 2010 population of Highland at 15,577, giving the city a 19.7 percent rate of growth. The city is the eighth-fasted growing city in Utah County, behind Vineyard, Saratoga Springs, Elk Ridge, Eagle Mountain, Lehi, Salem and Santaquin.
Highland is 40 years old.
Though settlers have lived in the Highland area for more than 100 years, the city itself is 40 years old. It was incorporated on July 13, 1977. Only Vineyard, Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs, Cedar Hills, Elk Ridge, Woodland Hills and Fairfield are younger than Highland.
Highland has the highest median income of any city in Utah County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Highland has a median household income of $122,666, giving the city the highest median household income of any city in Utah County. It comes in at more than $20,000 per household more than the second-highest, neighboring city of Alpine which has a median household income of $102,122.
Highland has the highest number of people per household in Utah County.
It’s a good thing Highland records the highest median household income, because they also boast the highest number of people per household, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Highland averages 4.39 people per household. The next highest city is Saratoga Springs with 4.25.
Highland’s population is younger than the county average.
The average age of Highland residents is 22.8 years old, making it the fourth-youngest population in Utah County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The only cities with younger average age of residents are Cedar Hills, Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs.
In Highland, 9.2 percent of the population is under the age of 5 and 44.4 percent of the population is under the age of 18.
Highland was settled differently than other Utah county cities.
While most areas in Utah were originally settled as “closely confined villages” where people were “called” to settle the area by the Mormon Church, Highland was different, according to a history written by Charles T. Greenland for the Highland Historical Society.
Greenland’s history says that “No one was called to settle Highland — they just did.” He also says that Highland farmsteads averaged 131 acres whereas the majority of homesteads in nearby cities were 10 acres or less.
Highland Fling is more than just the city’s annual celebration.
Highland celebrates the city annually with its annual Highland Fling event, but the name Highland Fling is more than just a fun week of events.
According to Greenland, a famous landmark in Highland was a culvert under the road at about 10400 North and 6500 West that went by many names, including the Highland Fling.
“This culvert was right at the brink of the hill and thus the road didn’t have a smooth transition from the hollow to the flat,” Greenland wrote. He said that traveling eastbound, the road would disappear under the car and you would bounce down the hill a bit-of course the higher the speed the farther you would travel before landing.”
The spot went by several names in addition to Highland Fling, including the Thrill Hill, Highland Dip, Highland Bump, Highland Whoopee and Whoppee Hill, according to Greenland.
Some say the city was named after Scottish highlands.
Several historical records state that Highland may have been named by Scottish immigrants who said the area reminded them of the Scottish highlands, according to the city’s historical report.
The Scottish ties are honored each year with the Strongman Competition and Highland Games held each year during the Highland Fling celebration.
Highland is home to 9 city parks.
Highland is home to nine city parks that have amenities including pavilions, playgrounds, sports fields, a cabin for the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and even a bike park. The parks are Canterbury North Park, Canterbury South Park, Dry Creek Bench Park, Heritage Park, Highland Glen Park, Merlin B. Larson Park, Mitchell Hollow Park, Wimbleton Park and Windsor Meadows Park.