Utah Valley (aka "Happy Valley") is a valley in North Central Utah located in Utah County, and is considered part of the Wasatch Front. It contains the cities of Provo, Orem, and their suburbs, including Alpine, American Fork, Elk Ridge, Genola, Goshen, Highland, Lehi, Lindon, Mapleton, Payson, Pleasant Grove, Salem, Santaquin, Saratoga Springs, Spanish Fork, Springville, and Woodland Hills.
Utah Lake is a natural shallow fresh water lake in its center. All rivers in the valley flow into Utah Lake, which itself empties into the Jordan River to the north. That river flows into the Salt Lake Valley through the Jordan Narrows, a gap in the Traverse Mountains.
Novell and WordPerfect were instrumental in making the Utah Valley a focus for software development. Today this area has many small companies whose employees have previously worked at Novell. Also located there are Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University.
Most inhabitants of Utah Valley are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which operates temples in Provo and American Fork, with temples under construction in Payson and Provo (downtown).
The population of this area in 1970, 1980 and 1994 were 125,005, 204,102, and 277,179, respectively. A July 1, 2009 estimate by the United States Census Bureau placed Utah Valley's population at 555,551.
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