Sanpete County is a county located in the U.S. state of Utah. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,822. Its county seat is Manti, and its largest city is Ephraim. The county was created in 1850. It was named for the Ute chief Sanpitch, which was changed to Sanpete. According to William Bright, the name comes from the Ute word saimpitsi, meaning "people of the tules".
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,603 square miles (4,150 km²), of which 1,590 square miles (4,100 km²) is land and 12 square miles (31 km²) (0.8%) is water. The geographical center of Utah is located in Sanpete County, just west of Ephraim.
Sanpete County is bounded along its eastern side by the Wasatch Plateau (sometimes known as the Manti Mountains). The Wasatch Plateau rises to elevations of approximately 11,000 feet (3,300 m). Most of the Wasatch Plateau is encompassed by the Manti Division of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Runoff from the western slopes of these mountains provides water to the county's cities and agricultural areas. Central Sanpete is dominated by the Sanpete Valley (sometimes known as the Sanpitch Valley), where most of the county's cities are located. The western side of the valley is bounded by the lower and drier San Pitch Mountains, which also form part of the western boundary of the county. The San Pitch River, runs from north to south through Sanpete and empties into the Sevier River in southwestern Sanpete. This portion of the Sevier River Valley is known as Gunnison Valley.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 22,763 people, 6,547 households, and 5,067 families residing in the county. The population density was 14 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 7,879 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.43% White, 0.31% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.36% Pacific Islander, 4.06% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races. 6.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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