St. George is a city in and the county seat of Washington County, Utah, United States. Located in the southwestern corner of the state on the Arizona border, it is the principal city of the St. George Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies in the northeasternmost part of the Mojave Desert, adjacent to the Pine Valley Mountains and near the convergence of three distinct geological areas: the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin. The city is 118 miles (190 km) northeast of Las Vegas and 300 miles (480 km) south-southwest of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15. As of the 2019 U.S Census estimates, the city had a population of 89,587, and the St. George metropolitan area had an estimated population of 171,700. St. George is the seventh-largest city in Utah and most populous city in the state outside of the Wasatch Front. The city was settled in 1861 as a cotton mission, earning it the nickname "Dixie". While the crop never became a successful commodity, the area steadily grew in population. Between 2000 and 2005, St. George emerged as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States. Today, the St. George region is well known for its year-round outdoor recreation and proximity to several state parks, Zion National Park and The Grand Canyon. Dixie State University is located in St. George and is an NCAA Division I institution.