Founded in 1849 by 33 families of settlers from Salt Lake City, the city has grown to a population of 105,166 (2000 census). The site was named Fort Utah by the Mormon settlers, but was re-named Provo in 1850 for Étienne Provost, an early French-Canadian trapper who arrived in the region in 1825. One of the Wasatch peaks towers over the city, facing Utah Lake. There is a large "Y" made of stones half-way up the steep mountain, built in the early part of the 20th century to commemerate Brigham Young University (original plans included construction of three letters: 'BYU'). Wild deer (and less frequently, cougars) still roam the mountains, protected from trekkers, clad in snow that does not melt until the middle of May. Like many of the views from up the Wasatch Mountains, the scenery from the mountain facing Orem-Provo and Utah Lake to its west is an unforgettable experience to many watching the sun set behind the Oquirrh Mountains.
Provo is the home of Brigham Young University and the Pioneer League Minor league baseball team Provo Angels. It is also the home of Novell, Inc Every July, Provo hosts the Stadium of Fire one of the largest per capita celebrations of the fourth of July in the United States.
The Interstate 15 freeway links Provo with other nearby cities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 108.2 km² (41.8 mi²). 102.7 km² (39.6 mi²) of it is land and 5.6 km² (2.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.14% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 105,166 people, 29,192 households, and 19,938 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,024.3/km² (2,653.2/mi²). There are 30,374 housing units at an average density of 295.8/km² (766.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 88.52% White, 0.46% African American, 0.80% Native American, 1.83% Asian, 0.84% Pacific Islander, 5.10% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. 10.47% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 29,192 households out of which 33.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% are married couples living together, 7.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% are non-families. 11.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.34 and the average family size is 3.40.
In the city the population is spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 40.2% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 8.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 23 years. For every 100 females there are 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $34,313, and the median income for a family is $36,393. Males have a median income of $32,010 versus $20,928 for females. The per capita income for the city is $13,207. 26.8% of the population and 12.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 14.4% are under the age of 18 and 4.3% are 65 or older.