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Utah’s Population Has Grown Over 200% in 50 Years… 3 Reasons People Are Flocking There

Utah is a vibrant state! There, the population is expanding rapidly. There were 3.3 million residents there by 2020, up from just 1.06 million in 1970. That is a rise of over 200 percent! Utah was rated the greatest state in the US to live in by U.S. News & World Report, which conducted an analysis of all the states using 71 different indicators just this year. Why is Utah such a great place? We’ll summarize it for you in three points.

Three Reasons People are Moving to Utah

People have been moving to Utah from other states steadily. There is a consistent migration outflow of people from Texas and California to Utah, two highly populated states. Among the things that draw travelers to Utah are the following:

1. Employment Prospects

Many people have continued to work remotely since the COVID-19 epidemic, which has allowed them to relocate to different parts of the nation for reasons other than the availability of local employment. Nonetheless, Utah offers benefits that draw in a wide range of employees. Agriculture, mining, manufacturing, trade, tourism, and technology comprise the state’s diverse economy.

The state is essentially recession-proof due to its diversity. Currently, the unemployment rate is 2.6%, which is lower than the 3.8% national average. Utah has maintained its top spot in the nation for the last sixteen years in Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index when it comes to economic outlook. Additionally, in 2023, US News and World Report gave it the highest ranking in the country due to its robust economy and stable budget.

2. Reasonably priced living

Utah has a little higher cost of living than the US average, but not significantly more. With a cost of living index of 102.8 (compared to the national average of 100), Utah is ranked 21st in the nation. In Utah, the minimum wage is $7.25, the average living wage is $16.98, and the median household income is $87,649. The cost of living is influenced by both the robust economy and the expanding population. Mississippi has the lowest cost of living in the nation while having fewer job options.

3. A Good Standard of Living

Utah is one of the best states in the nation for infrastructure, natural environment, health care, education, and low crime rates. Particularly in its five national parks—Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands—Utah boasts breathtaking, pristine natural beauty. It is a bright, sunny area to live because of the climate of the mountains and arid desert. Skiers, snowboarders, and fans of other winter sports flock there in large numbers. Cinema enthusiasts can visit Park City, Sundance Resort, and Salt Lake City for the esteemed annual Sundance Film Festival.

Utah is known for its conservative, traditional beliefs and Latter-Day Saint dominance in both culture and politics. Because of this, it attracts like-minded individuals from all across the nation, particularly those looking for a society that values families. But just 68% of the state’s population identifies as Mormon, and less than 50% of them do so in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City is really regarded as one of the LGBT+ friendliest cities in the nation and a top destination for creatives across a wide range of industries.

What Contribution Does Fertility Make to Utah’s Population Increase?

Mormons, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, made up a large portion of Utah’s original colonists. Large families have been encouraged and promoted by religious teachings, which first encouraged polygamy. As a result, Utah’s fertility rate was greater than usual. Although it has decreased recently, Utah still has the fourth-highest fertility rate in the nation, after the Dakotas and Nebraska. There is a certain “population momentum” from high birth rate years that causes a “bulge” of high population going forward, even as fertility rates start to decline.

What Does Utah’s Future Hold?

It is anticipated that Utah’s population will increase quickly, doubling to 6.84 million by 2060. This will undoubtedly boost the state’s clout in politics and culture and spur further development. In order to protect the state’s outstanding natural treasures and avoid overstressing its limited water and other resource supplies, the state will need to pay close attention to how to manage expansion sustainably.

Which Utah Counties are Increasing the Quickest?

The Utah counties with the fastest growth rates are displayed in the chart below. The yearly growth percentages for 2021–2022 are shown here. Due to the low population density of many Utah counties, even modest inflows of new residents might result in significant percentage growth rates for those counties.

Rank County Population Growth
1 Tooele County 4.17%
2 Daggett County 3.79%
3 Washington County 3.24%
4 Iron County 3.15%
5 Juab County 3.08%

What Counties of Utah Have the Largest Populations?

Four counties—Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Weber—along the semi-arid Wasatch Front, which runs along the eastern edge of the Great Basin, are home to around 75% of Utah’s population. The 29 counties in the state are listed here in order of largest to least population.

Rank County Population
1 Salt Lake 1,186,257
2 Utah 702,434
3 Davis 369,948
4 Weber 269,561
5 Washington 197,680
6 Cache 140,173
7 Tooele 79,934
8 Iron 62,429
9 Box Elder 61,498
10 Summit 43,036
11 Uintah 37,141
12 Wasatch 36,619
13 Sanpete 29,724
14 Sevier 22,069
15 Carbon 20,571
16 Duchesne 20,161
17 San Juan 14,359
18 Millard 13,330
19 Morgan 12,832
20 Juab 12,567
21 Emery 10,099
22 Grand 9,769
23 Kane 8,227
24 Beaver 7,327
25 Garfield 5,281
26 Wayne 2,645
27 Rich 2,628
28 Piute 1,487
29 Daggett 1,014

When Has Utah’s Population Grown the Most?

The following chart shows that the 1970s saw some of the highest rates of population increase in Utah, with some years seeing growth rates that were slightly less than 4%. The largest growth year, 2000, was 5.38%. Although it has clearly slowed, population growth is still significant in the 2010s and 20s. Comparatively, the two states with the fastest rates of growth in the nation right now are Florida, with 1.9% growth, and Idaho, with 1.8%. The pace of increase in the American population as a whole has ranged between.3 and.5% in recent years.

Year Population Growth Rate
2022 3,380,800 1.25%
2021 3,339,113 1.68%
2020 3,283,785 2.51%
2019 3,203,383 1.53%
2018 3,155,153 1.66%
2017 3,103,540 1.95%
2016 3,044,241 2.03%
2015 2,983,626 1.54%
2014 2,938,327 1.36%
2013 2,898,773 1.56%
2012 2,854,146 1.40%
2011 2,814,797 1.42%
2010 2,775,413 1.91%
2009 2,723,421 2.27%
2008 2,663,029 2.51%
2007 2,597,746 2.86%
2006 2,525,507 2.76%
2005 2,457,719 2.34%
2004 2,401,580 1.76%
2003 2,360,137 1.52%
2002 2,324,815 1.80%
2001 2,283,715 1.75%
2000 2,244,502 5.38%
1999 2,129,836 1.39%
1998 2,100,562 1.70%
1997 2,065,397 2.13%
1996 2,022,253 2.30%
1995 1,976,774 2.40%
1994 1,930,436 2.90%
1993 1,875,993 2.99%
1992 1,821,498 2.80%
1991 1,771,941 2.44%
1990 1,729,722 1.40%
1989 1,705,864 0.98%
1988 1,689,372 0.67%
1987 1,678,119 0.92%
1986 1,662,834 1.21%
1985 1,642,910 1.27%
1984 1,622,342 1.72%
1983 1,594,943 2.35%
1982 1,558,314 2.83%
1981 1,515,471 2.91%
1980 1,472,595 3.69%
1979 1,420,238 3.86%
1978 1,367,510 3.64%
1977 1,319,512 3.50%
1976 1,274,928 3.15%
1975 1,236,030 2.96%
1974 1,200,471 2.60%
1973 1,170,040 3.05%
1972 1,135,449 3.11%
1971 1,101,192 3.96%
1970 1,059,273 1.17%