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Gardner Institute releases new Utah demographic data

Utah is experiencing significant demographic shifts as it continues to be one of the fastest-growing states in the nation.

A new update to the 2021 Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute demographic data book explores those changes and highlights how personal characteristics impact people’s quality of life.

“Every Utahn has a different experience, which can be influenced by their age, disability, ethnicity, geographic location, race and sex, among other characteristics,” said Mallory Bateman, director of demographic research at the Gardner Institute. “This publication provides data insights to inform decisions and start conversations. Due to the complexity behind many of these differences, this resource does not attempt to explain or assign causality for the included topics.”

Part of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute is Utah’s preeminent public policy research center and a vital gathering place for policy leadership and thoughtful discourse. The economic, demographic and public policy research conducted by the institute is used by key decision-makers in the state to help Utah prosper.

Key findings from the most recent report include:

  • Racial and ethnic diversity changes with population growth: Utah continues to diversify racially and ethnically, with the minority share of the population increasing for six consecutive decades to 24% or nearly one in four.
  • Age: Utah’s population continues to age because of declining fertility rates and the aging of the adult population.

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  • Religious affiliation: Utah includes the largest share of religious adherents of any state—estimated at 76.1% of the population, compared to 48.6% of the nation.
  • Urban and rural populations: Nine out of every 10 Utahns live in an urban area. Utah’s urban areas represent 1.1% of the state’s land area.
  • Education outcomes: Schools with a higher concentration of economically disadvantaged students tend to have worse educational outcomes.

The latest analysis continues to demonstrate the Gardner Institute’s identification of a “New Utah”— a more populous, mid-sized state, dominated by external growth with a population that is older and more racially and ethnically diverse.

Find the full data book here.