Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index: 2015 – From Concern About Jobs to an Embrace of Natural Surroundings

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The third biennial Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index stands at 76.9 out of a possible 100 points, down more than one point from 78.2 in the 2013 index, and down slightly from 77.2 in the 2011 index. Utah Foundation produces the Index in collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare.

While overall Utahns rate themselves as having a high quality of life, several of the quality of life aspects most important to them – like public schools, job availability, and air and water quality – are viewed as having below average quality. The availability of good jobs was viewed as having the lowest quality in 2011 and 2013, and it was still in third lowest place in 2015, higher only than public transportation and traffic conditions. However, neither of the latter two aspects had above average importance, mainly due to lower importance ratings by Utahns living off of the Wasatch Front.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Six quality of life aspects are seen as action items, as they have above average importance but below average quality (see page 6):
         Availability of Good Jobs
         Air & Water Quality
         Quality Public Schools
         Affordable, Good Housing
         Acceptance & Respectfulness of Individual & Group Differences
         Cost of Living & Affordability
  • The Index decreased in 2015 primarily due to three aspects which showed a significant decrease in quality from the previous year: traffic conditions, safety and security from crime, and having family nearby. Even after taking into consideration their decreases, the latter two remained with higher than average quality (see page 11).
  • No aspect showed significant increases in quality from 2013 to 2015 (see page 11).
  • Non-Wasatch Front respondents indicated that they had higher quality of life than did their urban peers (see page 3).
  • People with more education indicated that they had higher quality of life than did their less educated peers (see page 3).


Generous funding for this report was provided by Sorenson Legacy Foundation. Assistance for this report was provided by Intermountain Healthcare.

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