Looking Back at Utah Foundation Research in 2016

Written by: Dan Bammes

dscn2745-2Maybe there’s enough time in these final days of 2016 to catch our breath. We’re looking back at Utah Foundation’s research reports as well as the Utah Priorities Project. A monumental election season has concluded, with a challenging session of Utah’s legislature just ahead. Here’s our ranking of the top ten research findings of the past year, along with links to a report or research brief on each.

Only half of new education funds go to K-12, and most new money is absorbed by inflation and new student growth
The decline in funding effort since 1995 resulted in $1.2 billion less in annual education funds
10% of Utahns benefit from min. wage increase to $10; 18% at $12. Majority are between 20 and 35 years of age.
Low NOx water heaters would have resulted in 10 fewer bad air days between 2012 and 2014
68% of Utah voters were concerned about air quality. Only 41% would change commute and 41% want more state action.
Utah has some of the best health at the lowest cost, but cost is still a priority for voters when thinking about healthcare
Utah has a historically low tax burden; Utah voters want it lower still.
8 22% of Utah voters think BOTH parties’ policies are so misguided they threaten the country.
Crime has steadily decreased over past two decades; Utahns still more worried about crime than five years ago.
10 Utah Democrats are more consistently liberal than U.S. Democrats. Utah Republicans match their nat’l counterparts.

Whatever your interest or role in Utah’s public discussions, we hope you’ll be coming back to Utah Foundation research time and time again through the coming year for facts and analysis. After all, our mission is to promote a thriving economy, a well-prepared workforce, and a high quality of life for Utahns by performing thorough, well-supported research that helps policymakers, business and community leaders, and citizens better understand complex issues and providing practical, well-reasoned recommendations for policy change.

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