Top Utah Foundation Findings of 2021

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The Utah Foundation had a prolific 2021. (Read all about it in our Annual Report, here.) At its December meeting, the Utah Foundation Board of Trustees determined our top 10 findings in 2021 – or top 12 findings given the three-way tie for 10th place.

1. From 2010 to 2021, an inflation-adjusted mortgage payment with 10% down on a median-priced Utah home increased by $469 from $1,131 to $1,600. Over time, the cost of lower-priced homes has increased more than higher-priced ones, so the attainability of homeownership with affordable mortgages has disappeared for some Utahns. Read the full report, here.

2. In Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties, about 14% of housing units are middle housing. This suggests that that there may be room to expand these options to meet the evolving needs of Utah’s population. Read the full report, here.

3. While road usage charge programs are primarily meant to address the deficiencies of the motor vehicle fuel tax as a revenue generator, they can be crafted to address other policy objectives as well, such as improvements to traff congestion and air quality. Read the full report, here.

4. In response to the Utah Foundation’s survey on unmet needs in their service areas, homeless service providers most often identified the need for more housing options, such as emergency beds, transitional housing and long-term housing (38% of total gaps reported). Read the full report, here.

5. A targeted push for periodic remote work – coinciding with periods of poor air quality – would produce improvements in emissions to counter the particulate matter during winter inversions and ozone smog during hot summer days. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

5. Student data analytics should be used to examine the return on investment for post-secondary programs can help to ensure governmental support and tuition is used in the best way possible to meet students’ educational goals. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

5. Utah compares favorably on our measures of social trust [fraud and federal corruption convictions, violent crime, and breach of trust penalties]. The Beehive State outperforms the nation at large across the board. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

8. Utah is already an innovator in renewable natural gas, geothermal energy, battery storage, and carbon capture and storage, which suggests that Utah is well-positioned to lead with those and other climate-focused strategies. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

8. Voter turnout in Utah has improved in recent election cycles – after having languished near the very bottom nationally. The state rank surged to 13th among the 50 states in the 2018 midterm election. However, in the 2020 presidential election cycle, Utah ranked only 39th nationally and sixth among the eight Mountain States. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

10. Hispanic Utah households have the highest median income of any Hispanic population in the Mountain States. However, the median income overall in Utah is about 25% higher than that of the Hispanic population. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

10. The IPP Renewed construction period, most of which will take place fro m 2022 through 2026, will represent a $2 billion investment, increasing the state’s gross domestic product up to 0.18% annually from 2022 through 2026. It will directly support an average of 500 jobs annually during this period, which will in turn support up to an additional 600 jobs across the state. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

10. Utah is at or next to the top in the nation on four of the six measures of participation in community life [charitable giving, volunteerism, religious and neighbored participation]. On the other two measures [professional and non-professional organizations per capita], however, Utah is below average – and in last place on one. (Tie.) Read the full report, here.

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