Utah Foundation Significant Statistics

Significant Statistics | How is Utah performing on the Nation’s Report Card?

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The National Assessment of Education Progress – or the Nation’s Report Card – has been administered to students around the nation by the U.S. Department of Education for decades. Based upon the scores achieved, students are measured as “advanced,” “proficient,” “basic” or “below basic.” When looking at whether students are proficient, 2022 was a bad year. While states and the nation had been trending upward since 2000 with their proficient percentages on the math and … Continued

Significant Statistics | The Pursuit of Happiness in Utah: How are We Doing?

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The Utah Foundation recently released its Personal Quality of Life Index. It shows that Utahns’ well-being is on the downward slide, declining from a score of 82 in 2018 to 76 in 2022. But how might Utah compare to other states? We don’t have a national version of our Quality of Life survey, but we can get a glimpse from other indicators. For instance, WalletHub’s recent “Happiest States” rating shows that Utah comes in at … Continued

Significant Statistics | Salt Lake Remains Second Highest Metro for Home Price Increases

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The Utah Foundation’s 2022 Quality of Life project shows that Utahns’ perception of community quality of life is in decline. Housing affordability and other costs of living accounted for nearly two-thirds of the overall decrease in community quality of life from 2018 to 2022 The Federal Reserve increased interest rates four times in five months (March, May, June and July) in part to slow inflation. That seems to be having an impact in the housing … Continued

Significant Statistics | Can Carpenters Afford the Homes They Build?

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Having recently completed our “middle housing” project (see the project page here), the Utah Foundation continues to track Utah’s housing issues. A recent find is the Carpenter Index. AEI’s Housing Center created its Carpenter Index as a way of tracking housing affordability in the country’s 100 largest metro areas. The Index looks at the income for the average carpenter-headed household as a proxy for blue-collar Americans’ incomes. The gist of the question: Can carpenters afford … Continued

Significant Statistics | Utah Teacher Pay to 2020

Written by: Shawn Teigen

New data from the U.S. Department of Education suggest that, when adjusting for inflation, teacher pay has held steady from 1990 to 2020. Mountain States’ average teacher pay has — with one exception — been below the national average. Pay in Colorado, Nevada and Arizona neared the U.S. in 1990 but has since decreased. On the other hand, pay has increased in others, including Utah. (And New Mexico skyrocketed from 2019 to 2020.) However, Utah … Continued

Significant Statistics | Growth Part IV: Should Utah Limit Population Growth?

Written by: Christopher Collard

Population Growth – Should we Stop It? Attitudes around limiting grow vary according to religious affiliation. Figure 1: Whether voters agreed or disagreed with the statement, “Utah Should Take Action to Slow its Population Growth in Urban Areas” As outlined in Part III, much of the Utah Foundation’s work directly or indirectly addresses the problems created by Utah’s population growth. We often examine ways to address these problems. However, in the Utah Priorities Project survey, … Continued

Significant Statistics | Growth Part III: How Utah is Addressing Growth Pressures

Written by: Christopher Collard

Growth and Transportation Infrastructure Utah has a history of robust investment in transportation infrastructure. Utah’s investment in transportation went to a new level after 2020; the state budget for transportation in 2022 is nearly twice that of its 2012-2020, even after accounting for inflation and population growth. While traffic decreased during the pandemic, it recovered by January 2021, and while Utah is among the top five states for remote workers, it is not clear to … Continued

Significant Statistics | Growth Part II: Priorities for Addressing Growth

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah’s rapid growth means the state can expect to continue seeing a growing economy and increased national prominence. But it would be a mistake to assume that this growth can come without a price. Certainly, survey respondents to the Utah Foundation’s 2020 Utah Priorities Project have concerns. When thinking about population growth, most Utah voters were concerned about infrastructure for roads and water. Those that were more concerned with roads tended to be affiliated with … Continued

Significant Statistics | Growth Part I: The Nation’s Fastest Growing State

Written by: Christopher Collard

In the decade preceding 2020, Utah grew by 18.4%, making it the fastest-growing state in the nation. This news comes despite births in Utah continuing to decline in a trend beginning in 2008, meaning that although Utah still has one of the highest fertility rates in the nation, more and more of its population growth comes from migration. It is expected that by 2031 Utah will have added an additional half million people to its … Continued