Utah Foundation Significant Statistics

Significant Statistics | When stimulus checks came, Utahns were more likely to sock money away

Written by: Erin Hernandez

The U.S. economy took a significant hit due to the pandemic and economic shutdown in 2020. Businesses let go of employees and reduced hours; the unemployment rate peaked in April 2020, reaching an astounding 14.4% in the U.S. and 9.7% in Utah. To stimulate the economy and aid households, the federal government introduced a variety of financial resources, including stimulus checks. Beginning in early 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed Americans nine times over a … Continued

Significant Statistics | Utah Leads the U.S. in Personal Income Growth

Written by: Erin Hernandez

In a year when one might expect Americans’ personal income to decrease, 2020 saw the greatest increase in personal income growth in 20 years. The pandemic and related economic shutdown inspired a far-reaching increase in governmental assistance. Policymakers focused on increasing funds for unemployment benefits and government transfers, more widely known as stimulus checks, in hopes of offsetting the impacts from a growing unemployment rate. This resulted in a nationwide personal income increase of 4.9%. … Continued

Significant Statistics | Utah is No Longer at the Bottom in Education Spending per Student

Written by: Shawn Teigen

As many people know, Utah has been last in the nation for decades in per pupil spending on education, trailing Arizona and Idaho. No longer. Utah Foundation staff had expected the state to pull ahead of Idaho at some point during the past four years. It has finally happened with the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data released today.[1] The Utah Foundation prefers the measure of education spending effort – or the amount spent on education … Continued

Significant Statistics | Are Californians to Blame for Salt Lake’s Rising Housing and Rental Rates?

Written by: Christopher Collard

The Utah Foundation has released a series of Significant Statistics on the relative importance of housing affordability among Utah voters, noting the steep increases in housing prices and rental prices. Why are we seeing these increases? The Utah Foundation has looked at whether it might be due to an influx of Californians. That does not seem to be the whole answer. When looking at Utah’s larger metropolitan areas, the recent rate of people moving in … Continued

Significant Statistics | 2020 a standout year for home sale price escalation

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation’s 2020 Utah Priorities Project found that housing affordability is a top issue to Utah voters. This is due in part to increasing housing prices. Based on data collected by Redfin (a real estate brokerage that publishes national housing data), Utah’s housing prices skyrocketed in 2020. (See Figure 1.) A study by bankrate.com found that over the course of 2020, Utah’s home home values increased by 15.4 percent, which was the third-highest increase among … Continued

Significant Statistics | Rents in Salt Lake area expensive from a national perspective, but not among Mountain State peers

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation’s 2020 Utah Priorities Project found that housing affordability is a top issue to Utah voters. Previous Utah Foundation research indicated that housing affordability was of much greater concern among renters than homeowners.  While the increasing cost of owning a home is potentially offset by record low interest rates, there is no such offset for renters. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development uses a national survey to calculate the Fair Market Rent, … Continued

Significant Statistics | Priorities survey reveals divergent housing affordability concerns by age, political viewpoint, ethnicity

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation had asked about housing prices in its 2008, 2010 and 2012 Utah Priorities Project surveys but housing had never been one of the top 10 issues. However, housing affordability was the second most important issue to Utah voters in early 2020. With the emergence of the coronavirus, concerns about housing affordability dropped to 7th – with just under one-third of Utahns ranking it in the top 5. (See Figure 1.) Interestingly, housing affordability … Continued

Significant Statistics | Uneven Distribution of Utah’s Unemployment

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah’s tourism-destination counties – particularly those in Southeastern Utah – and the state’s most important oil and gas extraction counties have been the slowest to recover from the pandemic-resultant recession. In the Southeastern part of the state, Garfield, Grand, San Juan and Wayne counites’ unemployment rates remain between 8.3% and 10.3%. Duchesne and Uintah counties sit at 7.6% and 8.5%, respectively. The decline in energy prices mentioned in Utah Foundation’s September 24 release, Utah Priority … Continued

Significant Statistics | Utahns prefer that K-12 spending go to teacher pay

Written by: Shawn Teigen

As part of the 2020 Utah Priorities Project survey, when asked if they would be willing to pay more taxes for public schools, a majority of voters agreed. Utah voters preferred that additional funding be directed toward teacher pay and smaller class sizes, with less emphasis on either technology, books and other supplies or counselors and support services. Improved school facilities was a distant last place. Learn about how these preferences conflict and more in … Continued

Significant Statistics | Medicaid in the Time of a Pandemic

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Medicaid enrollment increased by 9% from March to May 2019.i (The first phase of Medicaid’s adult expansion started in April 2019, with adults in households up to 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) becoming eligible.) Enrollment increases were still modest between January and March 2020 (when eligibility moved to 138% of FPL), perhaps due to a robust economy. However, enrollment increased 8% from March to May 2020 amidst the economic impacts of the … Continued