Utah Foundation Significant Statistics

The Revenue Report: Income and Sales Tax Surprise

Written by: Staff

The State will be re-forecasting revenues after one more monthly collections report – due in the middle of February. Legislators will consider these numbers before making final budget decisions for the 2023 General Session. Interestingly, if the current growth rates were to hold throughout the remainder of the fiscal year (June 30th), the state would end the year with $1.9 billion more than forecasted. In this edition we highlighted how actual revenues can sometimes far … Continued

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

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In Utah, students slipped back to their 2013 scores for the 4th and 8th grade reading tests, and back to their 2011 scores for 4th and 8th grade math tests. On the bright side, Utah students in 2022 are statistically better than the nation in all but 4th grade math. That said, the difference all but disappears when accounting for household income. The gap between higher and lower income households persists, and even widened in … 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