Gov. Cox spoke to young Utahns in his annual speech. Is Utah’s government addressing the issues that matter to youth?

January 28, 2023 (Salt Lake Tribune)

I thought Gov. Spencer Cox’s State of the State address last week was a good speech…

…There was only one study or poll that I could find in the last decade that explicitly sought to understand the issues that matter to certain age demographics in Utah. That came in the Utah Foundation’s report “What’s on Utah’s Mind: Voter Issues and Concerns in 2020.”


Utah Foundation's polling on what matters to Utahns by generation. (

Utah Foundation’s polling on what matters to Utahns by generation. (


That’s helpful, to be sure: Utah millennials listed health care as their No. 1 priority, followed by K-12 education and public health. Housing affordability and partisanship were considered more important by millennials than the other generations studied.

But the Utah Foundation’s study didn’t include the opinion of any Generation Z kids, generally considered those born after 1997 or so. And of course, it’s possible priorities have shifted since 2020, too…

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