Utah’s resilient politics bolstered by its social capital

July 22, 2022 (Sutherland Institute) -

…According to Utah Foundation’s social capital index, “Utah had the highest level of social capital in the nation, and has consistently been among the top states during the previous eight years.” Utah’s social capital score is higher today than in past years, indicating an increase in social capital during the recent past. The reasons for these outcomes include improving civic engagement, high levels of social trust, strong and improving community life, the best family life … Continued

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Survey says the quality of life in Utah is in decline. Here are the reasons why

June 29, 2022 (KSL.com) -

Despite a booming economy, a new survey reveals that housing prices and inflation are taking a toll on the quality of life in Utah. The Utah Foundation’s Community Quality of Life Index dropped to 64 this year out of a possible 100 points. The index has hovered between 70 and 73 points ever since the survey was first conducted in 2011. “The big headline in terms of community quality of life is that our community … Continued

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New report shows quality of life for Utahns in decline

June 29, 2022 (KSL News Radio) -

The Utah Foundation released a report on Wednesday that indicated a decrease in the quality of life for Utah residents. The report, titled: “The 2022 Utah Community Quality of Life Index: Is a Booming Economy Making Life Better?” focused on community quality of life. The Utah Foundation conducts the survey yearly, taking the data in hopes to target ways that policymakers might improve the quality of life for the state’s communities. The findings are based … Continued

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Survey: Quality of life in Utah is in decline

June 29, 2022 (KSL 5) -

Despite a booming economy, a new survey reveals that housing prices and inflation are taking a toll on the quality of life in Utah. The Utah Foundation’s Community Quality of Life Index dropped to 64 this year out of a possible 100 points. Since the survey was first conducted in 2011 the index has hovered between 70 and 73 points. “The big headline in terms of community quality of life is that our community quality … Continued

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Utah Foundation: Despite booming economy, analysis shows Utah community quality of life in decline

June 29, 2022 (Utah Policy) -

Today, the Utah Foundation releases The 2022 Utah Community Quality of Life Index: Is a Booming Economy Making Life Better? The report focuses on community quality of life – based on a survey where Utahns rate their communities on a series of 20 factors. In this report, the Utah Foundation discusses the results of the 2022 survey, compares 2022 data with previous years, analyzes responses by population group, and suggests targeted ways that policymakers might improve quality of … Continued

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Your Ecological House: Playing climate roulette in Utah

June 26, 2022 (Corvallis Gazette-Times) -

Now here’s a factoid for ya. Spencer Cox, the Governor of Utah, is an alfalfa farmer. “What’s that got to do with the price of beef in Japan?” you might ask. We’ll get to that soon, but first we have to understand why Cox’s intimate connection to his state’s largest agricultural sector matters. Let’s start with some other factoids. Eighty-two percent of Utah’s water consumption goes to agriculture; households and businesses use 18%. Half the … Continued

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Opinion: Rising inflation and housing crisis — Where is the American dream?

June 20, 2022 (Deseret News) -

High housing costs. Rapidly rising interest rates. Surging oil prices. Escalating inflation. If you don’t already own a home or if rising grocery costs don’t fit your budget, you might be excused for feeling a sense of dread. The American dream is built on homeownership and the idea that you can earn more in real dollars than your parents. But the elevated housing costs and surging interest rates are suddenly putting the first part of … Continued

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New report: Social mobility in Utah

June 01, 2022 (Utah Policy) -

Utah ranks near top on homeownership, other measures of social mobility but Beehive State tracks national decline in children outperforming parents Today, the Utah Foundation releases the seventh report in its Utah Social Capital Series with The Ladder of Success: Social Mobility in Utah. This installment focuses on the extent to which Utahns move up the socioeconomic ladder; the previous installments focused on civic engagement, social trust, community life, family life, social cohesion and the next generation. … Continued

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Opinion: The price of a lawn watered in a season of drought

June 01, 2022 (Deseret News) -

…Water districts may want to urge conservation through greatly increased water rates, adding an unpleasant, but necessary, new aspect to the inflation problem. In many Utah water districts, the true cost of water is blunted somewhat by property tax subsidies. Some districts rely on this tax base to fund long-term projects. That shouldn’t preclude them from instituting more aggressively tiered rate structures that greatly reduce overconsumption. At the same time, however, they should take care … Continued

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Report says Utah’s birth rate is declining, impacting other youth issues

May 16, 2022 (Fox 13) -

Utah’s birth rate continues to decline, impacting a number of other youth issues, according to a new report. The Utah Foundation released the report on Monday, highlighting a cascading series of policy impacts tied to the birth rate and the state’s youth. While Utah still has the highest birth rate, it has dropped by nearly a third since 2008, the report said. The entire United States reported a more modest decline. “The birth rate is … Continued

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Peter Reichard: Utah should be broadening educational horizons

May 11, 2022 (Salt Lake Tribune) -

Few dividing lines in our nation are as bright as the line between those who have some form of post-secondary degree or certification and those who do not. A shortfall in post-secondary educational attainment diminishes both social capital and economic prospects. And the consequences echo through generations, as the children of those with low educational attainment are more likely to follow suit. Some of the steps to expanding post-secondary attainment involve long-term, bottom-up changes. But … Continued

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Utah Foundation: Homes are moving increasingly out of reach for blue-collar households

May 11, 2022 (Utah Policy) -

Today, the Utah Foundation released a new Significant Statistic post on housing costs in Utah. Having recently completed our “middle housing” project, 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 … Continued

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Green Agenda Moves Forward in Utah, Coal Plants Prepare to Close

May 06, 2022 (The Epoch Times) -

Within the arid landscape of Delta, Utah, the state’s largest coal-fired power plant is winding down toward retirement. The Intermountain Power Agency is moving forward with plans to transition the facility into a natural gas-green hydrogen plant by 2025. Utah has 22 coal units, 14 of which are scheduled for closure by 2030. From those existing resources, five coal-fired plants currently produce power. Energy generated from coal accounts for 61 percent of Utah’s electricity production. … Continued

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Time to ditch the Utah political convention circus. Robert Gehrke explains why.

April 27, 2022 (Salt Lake Tribune) -

…They diminish the voice of women — not just with shouts of “Sit down, Karen!” — but because data shows women are consistently underrepresented among the delegate pool. In 2016, the non-partisan Utah Foundation reported that less than a quarter of delegates to the Republican convention were female, even though they make up 56% of GOP voters…

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Here’s how Utah can increase postsecondary education success

April 22, 2022 (KSL.com) -

A new report by the Utah Foundation says the Beehive State has work to do when it comes to connecting Utah’s K-12 students with resources for postsecondary educational success. Unsurprisingly, the cost of postsecondary education is a major concern for Utah students. Last May, Envision Utah surveyed more than 7,600 high school students in the state about their perceptions of postsecondary barriers. Cost topped the list, followed closely by wanting better information about applying to … Continued

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Utah Foundation: Utah has work to do connection students with financial aid

April 21, 2022 (Utah Policy) -

On Wednesday, the Utah Foundation released Broadening Horizons: Clearing an Early Path to Post-Secondary Success. When looking beyond high school, some Utah students face low expectations, a shortfall in post-secondary readiness, a lack of knowledge around post-secondary options and financial challenges. The report not only explores these challenges, but also seeks to reveal the network of supports that can help smooth the transition out of high school, broadening the educational horizons of Utah youth. (Read More)

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The costs of living

April 20, 2022 (The Signpost) -

Another option would be to increase the financial aid given to students. The Utah Foundation released a report in February 2021 on the postsecondary success of lower-income, nontraditional and first-generation students. One of the report’s key findings addressed Utah’s changing population. “If the state’s postsecondary educational institutions do not respond to those changes, tens of thousands of Utahns may miss out on educational advancement in the coming decades,” the Utah Foundation found. One of the … Continued

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Opinion: Is this a solution to Utah’s housing crunch?

April 12, 2022 (Deseret News) -

…Along the Wasatch Front, the housing shortage could be impacted more by zoning ordinances or, as the Utah Foundation put it, the construction of more “middle housing.” This refers to “a variety of multifamily housing options focusing on neighborhood walkability and being affordable to various income levels,” a report by the nonprofit public policy organization said. This could include fourplexes, duplexes, townhomes and other multi-unit construction…

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Recent vote brings change to housing options in Cedar City

April 07, 2022 (The St George News) -

…The “Cedar City Council Agenda Item 8 Staff Information Sheet,” cites several studies in support of utilizing ADUs to relieve housing issues. According to a November 2021 study completed by the Utah Foundation, the state is short 45,000 housing units, a gap it said cannot be closed by apartment complexes alone…

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Utah’s Middle Class is Thriving

April 04, 2022 (NewsBreak) -

…According to a new report from the Utah Foundation, Utah’s middle class is 54% of the state’s population, compared to 47% for the United States. The closest states are Wyoming and Idaho, where the middle class is 52% of the population…

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Opinion: Utahns are highly taxed and not stressed. How is that even possible?

March 30, 2022 (Deseret News) -

By Jay Evensen Nationally, the trend is clear. States that tend to vote Republican have less of a tax burden than states that vote Democratic. Except, that is, for a small handful of red states, and Utah is one of them. Utah, according to a new study, has the 15th highest tax burden in the nation. It’s got the third highest among Republican-leaning states, right behind Iowa (13th) and Kansas (14th). This is not a top-20 … Continued

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Opinion: America’s middle class is in trouble, but not in Utah

March 29, 2022 (Deseret News) -

The nation’s middle class has gradually been shrinking. Fifty years ago, more than 60% of Americans were in the middle class. Now the percentage is less than 50%. It’s worth noting that the upper class grew during that time. But so did the lower class. In short, our nation is becoming increasingly stratified. This is particularly evident when we look at America’s major cities and the urban-rural divide. A robust middle class provides a pipeline … Continued

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