Utah Foundation today released a report analyzing the projected population changes in Utah through 2050.
The report examines who the new population will include, where they will live, and why they will live in Utah. This report is the first in a series that will examine the long-range impacts of Utah’s expected population growth.
Highlights of the report include:
Projections for population growth range from 1 million to 2.5 million new people. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget projects 2.5 million new people.
In 2010, 90 percent of Utahns lived in urban areas, which was 8th highest in the nation. This is projected to continue in the future, with about 70 percent of the state’s population growth expected to be in the Wasatch Front.
Nine Utah counties are projected to more than double their population by 2050. Small cities in Utah County are projected to grow significantly in the next 10-20 years.
Prior long-range planning efforts have helped reduce the amount of land consumed by new development – several hundred square miles less than models in the 1990s had projected.
Utah will see impacts of a growing 65+ population, although less than the rest of the nation. Utah’s dependency ratio will more than double from 15.2 in 2010 to 33.7 in 2050 for the 65+ population.
Although Utah has become more diverse in recent decades, it is changing more slowly than the nation; more than half the U.S. population will be racial and ethnic minorities by 2043.
“Utahns have a history of planning for the future, and current projections for the next thirty-five years show that growth will continue and provides good reason to continue these efforts,” said Mallory Bateman, Utah Foundation’s research analyst. “The demographic changes over the next few decades will require additional planning efforts relating to our aging communities, more diverse school populations, and the location and type of new development.”
Utah Foundation President Stephen Kroes said, “The next several decades will bring enormous challenges for Utah – how will we fit the growing number of new Utahns into available land, and how will we accommodate the increased loads on our schools, roads, and water supply? We look forward to discussing all of these questions in upcoming reports this year.”