A new report released by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute provides estimates at the neighborhood-level of Salt Lake County’s growth and development since 2010.
Utah’s largest county added approximately 62,000 people since the turn of the decade, a population roughly the size of South Jordan. Growth has been concentrated in the southwest, south-central and central areas of the county with neighborhoods in Herriman, Midvale, Murray, Salt Lake City and South Jordan achieving the fastest rates of growth.
“Residential expansion and development in southern Salt Lake County is part of a larger regional economic growth dynamic that extends into northern Utah County,” said Dr. Pamela S. Perlich, director of demographic research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at The University of Utah.
The southwest, south-central and central areas of the county contain the tracts with the highest amounts of population growth, mainly located in South Jordan, Herriman and Bluffdale. However, there are notable high growth tracts outside these cities, including areas of West Jordan and Midvale. The tracts with the highest percentage growth rates were more scattered. A few South Jordan and Herriman tracts are among these, but tracts in Midvale, Salt Lake City and Murray also demonstrate high rates of population growth.
The national census, conducted every 10 years, provides the most complete and accurate count of Utahns down to the neighborhood level. In the five years since the enumeration, however, the 2010 Census results have become dated as communities in Salt Lake County continue to evolve, with demographic and housing changes occurring unevenly throughout the valley. These estimates provide much-needed information about where changes have occurred since the 2010 data was collected.
Demographic estimates were produced by the Policy Institute using the housing unit method, which uses building permit and demolition data to infer changes in housing units. Housing construction indicates new households and population in the area. Because this method does not incorporate information about births or deaths, changes in household composition are not captured.
“Accurate population estimates, especially at the community level, are vital for a wide range of programs and services,” continued Perlich. “By providing updated estimates of population, households, group quarter populations and housing units at the tract level, we are laying the factual foundation for policy and investment planning.”
The development of these population, household, group quarters population and housing unit estimates have been funded by the Utah Legislature to provide increased demographic decision support for the state of Utah. The estimates will be used to inform infrastructure investment, education planning, and other public and private sector decisions. The Policy Institute will continue to build capacity and develop data so this demographic work can expand statewide.