Sutherland Institute announced today a new report titled “The Utah Family Miracle: Five Policy Ideas to Keep Utah Families Strong and Stable.”
The new report – written by Sutherland Visiting Scholar Brad Wilcox and two co-authors, in partnership with the Institute for Family Studies – unveils how marriage and family structure are significant contributors to Utah’s best-in-the-nation status for things like economic opportunity, happiness, and strong civic and social life. The report explores the significance of data showing that trends in marriage and family structure are on the decline. It also offers five concrete policy recommendations to Utah policymakers that will maintain and build upon Utah’s success as a national leader for strong families and a vibrant economy.
“Of all the vital civic institutions, the family is the most foundational,” said Rick Larsen, president and CEO of Sutherland Institute. “Equipping policymakers with the accurate analysis and data surrounding family structure and stability – and why that matters in educational and economic outcomes – will inform more effective policy and ensure Utah’s prosperity for generations to come.”
In the report, Wilcox and his co-authors highlight the following:
Utah leads the nation in rate of children living in married-couple households (82% in Utah, compared with 75% nationally).
Utah County boasts a rate of nearly 9 in 10 children being raised in a married-couple household, higher than any other mid- or large-size county in America.
Despite Utah’s high ranking, marriage and childbearing rates have started to decline.
Recommendations include policy reforms that better account for family structure in public data reporting, incorporate the success sequence into mainstream conversations about upward mobility, and address cost-of-living concerns for Utah families.