The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at The University of Utah develops and shares economic, demographic and public policy data and research that help individuals and the community make informed decisions. Use the tools on this page to filter content by type, author, year, and subject matter. If you are unable to find a particular publication, please contact the Gardner Policy Institute at

Utah population booming — fueled by job seekers and babies

New state estimates show Utah’s population continues to boom — adding 59,045 people this year, the equivalent of plopping in another Taylorsville. But demographers see a radical shift in what fuels that growth. Mainly, traditionally big-family Utah is seeing fewer births: they dropped by 1,202 last year, continuing a nine-year streak of declines. Meanwhile, migration […]

November 30, 2017
Congressman-elect John Curtis to be sworn in Monday

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – In an otherwise unpredictable election night, former Provo Mayor John Curtis handily took the congressional seat once occupied by Jason Chaffetz. Now, he prepares to head to Washington, where he will sworn in as early as Monday. Curtis spoke to constituents at the University of Utah’s Kem Gardner Policy Institute […]

November 9, 2017
Republican John Curtis, Utah’s new congressman-elect, set to be sworn in, cast first vote Monday

By Monday night — less than a week after winning election to become Utah’s newest congressman — John Curtis will be in Washington getting sworn in and casting his first vote. It’s a tad overwhelming, he said with a laugh Wednesday, and “a little surreal.” With a Republican-led Congress eager to pass major reforms, the freshman GOP […]

Utah ranks No. 2 in growth of residents who speak a language besides English at home

During this decade, Utah sped along to the second-fastest growth rate for residents who speak a language other than English while at home, a shift driven by the children of immigrants. That population grew by 20 percent between 2010 and 2016, second only to the 25 percent growth rate in Wyoming, according to a Center […]

October 26, 2017
In our opinion: Utah, America must avoid a demographic winter

Utahns are marrying later, having fewer children than in the past and delaying when they are having their children, according to an analysis by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The change appears to be driven by economic factors that include income levels, an increase in housing prices, student debt and education and work […]

October 16, 2017
Why are Utah women delaying child birth? Research also reveals Mormon family trends

Her mother and older sister each got married at 20, but Aliska Julian was busy nurturing a love of social justice and travel at that age. At 25, in between trips to Kenya to run the nonprofit she started with her mom, Julian met an entrepreneur named Nate while dancing to ’80s covers at Liquid […]

October 12, 2017
Experts plead with Utah County leaders to plan strategically for immense growth that is coming

“It’s not your grandmother’s county anymore. It’s not your grandfather’s county anymore.” With these words, Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, set the tone for the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce 2017 Executive Summit Monday at Sundance Mountain Resort. “Growth will be your constant companion. You are going to change,” Gochnour […]

October 2, 2017
Which counties rely the most on Utah’s $8.4B tourism industry for jobs?

Daggett and Garfield counties may be on opposite sides of the state, but they have one thing in common — more than half of their jobs (54 percent) are provided by private leisure and hospitality companies. It’s not that much different in Grand, Kane and Summit counties, where upwards of 40 percent of all private-sector […]

September 14, 2017
The monumental battle over the West

BOULDER, Garfield County — If the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are shrunk, Blake Spalding says it will be the hammer likely to nail the doors shut on her nationally recognized restaurant. After all, the Hell’s Backbone Grill is named for the narrow, 9,000-foot elevation spine along the monument’s Aquarius Plateau and in […]

August 27, 2017
Herbert: ‘Time for action, time for doing’ regarding rural job growth

“It’s time for action, time for doing. The time for talking is past,” he said. Herbert then challenged rural leaders to identify their community problems, the hindrances to getting them solved and craft a plan of action and bring it to Salt Lake City for a meeting to hammer out an “all hands on deck” […]

August 3, 2017