By Emily Harris
The Census Bureau released its first set of population estimates for the 2022 vintage: national and state resident population and components of change. This release provides a snapshot of the total population for all 50 states on July 1, 2022.
According to Census Bureau population estimates, Utah grew from 3,339,113 in 2021 to 3,380,800 in 2022, growing by 41,687 or 1.2%. Utah ranked 9th nationally for highest absolute population growth, and 10th for highest percentage growth. This is the lowest Census Bureau percent population growth for Utah in recent history. These estimates show that Utah’s main source of population growth was natural increase at 23,541, while a net migration of 18,312 was much lower than 2021’s net migration of 31,734.
Utah in the national rankings:
The Census Bureau estimates show a rebound of national population growth and international net migration that had halted during the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating a return to pre-pandemic patterns. Additionally, the United States saw its largest annual increase in births since 2007.
The Southern region (population of 128,716,192) boasted the most growth of all regions (1.1%) and was dominated by net in-migration of 1,282,675 new residents. The Western region was the only other region to see growth, gaining 153,601 new residents. Unlike the Southern region, the West’s growth was mostly from natural increase and experienced a domestic net out-migration. The Northeast and Midwest regions saw population declines due to domestic net out-migration.
How does this compare to the Utah Population Committee (UPC) estimates for 2022?
The UPC estimates indicate Utah experienced higher growth of 61,242 or 1.83%, putting the July 1, 2022 population at 3,404,760. This is a difference of 23,960 or 0.7% compared to the Census Bureau’s estimate and is a result of the Census Bureau’s much lower net migration estimate. A difference in methodologies causes these differences in the estimates. While the Census Bureau estimates are the best resource for state comparisons, we are confident in the UPC estimates as a reliable resource for Utah-focused purposes. These estimates are closely vetted by local data experts and allow attention for unique circumstances we might experience in Utah.
Additional notes on Census Bureau estimates
This release kicks off the population estimates season, cascading into county estimates in March, city estimates in May, and ending with demographic characteristics such as age, sex, and race and ethnicity in June.
Stay tuned as we continue to monitor and analyze new Census Bureau estimates releases!
Emily Harris is a senior demographer at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.