By: Mike Hollingshaus
We are excited to publish annual population estimates by age and sex for Utah and each of its counties. These numbers cover each year since the 2010 decennial Census through 2018, and are consistent with the total population estimates produced by the Utah Population Committee (UPC). While the total UPC numbers have long been available, the new age and sex detail permits planners and researchers to address additional needs.
Total population numbers are obviously important for informed planning, but so are demographic characteristics such as age. Utah has the youngest population in the nation, yet is still aging very rapidly. Our numbers show the population aged 65 and older is growing quicker than younger groups as Baby Boomers age into retirement and birth rates continue to decline. Older Utahns require different services than younger Utahns, with implications for issues such as education, retirement planning, health care, housing demand, and business location.
Demographic patterns also differ by geography. Utah County is, on average, younger than Washington County; and Cache County has a high population of college-age students. Our new data products provide policymakers with the additional specificity of detail required for the critical decisions that will affect Utahns all around the state.
We used our UDEM projection model to produce these estimates. It is custom-built to capture Utah’s unique migration patterns and age structure. These features contribute to the accuracy of the estimates. Utah’s unique demographic dynamics and characteristics are not captured as completely by standard demographic models.
Our new data product includes a convenient Fact Sheet containing the summary statistics most frequently needed by all data users, as well as a detailed Excel workbook for analytic use.
Census 2020 is just around the corner, which means the most accurate and detailed data will be available in 2021. Once the new data start rolling in, you can count on us to make them accessible in a timely and easy-to-understand format. Until then, these estimates provide the most current data on the age and sex composition of Utah’s counties.
Utah Annual Percent Population Growth by Age Group, 2010-2018
Mike Hollingshaus is a demographer at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.