By: Mike Hollingshaus
Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.
We are excited to publish updated population estimates by age and sex for Utah and each of its counties through 2019. These numbers are consistent with the total population estimates produced by the Utah Population Committee (UPC).
Different age groups have unique needs. Older Utahns, who are especially high-risk for COVID-19 complications, comprise the fastest-growing age group. Meanwhile the under-18 population is barely growing. Although Utah remains the youngest of the United States, its childhood population might start shrinking within a few years.
Planners for student, retirement, and other subpopulations also need geographically specific population age data. With births falling, migration is contributing more to Utah’s growth, and different counties tend to attract (and send) migrants in different life stages.
We produced these estimates with our custom-built UDEM projection model. The special attention to local data and expertise provide additional value beyond what the Census Bureau is able to generate between decennial censuses. While the Census Bureau also produces age and sex population estimates, they do so for every county in whole U.S., and simply cannot account for Utah’s distinctive dynamics, such as missionary migration, in great detail.
The 2020 Census is still underway! It will serve as the new gold standard of population data for the ensuing decade, affecting representation, resources, and planning. If you haven’t filled out your census form yet, please do so. We want to make sure you are counted now and going into the future!
Mike Hollingshaus is a senior demographer at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.