Blog Post

Insight: County-Level Insights from our Long-Term Planning Projections

By Mallory Bateman and Max Backlund

The Gardner Institute recently released a new vintage of long-term planning projections. The data provides official insights into the state and counties’ total populations, households, and economies. With this data, communities can plan for the next 10, 20, and 40 years and consider how changing characteristics might impact services, policies, and more.

The County Projection Profiles are the newest release, featuring insights for all 29 counties. Three of the most noteworthy trends include how and where growth will happen and what that growth means for the population make-up for each county.

  1. Job Growth is More Urbanized than Population Growth. By 2060, we project that the state will add 3.3 million residents, powered by 1.3 million new jobs. By 2060, Salt Lake County will have 1.6 million residents and 1.5 million jobs. This urbanized job growth will have an oversized effect on the population growth in neighboring counties, particularly Utah, Wasatch, and Tooele.
  2. Net Migration Becomes the Driver of Population Growth. These shifts also change how our population grows, moving from natural increase (births minus deaths) as the biggest driver of growth to net migration (people moving in minus people moving out