Blog Post

Insight: Demographic Inputs for Projections

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™.

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute is pleased to publish additional documentation for our long-term planning projections. Employment, life expectancy, and the total fertility rate are three key indicators that drive the projections produced by our Utah Demographic and Economic Model (UDEM). While previous documentation has reported our assumptions about key indicators and how UDEM processes them,  this documentation presents more nuanced details for the indicators used in our most recent baseline and scenario projections.

Utah’s planners require quality projections for total population, employment, births, deaths, and net migration. But age and gender detail are also necessary to prepare for the school-age, labor force, and retirement-age population. Producing such detailed projections requires the total fertility rate, life expectancy, and net migration to be translated into age-and-sex-specific rates. These patterns vary across Utah, so inputs must also incorporate geographic data. Since the future is always uncertain, high and low growth scenarios are also valuable tools in this process. This document discusses all of these patterns and more.

The Gardner Institute’s projections have helped inform policymakers across Utah. This additional documentation furthers our responsibility to the community by providing additional transparency of the process. We expect applied researchers to be the most inte