Blog Post

Insight: Explosive Growth in Utah’s 65 and Older Population

By: Heidi Prior

One of the banner narratives from the 2020 Census Demographic and Housing Characteristics file is the significant aging of the population in the United States.

This data reveals that the U.S. population 65 and older grew faster between 2010 and 2020 than in any decade since 1890. This same data shows a spike in the growth of the older population in Utah, too. While the 65 and older population nationwide grew an impressive 39% last decade, Utah’s 65 and older population grew 53% between 2010 and 2020. During the same period, Utah’s overall population grew 18% (making Utah the fastest-growing state in the nation).

Figure 1. Utah Population 65 and Older by Age Group, 2010 and 2020

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1 (SF1), U.S. Census Bureau, 2020 Census Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC)

This new factsheet provides additional insights from the newly released DHC data describing Utah’s fastest-growing age group. Findings reveal:

  • Utah has the smallest share of older residents in the nation: Only 11.7% of Utahns are 65 or older.
  • Small older populations in several counties: Fewer than 1 in 10 residents in Tooele and Utah counties are 65 and older. In fact, Utah County has the tenth lowest share of older residents of any county in the United States (and 5 of the counties with lower shares are in Alaska).
  • Less racial and ethnic diversity in Utah’s older population: While 24.6% of Utahns identify as racial or ethnic minorities, only 11.3% of Utahns age 65 or older identify as a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic White.
  • One in five older Utahns