Blog Post

Insight: New population estimates show state growth slowing for first time since 2013

By: Emily Harris

The Utah Population Committee (UPC) convenes an annual meeting every fall to discuss, review, and vote on the newest state and county population estimates. These estimates include total population, births, deaths, natural increase (births minus deaths), and net migration for each county and the state. Utah’s growth accelerated between 2014 and 2017, even claiming the Census Bureau’s title as the fastest growing state in the nation in 2016.

The July 1, 2018 estimates indicate that Utah’s growth, while still high, is starting to decelerate. Last year, Utah grew by 1.9 percent (58,989 people) and this year by 1.7 percent (52,644 people). Utah’s natural increase and net migration, the two components of population change, also decreased from 2017 to 2018, but are still relatively high. Utah’s births are at their lowest level since 2000, but still maintains the second highest fertility rate in the nation (behind South Dakota). As Utah’s population begins to age, the number of annual deaths increases. Coupling that with declining births produces a lower natural increase each year. These trends are apparent nationally.

Total Population and Annual Percentage Change in County Population