By: Pamela Perlich
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™.
I moved to Utah in 1986 when the state population was 1.7 million, just over half the 3.2 million population of today. Having experienced and studied this growth for over three decades, I can tell you that present-day Utah is not simply a twice-as-large version of its former self. This growth dynamic has intensified since 1990 as Utah has become more globally interconnected, through markets, technology, and migrations of people. Here in the Greater Wasatch Front, we have become a much more urbanized metropolitan region.
Although the Great Recession interrupted the trend, the growth dynamic in the Intermountain Region – including Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah – has persisted for the last three decades. Since 2010, these four states have been among the most rapidly growing in the nation.
Data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau confirms that recent population growth in Utah is among the most rapid in the nation. Once again, the states in the Intermountain West lead the nation in rates of growth. Top states for population growth rates from 2018 to 2019 were:
Population Growth Rates, 2018-2019