By: Mike Hollingshaus
Utah’s population is getting older—the percentage of children is getting smaller, and the percentage of elderly Utahns is growing. When I tell people this, they often ask: “but doesn’t Utah have the youngest population in the country?” The answer is “yes, and it probably will for a long time.” Even so, the average age of the population is steadily rising.
What do the data say about the future of Utah’s aging population? And what does this mean for housing policy and planning decisions? The answers to these questions help us prepare for the Utah of the future.
What Do the Data Say?
Right now, about one in 10 Utahns is 65 or older. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute projects that by 2065, that number will be one in five. This translates to over one million retirement-aged Utahns by 2065.
Some of this growth will occur rapidly as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age, and will proceed in waves. Figure 1 shows forecasts of the Utah population 65 and older, focusing on different age groups.