Blog Post

New Evidence Demonstrates Utah Continues to Change

By: Dr. Pamela Perlich, PhD

By: Effie Van Noy

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2014 American Community Survey 1-year estimates.

[i] These data show us that while Utah maintains its “signature demographics”, it is also being transformed by long run national demographic and economic trends. Evidence of the effects of the Great Recession and subsequent slow but steady recovery are also appearing in these data.   

Utah continues to be the youngest state in the nation, but half of the population is now older than 30.5 years, with median age continuing to rise from 29.2 in 2010. This is the combined effect of falling births and birthrates as well as rising ages for marriage and childbearing. According to these data, Utah women had children at a rate of 70 per 1,000 women 15 to 50 years old (who had a birth in the past 12 months) in 2014, down from 2010. This compares to a rate of 52 per 1,000 nationally in 2014, also down since 2010. As the recovery has proceeded, it would appear the decline in births in Utah and across the nation have finally reversed.

Utah consistently has among the largest household sizes in the nation. Average household size in Utah is estimated to be 3.16 in 2014, which is an increase from the 2010 level of 3.10. This represents a reversal of a longer term trend, and is further evidence of the severity of the Great Recession, which has delayed household formation of young adults and has resulted in “doubling up” of multiple households. The same trend