Diversity in Utah Data Book

/Diversity in Utah Data Book
Diversity in Utah Data Book2021-05-06T15:57:51+00:00

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute specializes in Utah demographics and the Utah economy. When community leaders, under the sponsorship of Zions Bank, asked us to prepare a repository of indicators by race, ethnicity, and sex, we accepted the challenge.

This report provides data and information to help state and community leaders make progress in their equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. Gov. Spencer Cox’s One Utah Roadmap, the Utah Legislature’s policies to extend opportunity to all, and business and community leaders’ Utah Compact on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion provide three significant examples in the past year of Utah’s commitment. The data and context provided in this report shed light on existing disparities; help people understand the complexities of these measures; and help provide a starting point for future progress.



Utah community leaders, under the sponsorship of Zions Bank, commissioned this data book to help with their equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts.

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute reviewed and organized publicly available data by race, ethnicity, and sex. The repository includes data on demographics, the economy, education, health, and housing.

The data book also includes contextual information about the data, including definitions, limitations, careful sourcing, examples of data complexities, and examples of community leadership and Utah strengths.

The data book does not include policy analysis or recommendations.

The data book does not include an analysis of the causal or explanatory factors – such as demographic, economic, behavioral, or societal (including discriminatory) – that contribute to racial, ethnic, and sex disparities.

The data book only includes limited information on national and state-by-state comparisons. Since the data sources are all public information, others can draw these comparisons if they wish.

  • Utah ranks as the 34th most racially and ethnically diverse state in the nation, with 22% of the state identifying other than non-Hispanic White.
  • Utah’s minority share of the population is expected to increase to one in the three Utahns by 2060.
  • Utah’s minority populations (with a few notable exceptions, especially among the Asian population) are more likely than Utah’s White population to have less income and wealth, higher poverty rates, lower educational achievement and attainment, less home ownership, and higher housing cost burdens.
  • Some Utah minority populations have longer life expectancies and lower rates of depression, obesity, and asthma than the White population.
  • Utah’s nation-leading social capital, family stability, income equality, and social mobility position Utah well to make important progress in addressing racial, ethnic, and sex disparities.

This data book contains no policy recommendations. It does provide publicly available data to inform policy discussions.

The sample data in the report includes sampling variability, which can be problematic when comparing differences across small area estimates. The report provides confidence intervals or margins of error for all sample data.

Other limitations – such as minority definitions, limitations of large groupings, underrepresentation with two or more races and fluidity of concepts – are noted in the data book.

The data book provides publicly available race/ethnicity, and sex data for Utah in the key areas of the Utah economy, education, health care, and housing. This data will be helpful to Utah businesses as they make decisions about equity, diversity, and inclusion.


“As former chair of the Multi-Cultural Commission, I’ve been in many discussions about disparities in housing, health and education, but we didn’t have much firm data to back up the anecdotes and assumptions. Now we do, and as this report shows, we have a lot of work to do. This data is urgently needed and crucial to helping us find policy solutions that will help all Utahns prosper and broaden opportunities for everyone.” – Gov. Spencer Cox

“Smart policy starts with sound data. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute has provided us with invaluable analysis that will undoubtedly serve as a springboard to meaningful discussion and, ultimately, better policy outcomes in the years ahead.” – Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson

“The Institute’s data book offers a comprehensive opportunity to better understand some of the inequitable realities that Utah’s minority populations face. Having a greater understanding of these significant disparities is fundamental to effective policymaking and can facilitate upward mobility once concentrated into action. This data is critical to building future success for the entire state of Utah.” – Sen. Luz Escamilla

“A vital question we should all be asking ourselves is how we can use this consequential data to unify, not divide and how can we build community bridges for our future. Utah has made remarkable and sometimes surprising progress on challenging issues before. I’m confident this report provides some value tools to help us achieve another landmark of progress.” – Byron Russell, Co-Chair, Utah Multicultural Commission

“We believe that this data will further the awareness of disparities and can serve as a catalyst towards greater equity and inclusion. Our Board has already begun deeper conversations because of this document and look forward to collaborating with others as we, collectively bring together a more just and unified community.”   – Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable 

“Utahns are inquisitive, collaborative and forward thinking, and with this research and information, we can better structure our policies, define our activities and shape our overall future. This report can help serve as a baseline from which we can progress. This work provides an opportunity for all to bring their best thinking to the table, remembering that ideas are not proprietary, they are inclusive.” – Gail Miller, Owner and Chair, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

“As this report demonstrates, the University of Utah has an important role to play in helping us understand the racial, ethnic and sex disparities in our state. Researchers in every field of study on our campus are investigating these inequities, bringing them to the surface, offering solutions and leading actions that will benefit Utahns who have not received adequate attention or had equal access to support and opportunities in the past.” -Michael L. Good, Interim President, University of Utah