News Release

New population and employment projections for Utah through 2065 set to be released

SALT LAKE CITY — Oct. 11, 2016 — The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute will release new provisional long-term population and employment projections for the state of Utah this week, showing Utah’s population is projected to reach 5.5 million people by the year 2065. This research is funded by Utah State Legislature in order to provide demographic decision support to the state and local governments and allow for coordination of statewide planning.

“Utah’s growth rate, though decelerating, continues to exceed the national average,” said Dr. Pamela Perlich, director of demographic research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “These 50-year projections, the first long-term data available in four years, indicate continued population growth and help illustrate a range of future dynamics and structural shifts in Utah, most notably an aging population.”

Full results and projections will be made available starting Oct. 12 and will be previewed that morning by Dr. Perlich at the monthly Newsmaker Breakfast:

Newsmaker Breakfast: Utah’s Long-Term Future: Employment and Population Projections

When: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. (continental breakfast to be served at 8:00 a.m.)

Where: Ivory Ballroom, Thomas S. Monson Center, 411 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Increased life expectancy and net migration, as well as a declining fertility rate and declining rate of natural increase are all noted components of population change over the next 50 years, according to the new projections. Utah’s median age is expected to rise from 30.8 years in 2015, to 39.5 years in 2065. A major component of this shift is the share of Utahns that are age 65 and older, which is projected to double from roughly 10 percent of the population to more than 20 percent.

“The foundation of great public policy begins with the people it serves,” said Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “Providing accurate, long-term population projections will help business, government and community leaders plan for the future.”

Other noteworthy highlights of the projections include the following:

• Utah is projected to continue to grow at more than double the national rate of projected growth.
• In 2015, Utah had only 337 centenarians (people at least 100 years old). That population is projected to be more than 20 times greater by 2065, reaching 6,844 centenarians.
• Projections indicate stable employment growth with the exception of the military, utilities and farming.
• By reaching 5.5 million people in 2065, Utah’s population is projected to be about the size the state of Minnesota is today.

The full projections and supporting materials can be found here.