Dec 2, 2022 - News

Utah sees unprecedented population growth driven by net migration

Share of annual population growth in Utah, by type
Data: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Utah's population increased by 61,242 residents between July 2021 and July 2022, according to data released Thursday by the Kem C. Gardner Institute.

  • Utah is now home to more than 3.4 million residents, the report showed.

Details: Migration accounted for 62% of that growth or 38,141 residents. It's the largest net migration growth seen in state history, researchers noted.

  • Natural increase, which is births minus deaths, accounted for ​​an additional 23,101 residents.
  • All Utah counties, except Daggett County, experienced growth from net migration.

What's happening: Utah is experiencing high net migration due to job opportunities and college students and seniors moving in, Kem C. Gardner Institute director Natalie Gochnour told reporters during yesterday's news conference.

Why it matters: Utah, one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, is experiencing complications as a result of the rising population.

  • The state's housing inventory has not met the demand, which is driving up home prices and rental costs.
  • Laura Hanson, the state's planning coordinator at the Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, said the latest estimates "reflect a particular inflection point in the statewide story of growth and change, with the 2023 estimates likely [showing] broader economic shifts."

Zoom in: Salt Lake County's population was fueled more by natural increase (6,818) than net migration (3,180), adding nearly 10,000 new residents combined.

  • Utah County added the most new residents (23,980) and accounted for 39% of the state's population growth.

What they're saying: "In a world where the pandemic is still unwinding, where we're really going through a housing correction right now, for the state to realize its highest level of net in-migration in modern record-keeping — it's a big deal," Gochnour said.


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