Apr 10, 2023 - News

Utah's population growth is slowing

Change in Utah population, 2020 to 2022
Data: U.S. Census; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Utah's population is still expanding — but not as fast as it was a year ago.

Driving the news: Newly released census estimates show Utah grew by about 41,700 people from July 2021 to 2022 — the ninth biggest net population growth and 10th highest growth rate of any state.

Yes, but: The state was the third-fastest growing since the 2020 census, with an increase of more than 55,000 people.

  • Most of that happened from 2020 to 2021, though.

By the numbers: Migration to Utah from other states dropped sharply after 2021.

  • About 13,000 people moved from within the United States last year, compared to nearly 30,000 the year before.

Of note: Natural population growth — births minus deaths — accounted for 56% of the state's increase.

  • With close to 47,000 babies born last year, Utah has the nation's highest birth rate per total population.

Zoom in: Three Utah counties saw population losses last year: Salt Lake, Summit and San Juan.

  • Tooele County grew the fastest, with a 4% jump.

The big picture: The past few years have been especially turbulent for population trends, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting birth and death rates, interstate and international migration, and more.

Zoom out: Florida, Idaho and South Carolina were the fastest-growing states last year.

  • New York, Illinois and Louisiana saw the biggest losses.

What we're watching: Like Utah, many fast-growing areas — Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, for example — are also some of the most vulnerable to the ongoing effects of climate change, like drought and a dwindling water supply.


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