Jun 3, 2024 - News

Utah's growing diversity highlights economic, health inequalities

The Salt Lake City skyline.

Salt Lake City skyline. Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Almost 1 in 4 Utahns identify as a racial or ethnic minority, with Latinos making up the largest group, according to a recent analysis.

Why it matters: As the Beehive State becomes more racially diverse, health, income and education inequities persist among communities of color.

By the numbers: From 2010-2020, people of color fueled 52% of the state's growth, according to a report by the University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

  • The population of people who identified as "some other race or two or more races" grew by 150% during that period.
  • By 2060, it's projected that nearly half of all children under the age of 5 in Utah will be racial or ethnic minorities.

The median household income for a white family in Utah between 2017-2021 was about $95,800 a year, compared to $54,600 for a Black household and $60,700 for American Indians.

  • When it comes to educational attainment, nearly half of Asian Americans had a bachelor's degree, compared to about 38% of white people, almost 25% of Black people, and about 17% of Hispanics.

Between the lines: Health disparities also exist across racial minorities.

  • Asian Americans in Utah have the longest life expectancy of 86.6 years. That's over 10 years more than that of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, who have the shortest life expectancy, per the report.
  • Latino, Black and American Indian/Alaska Native communities have the highest uninsured rates.

What we're watching: "Migration is projected to play an increasing role in Utah's growth over the next several decades," researchers wrote in the report. "People moving to Utah tend to be more diverse than current residents."

  • "These new Utahns introduce cultural, linguistic, ethnic and racial diversity to the state."

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