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2017-04-16 09:49:56
Population Growth Shifting Out of SL To UT County

Population growth shifting out of Salt Lake to Utah County

New census numbers indicate that the epicenter of Utah's population growth is shifting from the state's capital to the booming Utah County just to the south, where tech jobs are helping to draw new residents.


By Jasen Lee  |  Posted Apr 15th, 2017 @ 8:03pm


In 2011, net in-migration totaled 2,300 people, he said. By 2014 net in-migration rose to 6,000, and in 2016, net in-migration had increased to 25,000, he noted.

Spendlove said the fact that so many people are choosing to come to Utah is a strong indicator of the state's economic vigor.

'We've had explosive growth in our population because our economy was so strong,' he said. 'If we have a really good economy, then we're going to have more people moving into the state than moving out.'

With projections for the next major population milestone just 17 years away, he said Utah will likely face challenges meeting infrastructure, public education and transportation needs that will be required to accommodate so many more people. Also, housing affordability will be a concern along the Wasatch Front due to labor shortages in the residential construction sector, which is already struggling to meet the demand for new homes and apartments, he said.

'It is not going to be easy, and it is essential for policymakers to be planning for (the growth),' Spendlove said. Despite the concerns, the problems Utah will face are the kinds of issues many other states would love to have rather than the economic strife some Midwest and Rust Belt states are dealing with, he added.

'I'd much rather have Utah's struggles than Michigan's struggles,' he said, noting the problems of growth are better than the problems of decline.

'Our employment growth is the second highest in the country, and we've been in the top 10 in employment growth for the past several years,' Spendlove said. 'Our unemployment rates is one of the lowest in the country, which are signs of a very strong and healthy economy.'

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