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New report outlines who will move to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah was the fastest-growing state between the 2010 and 2020 censuses largely because more people moved into the state than out of it.

Now, a new report from the University of Utah finally provides more clarity on where people come from when they move to the state.

While six California counties represent the top 10 places of origin for people moving to Utah, Clark County, Nevada, home to Las Vegas, produced the most net immigrants to Utah between 2015 and 2019, according to a study published by Kem G. Gardner Institute of Policy Wednesday. In all, 3,916 Clark County residents moved to Utah during that four-year span.

It pushed Maricopa County, Arizona, which produced 3,730 new Utah residents. Los Angeles County, California, (3,714), King County, Washington, (2,273) and Madison County, Idaho, (2,098) rounded out the top five, according to the study. The remaining five counties in the top 10 were all in California, including the Anaheim, San Diego and San Jose areas.

The study is based on an analysis of several data sets, primarily the Census Bureau’s 2015-2019 American Community Survey and accompanying migration flow files, as well as previous calculations from the Gardner Policy Institute. Emily Harris, a senior demographer at the institute and a co-author of the report, explains that the goal of the study was to answer “the most frequently asked questions about Utah’s migration patterns.”

“Migration represents an increasingly important contributor to Utah’s population growth as birth and fertility rates decline,” she and public policy analyst Heidi Prior wrote in the report. “When a county is growing rapidly, it is almost certainly due to high levels of net immigration.”

The report primarily looks at where immigrants are coming from and where Utahns are moving to.

The Origin of Utah Immigration

Utah gained an average of 121,000 new residents each year between 2015 and 2019, most of whom came from other US states, according to the report. Approximately four out of five new residents are from the US.

It also confirmed previous research indicating that people are moving to Utah from most other Western states, including Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Texas and Florida are the largest contributors among states outside the region.

Not surprisingly, the researchers found that about 75% of out-of-state immigrants ended up in Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, or Washington counties, as the Wasatch Front and southwestern Utah grew. In fact, there were 20 states across the US that produced at least 1,000 migrants to the Wasatch Front annually between 2015 and 2019. This is where California stands out in the data, sending an average of 14,350 people to the region each year. during this period. span.

But the source list differs from region to region. The Gardner Policy Institute also released a regional profile of all parts of the state on Wednesday to highlight these differences.

  • bear river (Box Elder, Cache and Rich Counties): International, Idaho, Arizona and California
  • central utah (Juab, Sanpete, Sevier, Millard, Piute, and Wayne Counties): Arizona, California, International, Colorado, and Nevada
  • southeast utah (Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan Counties): Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada
  • southwestern utah (Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, and Washington Counties): California, Arizona, Nevada, International, and Washington
  • uintah basin (Daggett, Duchesne, and Uintah Counties): Colorado, Texas, California, Arizona, and Oregon
  • Wasatch Back (Morgan, Summit, and Wasatch Counties): California, International, New York, Colorado, and Georgia
  • wasatch front (Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, and Weber Counties): California, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, and Washington

As for international migration, the report did not specify exact counties, but about 28% of the people who moved to Utah from outside the country came from South America. That outpaced all regions, followed by Asia (24%), Europe (17%) and Central America (15%).

Where did Utahns move to?

By contrast, Utah lost residents in much the same places people were moving from. That being said, the number of people leaving is not as many as the number moving, which is why Utah has strong net migration overall.

The new report finds that many Utah residents who left the state ended up in Arizona, California, Idaho, Texas or Washington. The researchers also found that about 75% of all Utahns who move out of state come from the Wasatch Front and southwestern Utah regions.

For example, while 14,350 Californians arrived on the Wasatch Front each year between 2015 and 2019, an average of 7,836 Wasatch Front residents moved to California. Utah also sent an average of 5,580 residents to Maricopa County, Arizona between 2015 and 2019, which was the most of any single county, nearly 80% of whom came from the Wasatch Front.

Clark County, Nevada (3,733); King County, Washington (1,822); Los Angeles County (1,617) and Ada County, Idaho (1,223) rounded out the top five destinations for people leaving Utah each year between 2015 and 2019, according to the report.

Keeping it in Utah

The new report also looked at migration patterns within Utah, finding that while Utah County drew the most residents from other states, Tooele County’s growth “overwhelmingly” came from other parts of the state. Garfield, San Juan and Uintah counties also ended with negative out-of-state but positive in-state migration growth between 2015 and 2019.

Meanwhile, some growth areas of the state don’t attract as many in-state residents. Salt Lake County and Washington County, for example, lost more residents in other parts of the state than in-state residents gained. The same is true for eight other counties that had net growth in out-of-state migration.

Only Carbon, Iron, Juab, Sanpete, Sevier, Utah, Wasatch, and Weber counties ended up with growth in both in-state and out-of-state migration between 2015 and 2019, while Beaver, Box Elder, Davis, Duchesne, and Grand were the only counties with losses in both categories.

Of course, as with all Census Bureau data, the report doesn’t offer much information about why people move, it just offers a window into what people did in a recent period of time. Harris and Prior note that these trends will continue to shape Utah’s population well into the future as well.

“Counties across the state experience unique balances of immigration and emigration, coming both from other states and from neighboring counties,” the authors wrote. “As Utah grows, in-state, out-of-state and international migration all interact to shape Utah’s future population.”

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