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Census: Summit County’s population decreased in 2022, 2023

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Summit County adds residential units and short-term rentals each year, but not population.

Conversations about growth and development dominate Wasatch Back politics. But Summit County isn't growing across all metrics.

U.S. Census Bureau data shows Summit County’s population fell by 134 people in 2022 and then by over double that in 2023.

Summit County Housing and Economic Development Director Jeff Jones presented the statistics to the Summit County Council June 26.

“But if you were to ask that question of a resident, well, they would probably tell you that we've been growing like crazy,” Jones said.

Utah overall is growing: the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute expects the population to double by 2060.

Utah County and southwestern Utah are the fastest growing areas, and Heber City was formerly the country’s fastest growing micropolitan area, which is a population area with between 10,000 and 50,000 residents and its surrounding communities.

When it comes to Summit County, Jones said his staff hasn’t yet studied why it might be shrinking.

“Is it universal? Are we losing population just in the [Snyderville] Basin; are we losing population in eastern Summit County?” he asked. “If we're experiencing losses, where are those losses coming from, and for what reason?”

Jones’ stats showed Summit County was growing prior to 2022, peaking in 2021 with an increase of 690 residents. From 2019 to 2023, the county added an average of 407 new residences annually.

But that entire time, Park City School District enrollment was shrinking.

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah estimates Summit County added over 1,000 short-term rentals in the past two years.

Except for 2020, jobs have been growing steadily since 2019.

The county is currently hovering around 43,000 people.