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Wasatch County has high growth rate, Summit County remains low

Ken Lund on Flickr
View of Wasatch County from Highway 40.

Wasatch County has some of the highest growth rates in the state while Summit County's growth has slowed.

The Utah Population Committee released state and county population estimates from July 1, 2023, on Wednesday. It’s based on people who usually live in an area, not including seasonal residents or tourists.

The report shows Utah’s growth rate is still strong but has slowed a little bit since last year. Emily Harris, the senior demographer at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, said net migration accounts for most of the growth.

“56% of statewide growth was from more people moving into the state than leaving,” she said.

The other growth is from “natural increase,” which is births minus deaths. Harris said this is normalizing across the state as the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down.

“Deaths are at a 10% decrease since last year," she said. "So, this is kind of an indication that we're starting to come out of the COVID-19 death spikes that we were seeing over the last couple of years.”

According to Harris, the counties that typically see high growth rates had growth rates of 3% to 4% in 2021 and 2022. This year, those same counties were in the 2% range.

Utah Population Committee, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
Percentage changes in county population from 2022-2023.

“Things are just, they're just slowing down just a little bit right now, which makes sense with kind of everything that's going on with inflation and interest rates and just moving around is getting harder right now,” Harris said.

Wasatch County was the fastest-growing county in the state from 2010 to 2020. This year its population grew by over 2%, an increase of more than 800 residents. Of that growth, nearly 80% are people moving into the county.

However, Summit County experienced more natural increase. It gained more than 200 residents, a 0.6% increase. More than 80% was from having more births than deaths.

"Summit County is a much slower growing county," Harris said. "So from 2010 to 2020, its annual growth rate was typically somewhere between 1% and 2%. But really, since the pandemic, the annual percent growth has been much lower.”

According to the institute, both Summit and Wasatch counties have grown at expected rates since 2022.