Utah is having a moment of popularity with out-of-state buyers moving to utah. In fact, the 2020 census ranked Utah as the fastest-growing state in the nation with a growth of 18.4% over the past decade. The growth rate in the Beehive State is directly tied to two factors:
Higher than average national birth rate. Utah is known for large families.
More people are moving to Utah than ever before. Net migration accounted for 35% of Utah’s growth during the past decade, according to Mallory Bateman, a senior research analyst and state data center coordinate at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.
If you are thinking of moving to Utah, we do not blame you. Utah is well known for its majestic landscape, high quality of life, and vibrant economy. However, keep reading below to learn 20 Things to Know About Moving to Utah before you pack up the U-Haul.
Low Unemployment Rate
The first thing you need to know about Utah is that the economy is solid. Utah continues to outrank most of the Nation by adding jobs and maintaining a low unemployment rate. According to The Salt Lake Chamber’s Roadmap to Recovery Coalition meeting in May 2021, there are three essential insights indicating Utah’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
“Utah’s unemployment rate drops below 3.0%. For the first time since the pandemic began, Utah’s unemployment rate dropped below 3.0%. Utah’s March unemployment rate of 2.9% is the lowest in the nation, tied with several other states. This marks the seventh consecutive month of decline.“
“Utah sees year-over job growth. Utah sees slight job growth of 0.9%. Moving forward, year-over job growth will be compared to early-pandemic months with large job losses. Job growth will likely be high as it is compared to these months with large losses.“
“Consumer confidence continues to rise. Utah’s March consumer confidence of 96.4 is the highest since the measure’s inception in October 2020. Utah’s consumer confidence exceeds the nation’s (84.9) by more than ten points.”
Diversified Job Market
The second thing to know before moving to Utah is that the Beehive State has a diversified job market and U.S. News Best States Rankings Index ranked the economy of Utah #1.
So regardless of being a recent college grad or seasoned executive, if you are moving to Utah, you are likely to find a job to fit your needs. Utah is known for aerospace, energy, financial services, life sciences, outdoor recreation, and software/information technology. But our heart belongs to the emerging tech industry located in Silicon Slopes. Read more about the job market in Utah here.
Silicon Slopes is the nickname for a stretch of cities in Utah where a lot of tech firms reside. Spanning from Ogden in the north to Provo in the south and Salt Lake City in the middle.
However, the core of Silicon Slopes is in Lehi, where a variety of tech start-ups call home. Anchored by big tech titans like Adobe, Oracle, Podium, Domo and Micron—the tech industry accounts for approximately 11.5 percent of the state economy or $20.1 billion. This percentage ranks Utah, ninth highest in the nation for tech jobs.
In fact, our friends at Forbes named Salt Lake City the No. 1 American city that is “Poised to Become Tomorrow’s Tech Mecca.”
Utah is also known for its love of tech “unicorns”—startups with valuations of more than $1 billion. Which leads to our next two points, Utahn’s love the entrepreneurial spirit and the tax structure helps.
Taxes Made Simple
Individuals and corporations in Utah pay a flat tax rate of 4.95%. Property tax in Utah is also favorable sitting at 0.62%, which makes the property tax on the lower end.
The Beehive State is known to be business-friendly, with limited regulations and great incentives. Former Utah Governor Gary Herbert shared, “We are the most business-friendly state in America. Most magazines rank us in the top two or three. We have some of the lowest and most competitive tax rates in the nation. We empower the private sector and encourage people to take risks. We offer efficiency in state government and an attitude that we want you to be successful and profitable. We want to keep the government off your backs and out of your wallets.”
And if you do decide to start a business in Utah, you’ll be happy to know that Salt Lake City is home to a brand-new international airport in case you need to do travel.
Salt Lake City International Airport
Less than a year old, the brand-new Salt Lake City International Airport is designed to accommodate 34 million passengers with flights departing from two linear concourses.
The second phase of the airport is anticipated to be complete in 2024. The interior design of the airport has a unique look inspired by the canyons and regional landscape. And pays homage to the “The Mighty Five” national parks and an abundance of recreation options that are only a short drive from the airport.
Currently, ten airlines and their affiliates serve Salt Lake City International Airport: AeroMexico, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta Air Lines, Frontier, JetBlue, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, SkyWest, Southwest and United.
Which means getting from Salt Lake City to your next destination is easier than ever.
In fact, Delta Air Lines operates a major hub at the airport and offers non-stop international service from Salt Lake City to Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Toronto. Overall, there are approximately 370 scheduled, commercial departures each day and almost 100 non-stop domestic flights departing Salt Lake City. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, living in Utah gets you one step closer to where you want to go.
But we wouldn’t blame you if you decided to take a vacation day and stick close to home. Utah is well known for its four seasons of outdoor recreation.
Four Seasons of Recreation
There is never a bad time to explore Utah, especially if you like being outdoors. The Beehive State offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities all year long thanks to its varied terrain and topography. Whether you want to explore the mountains, desert, or forest—the hardest part will be narrowing down your adventure.
If you’re new to Utah, check out this outdoor recreation guide.
Proximity to National Parks
Utah is home to five national parks, known affectionately as “The Mighty Five.” These parks are home to some of the most pristine landscapes in the world featuring rocks, spires, pinnacles, hoodoos, and an abundance of other fun features.
“The Mighty Five” include:
- Arches National Park. Moab, UT
- Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce, UT
- Canyonlands National Park. Moab, UT
- Capitol Reef National Park. Torrey, UT
- Zion National Park. Springdale, UT
Recently the International Dark-Sky Association announced that Zion National Park is its newest International Dark Sky Park. This means that now all 5 national parks in Utah have received the status. This status is given to the best parks in the world to view the night sky. Stargazing anyone?
Plan your trip to a national park in Utah.
Greatest Snow on Earth
And if being home to “The Mighty Five” isn’t enough to convince you to move to Utah—there are also several major ski resorts within an hour’s drive of Salt Lake City. On average 500 inches of snowfall per year with a ski season that typically spans mid-November through to April.
Local ski resorts to explore:
- Solitude Mountain Resort
- Brighton Resort
- Deer Valley Resort
- Park City Mountain Resort
- Sundance Mountain Resort
- Powder Mountain
Home to Sundance Film Festival
A highlight of ski season is the Sundance Film Festival, held every January. The festival honors storytellers in a variety of cinematic genres, including:
- Dramatic and documentary features
- Short films
- Series and episodic content
- New frontier (multimedia installations, performances, and films)
And if you are lucky, you may even have a celebrity sighting. The film festival is a favorite of Hollywood elite. We hope your selfie game is strong!
Arts & Culture
In addition to hosting the Sundance Film Festival, Utah is filled with services and programs that enable people to experience arts & culture in their community.
Here are a few of our favorite museums and performance venues:
- George S. and Dolores Dore’ Eccles Theater
- Utah Symphony
- Hale Center Theater
- Urban Arts Gallery
- Utah Museum of Fine Arts
- Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
- Natural History Museum of Utah at Rio Tinto Center
- Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
- Clark Planetarium
- The Leonardo Museum of Creativity and Innovation
- Red Butte Amphitheater
- Kingsbury Hall
- Tuacahn Center for the Arts
Major Ties With Musicians
With the variety of performance venues mentioned above, you shouldn’t be surprised to find out that Utah loves live music and is home to several well-known performing artists.
We don’t want to brag, but Donny & Marie Osmond, The Killers, Panic! At The Disco, Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees and Post Malone all have ties to the Beehive State.
Utah’s Slang: “Oh My Heck!”
Don’t be alarmed if it seems like Utah has its own language. Here are a few slang terms you may hear as you get acquainted with your neighbors.
- “Stake House” doesn’t equal steak house. A Stake House is a large church building associated with the LDS Church.
- “Holy War” is a football game between University of Utah and Brigham Young University. Things get a little unholy during this rivalry game. Choose wisely are you red or blue?
- “Fry Sauce” is an institution. It is a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise commonly found at fast food restaurants and family BBQs.
- “Powder” refers to snow.
- “Slots” do not equal slot machines. Gambling is illegal in Utah. Slots refer to the tiny paths carved by water into the canyons of Southern Utah.
- “Dirty Diet Coke” is a combo of Diet Coke, coconut syrup and limes.
- “Oh my Heck” is the polite version of OMG.
Utah Craft Beer
While you may think Utah is a dry state related to alcohol consumption, it is home to several craft breweries: Bohemian, Red Rock, Uinta, Wasatch, Squatters and Epic.
One thing to note, there are no private liquor stores in Utah. For a full selection of beer, wine and liquor you will need to visit the state-run liquor store.
Utah’s Foodie Scene
Here are a few food items you will want to try when you move to Utah.
- Green Jell-O
- Scones, deep-fried and covered in honey butter.
- Sweet and succulent Bear Lake raspberries.
- Dinner or dessert cooked in a Dutch oven.
- Funeral potatoes are a mixture of hash browns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and cheese commonly served at funerals.
Families in Utah are quite large, which means that the state is very family-friendly. Everywhere you turn there are trails, parks, and plenty of free activities to keep you entertained.
Parades and Celebrations Unite Utahns
In the summer months, there is always a celebration going on.
Here are a few parades and celebrations you may want to try:
- Utah Pride Parade
- Days of ’47 Parade
- America’s Freedom Festival
- Strawberry Days in Pleasant Grove
- Raspberry Days in Bear Lake
- Onion Days in Payson
Melting Pot of Diversity
Utah may have a reputation for being a tad bit homogenous. However, the demographic mix continues to diversify as more people consider moving to Utah.
Here are a few quick facts about Utah:
- Median age of the population is approximately 31 years old.
- 40,000 Utah households are multigenerational.
- Average number of children is 2.3.
- 15% of households speak a language other than English.
- 9% of Utahns were born in another country and about the same number have at least one immigrant parent.
- 3.7% of adults in Utah identify as LGBTQ+, 40% are raising children.
- In Utah’s most populated county, Salt Lake County, just under 50% of residents identify as members of the LDS Church.
Buying a New Home in Utah
There are a lot of things to think about when purchasing a new home in Utah. After all your home is a big investment financially and emotionally. A home becomes the central hub of your life. It is where you will rock your baby to sleep at night. Watch the big game with friends. And relax after a long day at work. Regardless of what home means to you, the home buying process always starts with a lot of questions.
Here are a few facts about the housing market in Utah:
- Median single-family home price in Salt Lake County climbed to $468,000 during the first quarter of 2021.
- In Utah County, the median single-family home prices was $450,000 during the first quarter of 2021.
- The housing market is competitive. Homes along the Wasatch Front were on the market a median of five days during the first quarter of 2021.
- Be prepared to wait. Currently, the process to build a new home takes around 10-12 months and there is a good chance you will have to get on a builders’ wait list before you can write a contract on your new home.
Due to the high demand for housing during 2020, inventory of new homes in Utah is tight. However, Daybreak located in South Jordan, Utah, plans to introduce several new home collections in the coming months.
Moving to Utah Checklist
You may find yourself a little overwhelmed at the thought of moving to Utah, but don’t be. Below are a few resources to help you get started finding your new home in Utah.