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Salt Lake City’s youth population hit its lowest point in over a century in 2020

Salt Lake City—In 2020, Salt Lake City’s youth population hit its lowest point in over a century. A new report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute shows that despite gaining 13,283 new residents overall between 2010 and 2020 and growing 7%, Salt Lake City’s under-18 population lost 4,933 residents, shrinking by 12% to 37,101.

“The under-5 population in Salt Lake City experienced the largest declines of any age group in the city in recent years,” said Heidi Prior, public policy analyst at the Gardner Institute and lead author of the report. “The capital city’s decreasing youth population is part of a much larger trend, mirroring declines experienced by many western cities and shifts observed in the state and county populations.”

Key findings from the report include the following:

Fewer households with children – Today, 1 in 5 city households includes a child under age 18 compared to 1 in 4 in 2010. While 46% of married-couple families in Salt Lake City had children under 18 in 2010, only 39% did in 2020.

Youngest age groups decreased most – Between 2010 and 2020, the city population under age 10 decreased by more than 5,900 children, while the population ages 10 to 17 increased by nearly 1,000 residents.

Substantial west-side decreases – Neighborhoods in Rose Park, Poplar Grove, Glendale, Westpointe, and Fairpark experienced the largest decreases in the population under age 10.

Increasing racial and ethnic diversity – Salt Lake City’s youth population became more racially and ethnically diverse while also decreasing in size. Hispanic or Latino and Non-Hispanic White youth populations decreased the most, causing many of the city’s smaller racial groups to represent larger shares of the overall youth population.

Similar trends across the West – Boise, Denver, and Reno also experienced declines in the youth shares of their populations last decade, echoing much larger youth declines in the cities during the 1960s and 70s.

The full report is now available online. See attached for the release and report.

Please follow up with any questions or request for comment.

Nicholas Thiriot, M.P.P., M.B.A.