BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Most Utah households are making more money, minority gap exists

Dec 10, 2020, 10:27 AM
money gap...
Recent census data shows that Utah households are bringing in more money, but there are disparities. (Photo: Adobe Stock)
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

SALT LAKE CITY — Most Utah families appear to be bringing in more money for the last few years, although a gap between minorities persists. 

Looking to close the money gap

The latest data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2015 thru 2019, which was just released Wednesday night. It found that in the second half of the decade, yearly median household income in Utah was above $71,000. That accounts for around a 10% increase from the first half of the decade. It’s also well above the national rate, which is nearly $63,000.

Looking into the Utah specific numbers, it shows that in 2019, white household income was just above $75,000. That figure is about 45% more than Black homes and nearly 30% more than Hispanic families.

Not a new issue

As it turns out, the earning gap existed throughout the five years analyzed. Black households in Utah brought in a median household income of just below $42,000. That’s less than Hispanic households ($53,500), Asian families ($73,100), and Pacific Islanders ($66,400.)

Furthermore, Black households appear to be the only group that stagnated from five years earlier, according to Mallory Bateman, a senior research analyst at the Gardner Institute.

“It’s something we’ve been trying to point out and resolve for a long time,” Utah Black Chamber founder James Jackson III told the Deseret News. “It’s more than just providing the jobs. There has to be intentional follow-up and follow through on these things.”

Some other notes from the recently published research:

  • More of Utah’s population is speaking a language other than English at home. That saw an increase from five years earlier, going from 14.6% to 15.4%.
  • Utah continues to retain its longtime status as the youngest state in the nation. They have a median age of 30.8. It also claimed the largest average household size, at 3.12.
  • The Beehive State also maintains one of the smallest poverty rates in the nation, of 9.8%. It’s the fifth lowest in the U.S.

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