Voices for Utah Children reports that Utah offers advantages over Texas

Sep 6, 2022, 1:00 PM

FILE: Kids jump and try to hit bubbles as they watch the Bountiful Handcart Days parade on Saturday...

FILE: Kids jump and try to hit bubbles as they watch the Bountiful Handcart Days parade on Saturday, July 16, 2022. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new report from Voices for Utah Children says Texas could learn a thing or two from Utah.

Namely, the report places the Beehive State over Texas in terms of economic opportunity and standard of living.

The report is part of a series the organization calls the “Working Families Benchmarking Project,” where analysts compare Utah to other states. According to its web page, Voices for Utah Children is a non-partisan advocate for Utah children and families.

So far in the series, the organization has done side-by-side breakdowns comparing Utah to Colorado, Minnesota, Idaho, Arizona with Texas making the latest entry.

Voices for Utah Children’s Economic Analyst Taylor Throne said, “it seems clear that Texas has more to learn from Utah than vice versa.”

Economic opportunity

Utah showed up strong in the Economic Opportunity portion of the report, outscoring Texas in 11 of 19 categories.

Throne says Utah’s strengths showed up in a few areas, including labor force participation and a low unemployment rate. “Utah ranks first in the nation for our low level of income inequality, while Texas ranks 38th,” Throne said. 

While both states are among the ten states with the lowest investment into education, Utah saw better math and reading scores for 4th and 8th graders. When it comes to education, Utah stands out much more at the university level, with more people attaining higher education.

“We also stand out for intergenerational mobility and rank number one for education funding fairness while Texas ranks 34th,” Throne said.

Standard of living

Where Utah really stood out was in Standard of Living, outpacing the Lone Star State in 20 of 22 categories.

Utah’s strengths in this category come from, “lower rates of poverty and uninsured children,” Throne said. “Utah also has shorter commutes, higher homeownership rates, and more volunteerism and voter participation.” 

What can Utah learn from Texas?

The report found Texas did outshine the Beehive State in a few areas, “including early childhood education for pre-k and full-day kindergarten,” the report stated.

Texas also has a smaller gender wage gap, which seems to be a part of Utah’s Achilles heel, as the state, “ranks among the worst states for gender equality,” the report said. Texas saw a smaller gap with all races and ethnicities except Latinos, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

The verdict

The report says there is one big reason Utah scored as well as it did in so many categories. “Higher levels of educational attainment translate into higher hourly wages, higher family incomes, and an overall higher standard of living,” the report states.

Voices for Utah Children’s State Priorities Partnership Director Matthew Weinstein added, “Utah’s economic successes put us in a position to make the new upfront investments we need to make now… [so] our children can have a better future,” Weinstein said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Dave Buhler talks wih Keith Slatore during Buhler's 2007 Salt Lake City mayoral campaign, Buhler, U...

Logan Stefanich, KSL.com

Dave Buhler, longtime commissioner of higher education and politician, dies at 67

Dave Buhler longtime politician and former Utah commissioner of higher education, has died at the age of 67.

14 hours ago

Fruita Campground (left) and Devil's Garden Campground are listed as two of the top ten most diffic...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

What to know about camping at Fruita Campground or Devil’s Garden

Camping at Fruita Campground at Capitol Reef National Park and Devils Garden Campground at Arches National Park is popular and difficult.

15 hours ago

Crews respond to a house fire in Salt Lake City on March 8, 2024. (Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...

Simone Seikaly

How to be prepared for a fire in your home

Utah fire officials say having a well-defined plan is crucial when preparing for emergencies like a fire in your home.

15 hours ago

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is preparing to arrive to the 2024 Olympic games in Paris....

Tammy Kikuchi

Utah governor prepping for Paris and final 2034 bid

Utah governor Spencer Cox is ready to travel to the Olympics in Paris to hear the IOC announcement that Salt Lake City won the proposal and enjoy the event.

16 hours ago

The Utah Theater, also known as the Pantages, sat on Main Street before it was torn down....

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Pantages Theater site offered as location for new concert hall

The site that once housed the Pantages Theater has been offered as an alternate location for a new build of Abravanel Hall.

18 hours ago

Rendering of tiny home salt lake village...

Eric Cabrera

Organizers of future tiny home village for homeless hope to add prep school

Program directors developing a tiny home village for people experiencing homelessness plan to build a new prep school.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Voices for Utah Children reports that Utah offers advantages over Texas