UTAH

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.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

Gov. Spencer Cox covered a broad range of issues Thursday night at the State of the State Address. ...
Chandler Holt

Governor Spencer Cox signs transgender bill, releases statement

Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement on the transgender bill, that would ban transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for minors, on Saturday.
2 days ago
A traffic stop in Salt Lake City led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man who was in possession of il...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City traffic stop leads to drug bust, illegal gun recovered

Salt Lake City police say a traffic stop Thursday resulted in a 21-year-old man being arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs and a firearm.
3 days ago
January 28 at Uta's Hogle Zoo is its Cats and Cocoa event, where families can learn more about the ...
Waverly Golden

Utah’s Hogle Zoo “Cats and Cocoa” event

January 28 at Uta's Hogle Zoo is its Cats and Cocoa event, where families can learn more about the endangered cats of the zoo.
3 days ago
Here are some of the many easy houseplants that beginning gardeners will be able to care for and he...
Michelle Lee

Easy houseplants for beginning gardeners or pros

There are many easy houseplants that are perfect for people who are just beginning to practice their green thumb.
3 days ago
A 15-year-old girl was killed in a crosswalk on Friday when she was hit by a school bus in Sandy. T...
Simone Seikaly

Jordan High student killed in Sandy crosswalk by school bus

Sandy police said they do not yet know how or why the student was hit while walking in a crosswalk on Friday.
3 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Voices for Utah Children reports that Utah offers advantages over Texas