New report shows decline in Salt Lake City youth population

Nov 27, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 11:43 am

The Kimball at Temple Square, left, is pictured in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023...

The Kimball at Temple Square, left, is pictured in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new report shows that in 2020 Salt Lake City’s youth population hit its lowest point in over a decade. 

 However, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute found that while the youth population declined, the overall population hit a record high of 199,723 residents.

In 2010, the number of residents under age 18 totaled 42,034, in 2020 that number shrank by 12% to 37,101. 


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 The decline was seen in a very specific group, those Utahns under age 10. Further, the under-5-year-old population declined the most, by 4,281 residents according to the report. 

“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, lead author of the report.

During the same time, the 10- to 17-year-old age group increased by 974 residents. 

Specific findings: families having fewer children, east versus west side 

A key finding explains the decrease according to the study authors. More recently, families had fewer children than compared to 2010. 

The institute reported that in 2010, 1 in 4 households had a child under the age of 18. But in 2020 the statistic changed to 1 in 5 households. 

The Kem C. Gardner study also found that west-side neighborhoods experienced the largest decreases in the under-age-10 population. The report listed Rose Park, Poplar Grove, Glendale, Westpointe, and Fairpark as the neighborhoods with the largest decreases. 

Ethnic diversity and youth populations in Salt Lake City

An increase in racial and ethnic diversity has also contributed to the decline of the youth population according to the study. The Hispanic, or Latino, and Non-Hispanic White youth populations decreased the most. As a result, many of the city’s smaller racial groups now represent larger shares of the overall population.

Salt Lake City isn’t alone in seeing a declining youth population. The report listed Boise, Denver, and Reno as also experiencing declines over the last decade. 

“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,” said Prior.

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New report shows decline in Salt Lake City youth population