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Front Page » November 21, 2002 » Local News » Unique Utah demographic characteristics influence state's...
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Unique Utah demographic characteristics influence state's household income data

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Utah continues to be recognized nationwide for the state's young population, large household size and high labor force participation, particularly among teenagers and young adults.

Utah's demographic characteristics continue to be manifest in numerous measurements during the federal government's decennial census processes.

The 2000 Census asked several questions concerning employment and income of household members at locations across the United States, pointed out the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

One of the more interesting measures is household income distribution. Distribution involves classifying households by various income categories.

A comparison of the distribution of household income between Utah and the U.S. indicates that:

•Utah has fewer households with incomes registering at less than $25,000 annually.

In Utah, 23 percent of the households fall into the less than $25,000 category versus 29 percent for the U.S.

•Utah has fewer households at locations across the state with incomes exceeding $100,000.

In Utah, 11.2 percent of the households report earning annual incomes of more than $100,000 versus 12.3 percent for the U.S.

•Utah has more households with annual incomes totaling between $25,000 and $99,999.

In Utah, 66.2 percent of the households earn $25,000 to $99,999 versus 59 percent for the U.S.

•Utah's median household income registers at $45,726 or 8.8 percent higher than the U.S. figure of $41,994.

•Utah ranks 15th place in median household income when compared to the other 49 states.

A second labor market characteristic of Utah is that, on average, wages are lower than found nationally, indicated the workforce services department.

But a greater proportion of Utahns live with families and the have more people per household.

In addition, Utah teenagers and young adults are more likely to be employed.

Therefore, the sum of all income of persons older than 15 years of age residing in the typical Utah household exceeds the U.S. average.

Utah counties reflect significant differences in the household income distribution.

One way to illustrate the variation in distribution is to look at the percentage of households with incomes of $50,000 and higher, explained the workforce services department.

A clear distinction emerges between Utah counties.

In nine counties, 43 percent or more of the households report incomes in excess of $50,000. In the remaining 20 counties, the percentage of higher income levels fall between 22 percent and 37 percent.

The nine higher income areas consist of Utah's four large metropolitan locations, Salt Lake, Utah, Weber and Davis, along with metro-fringe Box Elder, Morgan, Summit, Tooele and Wasatch counties.

The 2000 Census determined that the nine counties accounted for 82.3 percent of Utah's population, 84 percent of employment and 85.9 percent of the state's income.

The remaining 20 areas are frequently referred to as Utah's "non-urban" counties. The 20 counties are less economically diversified and are characterized by economic activities related to natural resources, agriculture and recreation.

The 2000 Census data provides insight on the trends observed in Utah for years. Utah is an urban state with most of the population and economic activity concentrated along the Wasatch Front and adjacent counties.

Utahns experience smaller extremes in income than Americans as a whole. The middle class in Utah is larger and households are typically bigger as well as younger, with more members employed.

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