Utah is a doubly landlocked state in the western United States. The state lies in the heart of the West and is bounded by Idaho to the north, Wyoming to the northeast, Colorado to the east, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. Utah is known as the Beehive State. 

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Living in Utah

Living in Utah
Photo by Jaxon Lott on Unsplash

The capital, Salt Lake City, is located in the north-central region of the state. Mountains, high plateaus, and deserts form most of its landscape. The name Utah comes from the Ute tribe and supposedly translates to “people of the mountains”. Utah is the 30th most-populous state in America. 

It is one of the western fast-growing states that welcomes people from different parts of the US as well as from other countries. The statistics of 2016 states that the population growth in the state because of inbound migration was 0.8%, while the general increase was by 2% in total.

Utah is more affordable than neighbouring state Colorado but offers a similar climate and access to stunning mountains. According to state statistics, Utah has the 4th highest population growth rate. This increase is caused by hundreds of people moving to Utah for a permanent residence.

Utah is a great place to live. The state is known for its high quality of life, low crime rate, and beautiful landscape. There is so much to do in the outdoors year-round. It ranks in the top ten most desired states to move to. The state has the fourth-fastest growth rate in the country. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Utah

Naturally, there are some advantageous features that attract people in Utah but there are some cons that can’t be ignored. Every place has its pros and has its cons. And I tried to summarize some of the pros and cons of living in Utah:

Pros of Living in Utah

1. Cost of Living

Compared to other states, Utah has a competitive cost-of-living. The cost of living in Utah is much affordable than its neighbour state Colorado. It is one of the most affordable states in the US that guarantees a high standard of living for everyone. The median home price is still at $351,000 vs. Colorado’s median price of $381,000.  Even if you decide to move to the city area, the combination of high wages, low real states, and utilities attract outsiders to move in. It is natural that the cost of living in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area is more expensive than around the state in general but is lower than around the country.

2. Climate

If you want a great job climate, Utah might be the perfect choice for you. If you want four seasons and don’t mind them being mostly winter and summer, with just a smidge of spring and fall, then this is the perfect place to live. Utah is a perfect choice regarding climate, as residents can feel all the features of the dry continental climate. You will find that there are fewer cold winds or storms and some issues with snow at elevation, but it is not an unbearable experience at all.

3. Low Crime Rate

Utah is on the top-ten list of states with the lowest crime rates. The violent crimes are 40% lower than on average around the country. This may be due to Utah’s strong religious influence, regardless of this, the chances of getting mugged are very less. In rural communities, the crime rates are significantly lower, 80% below average.

4. Culture

Utahns describe themselves and each other as some of the nicest neighbours you will ever meet. Most people are kind and have a friendly nature. This is due to the large concentration of Mormons in the state, and the values they hold. Salt Lake City is regarded as being very liberal and progressive. The people here, though often conservative at present, are objectively the nicest people you’ll meet on the planet.

5. Growing Economy

Utah’s economy is growing at a faster rate than most of the other states in the country. Forbes Magazine has named Utah as the best state for business. Utah’s GDP growth rate was 52% higher than the national rate of 2.1%. Even with more people, the jobs available have risen to match the demand and unemployment remains at a low.

6. Outdoor Paradise

Most of the state area is covered with mountains and it opens diverse opportunities to enjoy various outdoor activities. Utah is the adventure sports capital of the nation. The desert areas provide opportunities for off-road exploration, the forests provide plenty of hiking and camping, the rivers and lakes allow all kinds of water sports, and the mountains provide opportunities for climbing and, of course, skiing during winter.

Cons of Living in Utah

1. Taxes

Utah cannot be considered as a tax-friendly country. The residents usually pay more taxes in comparison to residents of other states. The taxes include income tax, property tax, gas, cigarette, and alcohol taxes. If we compare state income collections in Utah with other states, it is the 25th highest country.

2. Rising Home Prices

Despite the relatively affordable cost of housing in Utah, there is bad news for people who are planning the move/live. With a growing GDP, growing job market, and growing population, home prices are going up too.  Prices are constantly rising – by 7.4% over 2018, and experts predict that they will continue to grow.

3. The Abundance of Mormon Communities

As per recent data, around 60% of Utah’s population are Mormons. In the southern part of the state, the figure climbs to more than 80%. Some people might be put off by the dominant religious group. If you are not of the religious persuasion, then it might not be a great state to live in.

4. Extreme Weather

Utah can get really hot – summers in south-central Utah can reach up to 115 °F at the end of June and the beginning of July. Winters across the state are usually in the low 20°, with lots of snowfall. Areas all over the state can reach over 100° in summer, and Salt Lake City runs at an average of 90°. Smog is still a big issue in the city area which covers the city for several days in a row.


If you are already landlocked, love the mountains and being outside, and being coastal is not important to you, Utah is a wonderful place to live. The Beehive state offers an urban environment in Salt Lake City and the mountains that surround the area, enjoy world-class skiing, and have all of the amenities that you’d expect with big-city life. If you are thinking about living in Utah, then above mentioned pros and cons will surely help to make your decision.

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