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Utah in Transition

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Utah is not the homogenous place it once was . . . and that may take some getting used to for those who have called the Beehive State home for more than a generation or two.

The dramatic changes are outlined in a paper published recently by one of the state's leading demographers. According to Pam Perlich with the University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, "Utah is in the midst of an unprecedented economic, demographic, and cultural transformation."

A few examples:

-Steady in-migration means Utah "is becoming much more culturally, linguistically, ethnically, and racially diverse."

-The minority share of Utah's population, which hovered around one or two percent for decades, now is about 18 percent of the population.

-Utah will continue to have the largest number of youth per capita in the nation coupled with rapid growth of the retirement age population.

According to Perlich, "The extraordinary transformation that is unfolding (means) planning for the future cannot be based on an obsolete view that the future population is simply a supersized version of an idealized past."

Perlich's conclusions, in KSL's view, warrant serious study by all involved in planning for the "new Utah." Awareness and understanding of what is happening are essential to assuring a bright future for the Beehive State.

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