Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 7, 2023
Gardner Institute looks at pre-COVID migration patterns

Study shows where all the people came from 

Tooele County population grew from 58,218 in 2010 to 72,698 in 2020, according to the decennial U.S. Census reports. 

And then, the County continued to grow. In April 2023, the U.S. Census Bureau released data that showed Tooele County gained 3,200 new residents from July 1 to July 1 from 2021 to 2022. 

That growth made Tooele County the fastest growing county in Utah in 2022. 

Out of the new 3,200 new residents, 554 were from natural change — local births minus local deaths — along with 2,572 people that moved into the county from somewhere else.

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah released a report last month that looks at where all those people came from — and it wasn’t California.

The study, authored by Institute staff senior demographer Emily Harris and public policy analyst Heidi Prior, used data from the Census Bureau’s 2015-2019 American Community Survey to look at migration patterns.

“Tooele County’s migrants overwhelmingly relocated from other counties within Utah,” read the Institute’s report on the county level analysis of Utah’s migration.

Tooele County lost 1,558 residents to migration outside of the state during the study period and 1,203 residents moved in from other states, leaving the county with an annual loss of 422 residents to other states.

Statewide, Utah sent and received the most out-of-state migrants to and from Clark County, Nevada; Maricopa County, Arizona; King County, Washington; and Los Angeles County, California.

Four Utah Counties — Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Washington counties — sent and received 75% of Utah’s out-of-state migrants. 

Most of the people that moved into Tooele County from 2015 to 2019 were already Utahns.

Tooele County gained a net of 2,077 residents annually during the study period from other counties within the state. The annual inflow from other counties was 4,326 residents, while 2,249 Tooele County residents moved out of the county to other counties in Utah annually during the study period.

Most of those in-state immigrants to Tooele County came from neighboring Salt Lake County.

When net in-state migration for all counties in Utah is compared, Tooele County emerged as the county with the highest estimated influx of in-state migrants, according to the study.

Tooele County’s largest exchange of in-state population was with Salt Lake County. 

From 2015 to 2019, Tooele County lost 1,014 residents annually to Salt Lake County, but 2,755 Salt Lake County residents moved to Tooele County annually. With that dynamic, Tooele County gained a net of 1,741 residents annually from Salt Lake County, the largest net county-to-county flow in the state, according to the study.

The study also found that in-state migrants are just as prevalent as out-of-state migrants with 3% of Utah residents moving in from other states, but another 3% of Utahns moving to a new county within the state.

A total of 18 Utah counties lost more residents than they gained from in-state migration. Salt Lake, Summit, and Uintah counties saw the highest net out-migration to other counties in Utah.

While Utah County gained most of its in-migrants from other states, Tooele County’s migrants overwhelmingly relocated from other counties within Utah.


Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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