Moving to Utah: Everything You Need to Know

Salt Lake City skyline with mountains in the background

High standard of living. Check. Great jobs. Check. Stunning Mountains. Check. These are just a few reasons why you should move to Utah! The Beehive state has been experiencing a huge in-state migration. Utah Business reports that the state has averaged an annual net in-migration of 24,300 in the past three years. It further explains that at the current rate of influx, it will soon witness a repeat of the 1990s, when approximately 219,000 people moved here.

It’s no wonder then that Envision Utah, a quality growth commission, has become increasingly focused on local and state planning. In fact, it has already started massive development efforts, expecting to welcome an additional 2.5 million people by 2050!

If you’re deliberating on whether you should be moving to Utah, here are some factors to consider that will provide a glimpse into what it’s like to live in Utah.

Things to Know Before Moving to Utah

famous Antelope Canyon on a sunny day with blue sky

Life in Utah is great; as per the U. S. News and World Report, Utah ranks fourth overall as the best state to live in. Besides, Utah is the 13th physically largest state and one of the least populous ones despite an increasing number of people moving to Utah. 

According to a report in World Population Review, around 80% of the state’s residents live in and around Salt Lake City, which translates into vast unoccupied areas in other regions. The report further states that only nine states in the country have a less dense population than Utah.

The uninhabited land masses provide not only a great scope for outdoor activities but also tremendous potential for growth and development in housing and infrastructure. Here are 13 pros and cons of living in Utah to consider before moving to Utah.

1. Climate

One of the major draws of moving to Utah is the great climate, which is dry and temperate during the majority of the year. In the Elevated state (nickname courtesy of the state’s high altitude), you can enjoy warm summers and cold winters. There’s plenty of snowfall during winters, and temperatures typically fall to 20 degrees. However, the stunning mountains don’t just provide a naturally beautiful landscape. They also act as a shield against cold winds. Utah winters are much more pleasant than the harsh winters in the Midwest. During the summer, however, temperatures can reach up to 100 or even 115 degrees in peak summer weeks.

2. Stunning and Diverse Landscape

An adventurer explores the Zion National Park in Utah

The state’s landscape is diverse and includes pretty much all types of terrain, except the ocean as it’s a land-locked region. The topography ranges from stunning mountains and rivers to crystal-clear lakes and massive deserts.

In addition, its beautiful national parks, such as Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches add to the incredible scenery. Each of these five world-renowned national parks offer a distinct experience, with stunning views and amazing rock formations.

3. Adventure Sports Capital

Woman skiing in deep powder near Wasatch mountain, Utah

Needless to say, outdoor sports lovers would love moving to Utah, thanks to the multitude of activities that the varied terrain lends itself to! These include climbing, hiking, cycling, horse riding, backpacking, camping, and even scuba diving.

Winter sports lovers can enjoy adventure-filled days as the state offers plenty of skiing and snowboarding opportunities. And when you’re all exhausted from the adrenaline pumping activity, you can head into town and grab drinks and food at the numerous pubs and bars as Utah offers an incredible nightlife too!

4. Stable & Diversified Economy

The state’s economy ranks second best in the country, second only to Colorado and ahead of Washington, as per the latest rankings of U. S. News and World Report. According to the same report, it scores high in terms of fiscal stability too, ranking 5th highest.

Many job seekers consider moving to Utah for its robust and diverse economy, with a ton of industries like mining, agriculture, tourism, petroleum, and information technology. In addition, an increasingly large number of companies are moving to Utah thanks to its high-growth economy and low and flat corporate tax. The innovation and technological industry has flourished, partly due to the state’s young and highly educated talent pool. Apart from technological giants like Adobe and Facebook, many small businesses have set up operations in the Elevated state, contributing significantly to the increasing number of available jobs.

5. Excellent Job Market

The state is sparsely populated relative to its massive size, and the population is growing at a colossal rate, which means there’s no dearth of jobs. No wonder the state has a very low employment rate. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that in June 2019, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.8%, which is quite lower than the national average of 3.7% and is the fifth lowest in the country.

Apart from business owners and entrepreneurs, job hunters are moving to Utah because of the lucrative opportunities in a variety of sectors. Apart from jobs in varied industries, there’s also a high proportion of technology related jobs. A latest Deseret News report declares that more than 1 in 7 Utah jobs are in the innovation and technology industry, which is poised to grow with a 2-to-1 margin compared to the other industries and national tech employment rate.

6. Rising Home Prices

Utahns enjoy a relatively low cost of living, with affordable housing and relatively low property taxes. However, of late, housing prices have begun increasing and will continue to rise. According to Zillow, the median home value in Utah is $344,000 and the median rent price is $1,550. Zillow further states that the home values have increased by 8.1% since 2018 and will increase by 3.4% in 2020.

7. Flat Tax Structure

Utah has a 5% flat income tax rate. According to the Tax Foundation, the total state income tax averages $981 per person, which is the 25th highest in the country. Although the flat income tax rate may be a deterrent when moving to Utah, the state does have low property taxes and no estate tax. Sales tax ranges from 5.95% to 8.6% depending on local tax rates.

8. Good Traffic and Transportation

Utah drivers will appreciate an excellent highway system and great interconnectivity, making it easy and even fun to drive through. But don’t despair if you prefer public transportation. Utah has award-winning bus transportation and an amazing light rail system too. Some cities like Salt Lake City have great public transit systems.

9. Salt Lake City!

A stunning sunset in Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is a major attraction for people moving to Utah, and it doesn’t disappoint with its thriving nightlife and social scene. It’s also a travel hub and an excellent choice for businessmen and executives who need to travel frequently.

10. Safety

Utah is said to be blessed with a high sense of community that probably contributes partly to its lower than average crime rate. Its strong religious background can perhaps take the remaining credit for the low number of crimes. In a study conducted by Wallet Hub, Utah was ranked as the 4th safest state. Therefore, moving to Utah is a great choice for students, retirees, and families.

11. Values and Culture

Equality is one of the major values that the state upholds. It comes as no surprise that the Elevated state has one of the largest LGBT communities and celebrates its pride every year. In addition, Utahns are regarded as some of the nicest and friendliest people, with a majority of them inclined to helping others. Since the state has a high proportion of Mormon residents, their friendly and helpful spirit can be attributed to their values and religious beliefs. If you’re moving to Utah, chances are pretty high that you’ll be blessed with some of the nicest neighbors!

12. Clear Star Gazing

You can look forward to adding a unique sport to your list of activities to do over the weekend. Moving to Utah will give you plenty of opportunities to explore the stars! Star gazing is one of the prime night-time activities here.

Natural Bridges Natural Monument, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Cedar Breaks National Monument are some of the best spots for star viewing. Even if you’re not looking to familiarize yourself with the stars in the galaxy, just lying down under the star-studded sky, especially on a dark night, will be a fun and altogether different experience!

13. Great Education

A U.S. News and World report ranks Utah as the 10th best in the country in terms of education, and rightly so. Flocks of students are moving to Utah every year. The state is home to some of the most eminent institutions like Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, University of Utah, Westminster University, and Southern Utah University.

What are the Best Places to Move in Utah?

By now, you’ve probably made up your mind regarding whether you should move to Utah, but maybe you are still unsure of which city to relocate to. Consider some of these fantastic options:

  • If you’re looking for a city with great performing arts, festivals, museums, and promising opportunities in business and technology, moving to Salt Lake City would be the best choice.
  • If you’re looking for a diverse city with a ton of recreational sports, like mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, rafting and golfing, moving to Park City is highly recommended!
  • If you’re looking for an affordable city with a warm community, historic sites, and great entertainment and nightlife, moving to Ogden is an excellent option!
  • If you’re looking for a city with warm weather, family-friendly and retirement communities, and amazing theaters, museums, and festivals, moving to St. George is a great idea.
  • If you’re looking for a metropolitan city with a high standard of living, young population, employment opportunities, moving to Provo would be ideal.

Moving to Utah will no doubt be a different experience, especially if you’re making the transition from California to Utah, given the sizable differences between the two states. As exciting as any move is, it also comes with its set of challenges. To help ease your move, consider using Cool Box, a leader in the moving and portable storage industry. We provide completely insulated and portable moving storage containers in three different sizes so you can pick the one that best suits your needs. We deliver the unit to your location, pick it up when you’re done loading it, and transport the moving container to your new home. If you would prefer to store your portable storage container off site, Cool Box provides the option to store your container at one of our local secure yards for no additional storage cost.

If you’re moving to Utah, get a quote from our convenient Utah location:
Salt Lake City moving and storage.