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Dreaming of Living in Utah? Of Course You Are

Once you come to play, you’ll want to stay.

By Kathleen Clove
February 13, 2024

Are you affected by hyporelocatitis — the subconscious desire to pack your bags and permanently move to the place where you had a fabulous vacation? Symptoms include frequent daydreaming, nonchalant job searching and repeatedly chanting, “There’s no place like Utah.” If this sounds familiar, it may be time to consider the perks of moving to Utah.

Friendly Folks

If you’ve ventured on a hiking trail, you know: Utahns are quick to say hello. And if you didn’t get a verbal greeting, you likely saw a smiling face. Want to strike up a conversation while standing in a grocery store checkout line? We’re happy to oblige. It’s just something we do.

Get Smart

Education has always been an important part of Utah’s culture — the first college was started just three years after the pioneers parked their covered wagons for good. Today, we have eight public colleges and universities, as well as eight technical colleges. So it shouldn’t be surprising that nearly 48% of Utahns over age 25 have earned a higher education degree or certificate.

It’s affordable, too. A 2023 study that looked at tuition costs and potential earnings ranked Utah higher education first in the U.S. for degree value. In addition, students here typically graduate with less debt than their counterparts across the nation.

Young Bloods

Maybe the Fountain of Youth doesn’t exist, but you may feel more youthful when you hang out with your neighbors here. Utah was once known for its large families — six kids wasn’t unusual. That may not be the case today, but we do still lead the national average with 2.3 youngsters per family. As a result, more than 27% of people living in Utah are under age 18; only 12% are over age 65.

Is life better in Utah? We like to think so.

Show Me the Money

Utah’s economy and fiscal stability helped Utah earn the title Best Overall in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report Best States Rankings. Chief economist Phil Dean, of the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Institute, believes Utah’s economy is one of the strongest in the nation, and he said it has been for some time. Dean credits that to a “stable tax and regulatory structure.” The median household income exceeds $86,000.

Build a Dream

Part of the reason for our economic success is the diversity of industry. There’s a little bit of everything here: tourism, mining, energy, ranching, technology, manufacturing, finance and trade — just to name a few. 

Have a great business idea? This is the place to go for it. Business intelligence firm Datafox ranked Salt Lake City 12th among the best cities for startups. That’s due, in part, to the entrepreneurial culture — try it, you’ll like it! — and the availability of capital. And many are seeing great success. A Stanford University study found that among Utah private startups backed with venture capital, 1 of every 61 reaches unicorn status, meaning they’re valued at over $1 billion.

Work It

With a thriving economy, it’s no wonder Utah’s unemployment rate is one of the best in the nation. It is consistently among the top 10 states, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and significantly lower than the national average. 

There’s plenty of job growth in the private sector, led by the leisure and hospitality service industry. Education and health services are also adding more than 10,000 jobs per year. In other words, if you need a job, you can probably find it.

Home Expensive Home

Finding an affordable place to live in Utah may be more challenging, however. Home prices and interest rates have puffed up like a marshmallow in the microwave; the median price of a single-family home along the Wasatch Front reached $580,000 by late 2023. Meanwhile, rents have increased 40-60% over the past five years while renter income has only increased 19%. Kind of a sticky situation.

Still, prices are significantly less than some of the surrounding states. You’ll spend even less if you’d like to live in the less populated, rural areas of the state.

Adventure is waiting just outside your door when you live in Utah.

The Great Outdoors

Years ago, Utah’s slogan was A Pretty, Great State. The message holds true today: Utah is pretty. And we’re not just talking about the unicorns. We have mountains to climb, slot canyons to navigate, parks to explore and reservoirs to boat and fish. 

Outdoor adventures begin at your doorstep — or just a short drive away. You wouldn’t be alone if you decided to move here just for the scenery; 79% of transplants say our great outdoors was the most important factor in their decision to start a life in Utah.

Cold Cuts

“Ski Utah” once graced our license plates; obviously, it’s kind of a big deal around here. As it should be. We have resorts scattered across the state and we’ll readily tell you, they have The Greatest Snow on Earth. But there’s plenty more to do in winter, too: tubing, ice fishing, bobsledding, more hiking. The list goes on.

That’s Entertainment

While nature is definitely nice, sometimes you don’t want to get your shoes dirty. Put on your fancier duds and head to the ballet, opera, symphony or a play. Want something a little more raucous? Support the local music scene or laugh till your sides hurt at a local comedy show.

Rather entertain yourself? Peruse an art or science museum. We even have unique cinema here. Each January, you can mingle with movie stars and moviemakers who come to town for the Sundance Film Festival.


We like to cheer. Loudly. And we put that enthusiasm to good use. We have professional sports teams, including the Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake soccer, and minor league baseball and hockey, too. 

Even if you weren’t a fan of a Utah college football team before you moved here, living in Utah means you’ll need to pick a side — if you want to keep up with conversations, and porch flags, in your neighborhood. The matchup between two of Utah’s biggest schools — Brigham Young University and the University of Utah — is called the Holy War; enough said.

Sleep On It

Whether you’re ready to move in or just want to sleep over for a few nights, we have you covered. is full of adventures for you and your fellow dreamers. Need just a little more help imagining yourself here? Search KSL Homes for houses to buy or rent.