Why are so many Californians moving to Utah?

Avnish Singh
16 Min Read

So, why are so many Californians moving to Utah? I paid to have a survey run from January through April that asked people moving from other states why did you choose the state you’re moving to and what state are you from? One group that stuck out was Californians moving to Utah. There was a lot of them. I don’t know if that’s an indication that in the future we’re going to have more stats showing that California is flooding Utah or it just happens to be they’re the most vocal. Who knows? We’ll find out, but it does make sense. Utah’s been gaining popularity in recent years, so much so that the governor of Utah sent a letter to California’s governor asking him to quit sending people to Utah, like he has any control over it. But in today’s article, we’re looking at the reasons people gave for moving to or wanting to move to Utah. 86 percent of the respondents came from California, but not 100 percent, just so we’re clear. Got it? Get it? Good. Let’s take a look.

10.Lower Cost of Living.

That’s right, Utah has a pretty low cost of living for an appealing state. Compared to California, it’s a very low-cost living. If you’re moving from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, it’s going to be a little expensive, but about 70 percent of the states in the Union, Utah is cheaper than some. Just a little, but some, like California, a lot cheaper. Now, obviously, one of the biggest parts of a lower cost of living is lower housing costs. Normally, I separate the two, but there were a lot of good answers here. So, cost of living and real estate are going together. Let’s focus on the real estate first. We look at the average in late 2022.

The average sale price of a single-family home was about $512,000. I saw a few reports that said it was like $495,000, and then I saw some that were $540,000, but most reports had them around $512,000 was the average sales price. In California, the average sale price is about $780,000. Now, for you number nerds, here’s the median. The median home price in Utah is about $350,000, and that’s compared to $750,000 in California. The median rent in Utah is about $1,200, depending on where you go, but let’s say you go to downtown Salt Lake City or Provo or something like that. It’s gonna be higher, but that’s just the median price. That’s compared to California, where it’s about $2,500.

9.Lower Taxes.

Yep, Utah has no state income tax, and its property tax is also lower than Californians, lower than a lot of states. If you compare the overall to California, the average state and local tax burden in Utah is about 5.1 percent. That’s compared to about 9.3 percent in California. It’s funny how taxes work on people’s opinions. People from California, that’s one of the number one things they’re concerned with. If you come from Tennessee, taxes really aren’t on your radar. They’re on my radar. I’m actually thinking about moving to Washington because Oregon’s killing me. But if you’re living in California, paying taxes, and you want to feel less like you borrowed money from the mafia, move to Utah. The Vig ain’t that steep.

8.Better Schools.

Yeah, that’s a thing Utah has. They really focus on education. They always have. I mean, from pre-k to a doctorate program. At a social geography instructor in college that was from BYU, he went to BYU, he’s from Utah, and he literally said, ‘You have to really try not to get a decent education in Utah.’ If you just break it down to the graduation rate in Utah, it’s about 90 percent of high school students get out with a piece of paper, and that’s compared to about 84 percent in California. They put more money into the schools, and they’re just not as crowded as most California schools. That’s the biggest problem. California doesn’t have a terrible education system. It’s just overcrowding. I’ve mentioned it before on this channel. That’s why I left California. That was one of the main drivers. My kids were in classrooms of students like 50 students for a classroom that was actually built to have 35. The schools are also a lot safer in Utah.

Also Read: Top 10 Affordable States to Buy Land in 2024

7.Safer Communities.

Yeah, it’s not just the high schools and the middle schools and the elementary schools that are safer in Utah. Most of the communities are a lot safer than most states, really not just California. Overall, Utah is one of the top five safest states. Depending on the study and depending on what year, you know, it fluctuates, but they’re always in the top five. If you look at the violent crime in Utah and you just compare it to California, the violent crime rate, Utah is 3.2 violent crimes for every 1,000 residents. That’s compared to 4.4 for every 1,000 California residents. I don’t know if the stats on this one. I tried to look it up. I couldn’t find anything. But a few years ago, I was doing research on a Utah article, and I came across an article that showed Utah was the safest place to own a really nice car in the country.

6.A Growing Tech Industry

. Utah’s always had some tech companies, but in recent years, they’ve been making some moves to bring in bigger companies. Now, not their headquarters, but there’s some big companies that have giant facilities in Utah. Adobe, Google, and Microsoft. Ancestry.com is in Lehi. They have around four or five thousand employees. I say four or five thousand because with tech companies, you know, the month switches, and they might have a thousand less than they had last month or two thousand less. I think in the coming years, though, with all the people moving from Silicon Valley to Utah, you’ll just see more tech companies moving out there and a lot of younger people with it.

5.Low Unemployment Rate.

Utah always has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. It’s the Beehive State, and it’s not because they got a lot of beehives, because they work like they’re in a beehive. That was how the state got its nickname. Community works together and builds better things is their theory and does better work. They have a low unemployment rate and a strong economy. Utah’s economy is growing at a faster rate than the national average.

Back in 2021, during the pandemic and all that when almost everyone was out of work or a lot of people lose their jobs, the unemployment rate in the United States was like 6.7, same time Utah’s was 2.6. That year, in 2021, Utah added almost 70,000 jobs. That was the most in the nation. Like I’ve said before, you want to bring people into your state, have jobs for them. And all of you in Utah that, ‘Oh, I don’t want them to come in here taking our jobs.’ Should these states shut the border to you if your industry moves someplace else? Everyone always forgets that doors go both ways.

All the people that hate Californians moving to your state, remember, probably a decade or so, everyone was moving to California. And that had been going on for decades and decades. Everyone was going there for jobs because places like Nevada, Utah, Colorado, didn’t have a lot of jobs. Now, the pendulum’s swung the other way, and they act like it’s the worst thing going on in the world. It’s never happened the other direction. It’s only Californians.

4.Strong Sense of Community.

Now, you don’t have to be a Mormon to live in Utah, but their culture, their history, and their lifestyle kind of seep into the communities. And in a way, it makes them better people living in Utah, whether they’re Mormons or used to be Mormons or whatever the case may be. That’s how this state got its start. They have a reputation for having really just decent people. Now, I know we’re gonna get a bunch of comments in the comment section about how no, they don’t. Well, that’s your experience. On average, most people have good experiences with the people of Utah. When 90 percent of the population says that this is a great state, friendly people, helpful people, and you and a few other people think that it’s not, and they’re just horrible people, I think it’s you, not them. With all that’s going on in the country right now, I think it should be on everyone’s list to find nicer people and stronger communities.

3.Good Healthcare.

Utah has some of the best healthcare in the country. This is a major draw for people who are looking for quality healthcare. You know, retirees, people with health problems, it’s definitely a good option. My personal opinion, I still think the Raleigh-Durham that area, I think that’s one of the best in the country. This is not bad. The entire state of Utah is doing pretty good when it comes to healthcare. The Utah healthcare system has a higher than average number of doctors and hospitals per capita, and they’re always ranked in the top ten when it comes to states’ healthcare.

2.Better Quality of Life.

Yeah, a lot of people are moving to Utah for a better quality of life. Now, quality of life brings all the things we’ve talked about and bundles it up into one package. Better schools, better communities, better crime rates, good paying jobs, you can actually afford to put a roof over your head. But that’s not it. It also includes what’s going on outdoors. Do they have things to do outdoors that lift people’s spirits, that raises the quality of life? And in Utah, you got a bunch of stuff.

Now, reality, California is probably one of the better ones, but Utah is very unique in a few different ways. Utah is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. In five national parks, including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches, Capitol Reef, and they have Canyonlands National Park. I also have a relative that says you gotta go see Dark Canyon wilderness. Sounds like a movie, but it’s actually a place in Utah. California has the most national parks with nine. Alaska comes in second with eight, and Utah is number three with five national parks. Colorado only has four.

One thing I like about Utah and their national parks, this state, it’s they’re clumped kind of together in a way. Part of the reason is Utah is the 13th largest state. California is the third largest state, and their national parks are spread out all over the place. Utah’s are down towards the southern end of the state, with Arches being up by Grand Junction, Colorado, right there by the border. Then you got Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and then finally down near St. George, Utah, you have Zion National Park. Overall, Utah is considered to have one of the highest qualities of life in the nation. This course is going to be up for debate, but it’s normally in the top ten on just about every poll.

1. Utah Picking Up Steam

It’s not Arizona, Idaho, or Nevada. Yes, that’s a thing. A lot of people leaving California and other states have seen Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada kind of play out. They’ve been popular for a long time, couple decades now. Those have been the three most popular states, and then Texas came in about a decade ago, and it got really popular there. In recent years, those ones have started to slow down on their growth from other states, and Utah’s picking up steam. Now, this is based off 2022 numbers, and I will say Idaho looks like they’re gonna start picking up again. 2023 numbers are pretty high for Idaho. We’ll see how it shakes out at the end of the year.

Alright, that’s today’s article. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Hope you got some information out of it. Now, go out, have a great day, and be nice to each other.

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