Today marks the release of the Utah FoundationQuality of Life Index: Measuring Utahns’ Perceptions of their Communities, Personal Lives. It measures both community and personal quality of life, using two indices.

The Community Quality of Life Index stands at 70 points out of 100 in the latest survey compiled by Utah Foundation. It was 71 in 2015, not much different from this year, but it has dropped from 73 in 2013, indicating a statistically significant decline. The availability of good jobs is the only component of the community index that improved from 2015 to 2018. Affordable housing is a growing concern. On the Personal Quality of Life Index, financial security appears to be the lowest performing factor.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Despite improvements in the economy, Utahns’ perceptions of their community quality of life has declined since 2013 from a score of 73 to 70.
  • The availability of good jobs is the only aspect on Utah Foundation’s Community Quality of Life Index that improved from 2015 to 2018.
  • Affordable housing has the lowest rating in the index. Air quality, streetscapes and traffic are also among Utahn’s biggest concerns.
  • Three aspects declined in performance since 2015 to 2018: affordable housing; air and water quality; and good parks and recreation. 
  • Utahns living along the Wasatch Front, those who are religiously affiliated and those with higher incomes all reported better community quality of life. Those respondents who identified with a religion indicated a higher community quality of life on 19 of 20 aspects on the index.
  • Utahns with higher incomes indicated a higher rating on all seven aspects of the Personal Quality of Life Index. Those who are religiously affiliated and younger Utahns also reported better personal quality of life.
  • Being “secure financially” is far and away the poorest performing measure among the personal quality of life questions.

“Not surprisingly, income, age and location play a part in Utahns’ perceptions of quality of life. Religious affiliation is also one of the most consistent pillars of community satisfaction and personal happiness in our state,” Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard said. “But the findings also reveal significant areas of concern, including affordable housing, air quality, community appeal and traffic.”

The Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index is available on our website, www.utahfoundation.org.