When you think of Utah, you might conjure up images of vast salt flats, national parks, and the Sundance Film Festival. It’s true, Utah has all those things, but it has much more than that to offer. If you’re moving to Utah, or just thinking of moving there to get a fresh start, here are a few things you might consider.
1. Spectacular Natural Landscapes
First, let’s talk about how beautiful it is. If you have a soft spot for natural beauty, you could do a lot worse than Utah. As mentioned, it is home to five incredible national parks; namely Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion. Not to mention the spectacular Bonneville Salt Flats — 30,000 acres of breathtaking, otherworldly views. The remains of what was once ancient Lake Bonneville, the water has long dried up on the flats and is now home to the Bonneville Speedway, where many of the world’s land speed records have been broken — over 500 mph in some cases. Outdoor enthusiasts with a passion for hiking, camping, rafting, or rock climbing, you’ll find a lot to do here.
Outdoor recreation isn’t limited to just the summer months, either — this state has some world-renowned winter sports, including Park City and Deer Valley, some of the most lauded skiing and snowboarding destinations in the world. The snow density in Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons is legendary — over 8.5%, which is the perfect density for a snow day. And speaking of perfect snow days, Utah even has an unofficial “perfect day” for skiers — January 13, the “golden winter” day.
2. Low Cost of Living
What’s better than enjoying a vast wealth of natural beauty? Enjoy it for cheap! This state is one of the cheapest states to live in. For example, look at HomeSnacks’ list of the cheapest cities in this state. Everything from groceries and utilities to rental costs and more is cheaper in Utah. This is particularly good news for homeowners — the average yearly premium for homeowners insurance is just $784, compared to the national average of over $1400 (as reported by Kristine Lee at TheZebra.com).
3. Rising Housing Market
Speaking of the housing market: property values in Utah have been steadily increasing over the years, giving homeowners the potential opportunity to get a solid return on their investment. Combine that with its low home insurance rates and low property taxes, and it starts looking like a great place to own a home.
4. A Growing Tech Industry
Forget your image of Utah as a desolate rural state: This is fast emerging as a major hub for technology and innovation: from 2010 to 2019, Utah’s tech industry grew by over 46%, attracting entrepreneurs, startups and major tech companies. This state is working hard to change its reputation and hopes that its “Silicon Slopes” will grow as a major draw for professionals in the tech industry.
5. Low Crime Rate
When you’re looking for a place to raise a family, one of the first things you most likely look at are the crime rates and the schools. Utah has a low crime rate statewide, giving it a major advantage when it comes to finding a place to raise your kids.
6. Public Schools
How are Utah’s public schools? The state places a high priority on education, and it shows: according to WalletHub, it ranks 13th on the list of best public schools in the nation. And that doesn’t just apply to elementary and high schools, either: Salt Lake Community College is the second-best community college in the United States. There’s also Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, both top-50 institutions. If you want further proof that Utah’s educational system is a cut above the rest, you should know that it has the highest literacy rate of anywhere in the United States.
7. The Job Market is Strong
Another thing people look at first when considering a move to a new state: will I have a job once I get there? If you’re job-hunting and looking at Utah, there’s more good news for you: Utah’s job market is thriving at the moment, with an unemployment rating of a mere 2.2% as of November of last year. Utah’s economy is growing, particularly in the sectors of technology, healthcare, and education, making it an attractive locale for professionals looking to take the next step in their careers.
8. No Estate or Inheritance Tax
This state is one of the few states in the nation that has no estate or inheritance taxes, meaning that if you pass, your loved ones will not be burdened by additional tax fees — although if the property still exceeds the federal tax exemption threshold, they may have to pay federal income tax.
So what else does Utah have to offer? Here are just a few more examples:
- It’s worth mentioning Salt Lake City, which features not just ski resorts, but attractions like the Utah Museum of History, Temple Square, the Hogle Zoo, and and a number of renowned breweries and restaurants.
- A world-class and well-maintained public transportation system. Utah residents can travel around by train, bus, or light rail, with a solid infrastructure supporting all of the above.
- The Sundance Film Festival. If you’re a cinema enthusiast, moving to Utah would put you close to one of the movie world’s most prestigious and anticipated events: Sundance. Every January, some 40,000 people flock to Park City to see the latest in unique and innovative cinema. Sundance has been a major film event since 1978, when the first Utah/US Film Festival showed such iconic cinema treasures as Deliverance, A Streetcar Named Desire, Midnight Cowboy, Mean Streets, and Sweet Smell of Success.
Winter sports have already been mentioned, but if you like snow, then Utah will be a paradise. This is known for having “the Greatest Snow on Earth,” with an average of a whopping 500 inches per year in the mountains. The unique geographical and weather conditions make it the place to be for snow lovers.