Multiracial residents have driven 40% of Utah’s population growth over the past decade

Data: US Census Bureau via University of Utah; Graphic: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Utahns who identify as two or more races have accounted for nearly 40% of the state’s population growth over the past decade, according to a research note on 2020 census data released this week by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

By the numbers: In 2020, multiracial Utahns made up 8.5% of the state’s population.

  • In 2010, only 2.7% of Utahns identified as multiracial.
  • Its multiracial population growth ranked 13th fastest in the United States

Driving the news: Prior to the 2020 count, the US Census Bureau made significant improvements and design changes to its race questions.

  • “It kind of shows how complicated race is as a subject,” said Mallory Bateman, the research paper’s author.

Rollback: The Census Bureau first allowed Americans to identify with more than one race in 2000.

Why is this important: Utah’s booming population growth has already prompted new laws to respond to the state’s changing demographics.

  • This year, for example, the state legislature passed a law that allows Utahans to take their driver’s license exams in languages ​​other than English.

Enlarge: Salt Lake, Utah, Grand, and Weber counties contain the largest share of multiracial residents in the state.

The big picture: The Native American/Alaska Native population in the state more than doubled “when adding multiracial residents.”

  • Multiracial Utahns have also proven to be the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the state between 2010 and 2020.
  • More than half of multiracial Utahns also identified as Latino or Hispanic.
  • Of the Latinos, almost all identified as two races, with many saying they were white and “another race”.

The plot: A higher proportion of people under 18 were the most likely to identify as multiracial.

  • “A [younger] group of Utahns is changing what the overall state population looks like,” Bateman said.