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UPEC Announces New White Paper

— Monday, August 26, 2019. For immediate release. 

The Utah Population and Environment Council (UPEC) announces the immediate release of its new white paper: “Utah’s Fertility Decline: Richer Lives for All.”

The paper coincides with the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, being held in Salt Lake City August 26-28. The theme of this conference is “Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities.” At this conference, the Population Connection, a national organization, will incorporate results from UPEC’s new study into its presentations and workshops. 

Utah’s Fertility Decline: Richer Lives for All

“Utah’s Fertility Decline: Richer Lives for Allprovides a unique perspective on Utah’s declining fertility rate and future inevitable decline in population growth rates. (Like nearly everywhere in the wealthy nations, Utah’s fertility rate is declining, albeit from the starting point of nearly the highest rate in the United States.) While acknowledging the structural changes a slowing and eventually declining population will impose on Utah, the paper highlights the many positive outcomes of the state’s (and global) population trends. 

Utah is growing too fast, and getting too crowded

Utah is growing too fast, and getting too crowded, but luckily we need not subscribe to the dominant, often little-thought-through fallback position in our state that we need ever more people and companies to keep our economy strong. Indeed, the white paper details how slowing population growth — and eventual population stabilization — will not hurt per capita gains in living standards, which, since the Industrial Revolution, have grown nearly unceasingly regardless of demographic conditions. As we continue to enjoy per capita wealth gains, slowing population growth will produce numerous environmental and quality-of-life benefits, from reduced CO2 emissions to less pressure on public lands to — especially here in Utah — better air quality and less traffic in the canyons on powder days. 

Wayne Martinson is a UPEC board member. He is available for comment at waynemartinson@utahpopulation.org or 801 746-9422.

The primary author of the white paper is Steve Bannister, Ph.D. He is available for comment at stevebannister@utahpopulation.org or 801 368-3369. 

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