2016 Year in Review

Year in review: Utah’s biggest moments from 2016

Household income up, poverty rate down

Utah’s median household income increased by about $2,000 in the last year. The poverty level in Utah is 12th-lowest in the nation and continues to fall, sitting below the national average at 11.3 percent.

“Best State for Business”


This year, Utah three-peated as the Forbes “Best State for Business.” CNBC also named the Beehive State as the No. 1 place to do business in its annual report and Utah continued its trend of leading the nation in job growth.

Governor Herbert and Lt. Governor Cox win re-election

Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox won four more years as Utah’s governor and lieutenant governor. Gov. Herbert is on track to become one of Utah’s longest-serving governors; he will have served 11.5 years by the time he leaves office in January 2021.

State exceeds government efficiency goal

State agencies in Utah exceeded the governor’s challenge to increase efficiency and effectiveness in government by 25 percent by Dec. 2016. The result is improved employee morale and a better experience for citizens using public services.

Work-based learning programs expand

Utah’s successful work-based learning model in which students train with industry leaders was replicated into the life sciences and diesel technology fields. “Pathways” programs provide concurrent enrollment courses for students, made possible by a unique partnership between industry, education leaders and government. These innovative approaches and partnerships are key to improving Utah’s education system.

Graduation rates rise

High school graduation rates increased to 85 percent, a full 10 points higher than the graduation rate in 2010.

Utah tops nation in volunteerism for 11th straight year

The work of Utah’s exceptional volunteers reaffirms the greater sense of cooperation that makes the state strong. Last year, Utah had a 43 percent volunteerism rate, which is 18 points higher than the national average of 25 percent. The total economic impact of volunteer hours donated in Utah was $3.8 billion.

Utah becomes first state to declare pornography a public health hazard

The Utah State Legislature unanimously passed SCR 9, a concurrent resolution which declared pornography a public health crisis. The resolution, sponsored by Senator Todd Weiler, garnered international headlines and brought Utah’s pro-family values into the spotlight.

U.S. Navy Secretary announces the USS Utah (SSN 801)

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited Utah to announce the next Virginia-class attack submarine, USS Utah (SSN 801). Ships are named as an expression of gratitude and support for the values of the state serving as eponym. The number 801 was chosen intentionally as a nod to Utah. Construction of the USS Utah will commence in 2019 and the submarine will be delivered to the Navy in 2022, where it will operate for four decades.

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