WASATCH FRONT NEWS: Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Wasatch counties

Salt Lake City ranked among top cities for ‘digital nomads’

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City has been ranked one of the best cities for digital nomads to move to in a new report.

A ‘digital nomad’ is someone who use technology to earn a living and often work remotely from public spaces, co-working spaces, recreational vehicles, or even other cities and countries.

A recent report review U.S. metropolitan areas and ranked them on a ‘Digital Nomad Index.’ Cities were scored based on various criteria, including availability of affordable and flexibe rental housing to community amenties like outdoor adventure spaces.

Salt Lake City ranked 10th on the list, created by Yelp and Zillow. Jacksonville, Florida, took the top spot, followed by Austin, Texas. Utah’s capital city was edged out by Las Vegas.

According to the rankings, Salt Lake City is most popular for its nearby ski runs and other outdoor recreation activities, like hiking, biking, camping, and fishing. These “endless options” earned Salt Lake City a top spot on the list.

Below are the top ten cities for digital nomads, according to Yelp and Zillow:

  1. Jacksonville, Florida
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Boise, Idaho
  4. Nashville, Tennessee
  5. Charleston, South Carolina
  6. San Jose, California
  7. Fort Collins, Colorado
  8. Asheville, North Carolina
  9. Las Vegas
  10. Salt Lake City

Are people moving into Utah?

The Utah Foundation, a nonprofit research organization, says a recent analysis of USPS change-of-address data indicates Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico are the top states seeing people moving in across the region. United, a moving company, reports Oregon, Idaho, and Arizona were the top moving-to states in the region. Another moving company, Atlas, includes Utah with Idaho and Nevada as the primary targets.

An analysis of USPS data shows residents moving into Utah are coming from these five states:

  • Arizona (32.4%)
  • California (26.9%)
  • Wyoming (10.2%)
  • Texas (10.2%)
  • Iowa (10.2%)

Regardless, the Beehive State isn’t among even the top 10 states seeing an influx of new, out-of-state residents. If it was, the Utah Foundation says it could help explain rising housing costs and rental rates. Instead, the organization says a different group of people is to blame, at least in part.

So why are costs rising?

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that among the 96 largest metropolitan areas in 2020, most lost population. Utah Foundation explains that, mostly, the loss was due to a decreased inflow of residents, not a mass exodus of them moving out.

The Provo-Orem area saw 39 fewer people per 100,000 moving in, for example, showing that people aren’t flooding out of the area, there are just less moving in.

In Salt Lake City, fewer people moved in during 2020 when compared to recent years. And while a recent report showed 26% of Salt Lake City renters are looking to move to a new city, fewer people actually left Utah’s capital city last year, contributing to the city’s population growth.

“And fewer people leaving is functionally equivalent to more people coming in,” the Utah Foundation explains.

Based on this data, the organization says that Salt Lake metro residents are at least partially to blame for rising housing and rental prices because they haven’t moved out at a similar pace as in previous years.

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