Utah March 29, 2016
10 Disgusting Facts About Utah You Would Be Better Off Not Knowing
Utah ranks highly in so many wonderful things. We have the best business opportunities, some of the nation’s best drivers (really!) and clearly, the best snow. But in some areas, Utah is a little… lackluster. Here are 10 facts about our state you’d probably rather not know.
1. Utahns have the highest rate of melanoma in the nation.
Utahns are diagnosed with melanoma at a rate of 31.9 per 100,000, according to the Utah Department of Health. That’s 61 percent higher than the national average.
2. One of Utah’s city ranks worst in the nation for gender pay gap.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Provo-Orem ranked worst in the nation for gender pay gap; the difference between salary for men and women doing the same job, with the same qualifications and experience.
3. The rate of STDs in Utah is on the rise.
The Utah Department of Health reports that cases of gonorrhea in women increased 714 percent between 2011 and 2014; in men it increased 296 percent. Surprisingly, the diagnoses aren’t just teenagers; they include men and women in their 30s, 40s and 50s - both single and married.
4. Utah has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the nation.
An average of 23 Utahns die from prescription drug overdoses every month. Drug poisoning accounts for more deaths in Utah than car accidents, falls or firearms.
5. Utah ranks high in the nation for number of residents with mental health issues.
In a 2014 study, our state ranked first in the nation, with 22.3 percent of adults reporting that they suffered from a mental illness in the last year (the national average was 18.2 percent).
6. We’re amongst the worst-dressed.
According to GQ Magazine, residents in Salt Lake City are the 8th worst-dressed in the nation; those in Provo are the 15th worst. I’m guessing that the culprits are Utahns who wear cargo shorts with hoodies in the winter, and those who wear sundresses with t-shirts underneath in the summer. But really, who cares what GQ says?
7. We still have the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation.
You’ve heard this one before. Utah spends an average of $7,744 per student; the national average is $12,435. Luckily, our students don’t rank last in academic achievement.
8. The air quality in Utah is the worst in years.
For much of January and February, Utah cities rank the worst in the nation for air quality (Salt Lake City was the worst, Vernal took second place and Ogden was the third worst in the nation).
9. Utah ranks last in the nation for insuring Hispanic children.
The National Council of La Raza released a report in January, 2016 that shows that 23 percent of Utah’s Hispanic children are not insured. The national average is 9.7 percent.
10. We’re the nerdiest?
Thrillist reported that Utah is the nerdiest state in the nation. This report was based on the “likes” generated from Facebook. Apparently, we Utahns like some nerdy things. In my mind, nerds are smart people. So...I’m counting this one as a win for us.
While we shouldn’t be proud of any of these things (except maybe our “nerd” status), we can work to fix all of them! What would you do to change these statistics for the better?