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Utah ranks first in the country for social mobility



Utah is no stranger to topping lists when it comes to economic prosperity, charitable giving and a roaring housing market. Most recently, Utah finds itself as the number one state for social mobility according to a study by Archbridge Institute.

Social mobility is the opportunity to better oneself and help those around them. While it commonly refers to a person’s ability to climb the income ladder and outearn the previous generation, social mobility is also concerned with achievement, aspirations, purpose and skills development. 

The study used four pillars to score each state. The pillars included:

1. Entrepreneurship and growth

– Occupational licensing 

– Corporate, income and property tax rates

 – Labor force participation rate


– Patent and housing permit issuance per 1,000 residents 

2. Institutions and the rule of law

– Fines and fees collected by government

 – Access to justice 

3. Education and skills development 

– Test scores

– School choice 

– University quality 


– Frequency of families sharing meals together 

– Share of single parent households 

4. Social capital 

– Percent of neighbors doing favors for each other 

– Non-profit and religious organizations 

– Charity

– Community event attendance 

The top five states by score:


1. Utah

2. Minnesota 

3. Montana 

4. Delaware

5. Vermont

The bottom five states by score:

50. Louisiana

49. Mississippi  





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