What To Know Before Moving To Salt Lake City

Moving to a new city as diverse, scenic, and thriving as Salt Lake City is exciting. But like moving anywhere, the idea of uprooting your life and starting over in a new locale can be intimidating. It often means taking a new job, making new friends, and moving into an unfamiliar home.

Salt Lake City, Utah, is a dreamy destination to call home for many individuals and families. It’s a bustling, modern city minutes from the rugged natural beauty and adventures of the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains. Salt Lake City, SLC for short, is known for its nearby ski resorts, the Great Salt Lake, and history dating back to Mormon pioneers.

SLC may not be for everyone, however, and it’s important to learn the ins and outs from those who understand the city best. Find out here everything you need to know before moving to Salt Lake City.

The Details and Demographics

Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and the state’s largest city. The estimated population is 204,657 according to the United States Census Bureau. However, the population throughout the metropolitan area is estimated at around 1,263,061. The Salt Lake City area is much larger and more diverse than many think.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the ethnic and racial composition in the city is as follows:

  • 5% non-Hispanic white
  • 9% Hispanic or Latino
  • 5% Asian
  • 7% African American or Black
  • 1% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders
  • 4% American Indian or Alaska Native
  • 1% of the population is of two or more ethnicities or races

The median age in Salt Lake City is 32.9, and the current ratio of males to females is 51% male to 49% female. About 18% of the population is foreign-born.

Diversity is much of what makes living in Salt Lake City so special. The various ethnicities bring unique cultures into the city’s neighborhoods, events, arts, and culinary scene.

Consider the Climate

Salt Lake City sits at an elevation of 4,330 feet and receives about 20 inches of rain and 54 inches of snow per year. Despite the fluffy powder on the nearby mountain range, SLC is considered the desert. Utah is the second driest state in the U.S., and SLC sees sunshine roughly 222 days a year. There’s plenty of vitamin D to go around.

Summers are hot and winters are cool but not as overwhelming frigid as some may think. July is the hottest month of the year with an average high temperature of 90.6 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit. January is the coldest month with an average high of 37 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 21.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open to All Religions and Lifestyles

Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 by the religious leader Brigham Young and his Mormon followers. Young was the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many continue to view Salt Lake City as a city dominated by the Mormon religion.

However, Salt Lake City is now less than 50% Mormon and is known as an inclusive city, welcoming people of all religions, interests, political views, and lifestyles. There are communities throughout the city for every type of individual, and Salt Lake City locals are known for their hospitality.

Salt Lake City Cost of Living

A significant factor when considering starting a new life in Salt Lake City is the cost of living. According to RentCafe, the city’s cost of living is 8% higher than the national average.

The following numbers show how SLC compares to the national average regarding common life expenses:

  • Housing (purchased or renting): 22% higher
  • Food: 4% higher
  • Monthly utilities: 7% lower
  • Healthcare: 4% lower
  • Transportation: 10% higher
  • Goods and services: 4% higher

The median home price in SLC is $490,000, and the average monthly rent in the city is $1,478. Rent prices vary according to the neighborhood you choose, with University of Utah being the most affordable and Sugar House the most expensive.


Remember, Salt Lake City is a capital city that faces large-city problems. The city is growing, and that has led to issues like homelessness, air pollution, and crime. However, the city’s police chief recently stated that the city’s overall crime rate is the lowest in seven years. Salt Lake City officials have taken aggressive action to reduce crime in recent years and continue to do so.

A Thriving Downtown Scene

Demographics, climate, and crime rate are important to understand when moving to a new city, but you want to know about the fun factors too. One of the biggest pros of living in Salt Lake City is its bustling city center, flourishing with diverse cuisine, cultural attractions, entertainment, and nightlife.

  • Food: The city is currently dominated by millennials, with roughly 52% of the population under 35. This age group has brought about an abundance of craft breweries, local coffee shops, vegan restaurants, and award-winning eateries.
  • Culture and entertainment: Salt Lake City is home to an array of cultural events and entertainment options, including the Pioneer Theater, Wasatch Theater, Sundance Film Festival, Downtown Farmers Market, Hogle Zoo, and sports teams such as the Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake soccer team.
  • Nightlife: Despite somewhat restrictive alcohol laws, there are plenty of places to grab a delicious drink and enjoy a night out in the city. You’ll find places to catch live music, dance, sip a craft cocktail, or play a round of pool. Note that alcoholic drinks tend to be expensive, so keep your budget in mind when heading out.

Unlimited Outdoor Recreation

Arguably, the best things about living in Salt Lake City involve the outdoors. The city is surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains to the north and east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west.

There are 10 renowned ski resorts within an hour’s drive of SLC. The unique “lake effect” snow in the region provides unrivaled power days on Earth. You’ll find plenty of ski bums calling the city home.

Summers are also for the outdoors, with several recreation options within or a short drive from the city.

  • Great Salt Lake State Park: This massive recreation area is about a 20-minute drive from the city center, and it’s well worth the journey. Enjoy miles of picturesque views, self-guided tours, hiking trails, and so much more.
  • Liberty Park: As one of SLC’s largest parks, this is a favorite recreation area for the Tracy Aviary and Botanical Gardens, museum, pool, play area, and splash pad.
  • Lake Blanche: This alpine lake, offering fresh air, hiking, and postcard-worthy views, is a 20-minute drive from Salt Lake City.

Make Your Move to Salt Lake City

Now that you’re aware of what to know before moving to Salt Lake City, it’s time to decide if it’s the right place for you and your family. At Best of Utah Moving Company, we pride ourselves on offering stress-free and efficient moves to and from SLC.

Our expert movers specialize in long-distance and local moves, packing, unpacking, storage, industrial moving, and countless other moving services. Call us now to find out why we’re the highest-rated moving company in Salt Lake City and all of Utah!

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