Socioeconomic Conditions

Goal 2:  Improve the socioeconomic conditions for Utahns

Social income inequality is a risk factor for youth violence, interpersonal violence, bullying, and family violence. It is also one of the most influential social determinants of health. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined more than 1 billion U.S. tax records from 1999 through 2014. Researchers found that higher incomes were linked with longer life. Additionally, poverty and its factors were highly correlated with the prevalence of prescription opioids and with substance use measures.

In 2012, the Utah State Legislature passed the Intergenerational Poverty (IGP) Mitigation Act. The purpose of this act was to study IGP-related data in order to develop plans and programs to help individuals and families break the cycle of poverty. As a result, in 2013, the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission was established. The goal of the commission is:

“To reduce the number of Utah families in the cycle of poverty, improving their quality of life, and helping them become economically stable.”

Key Intergenerational Poverty Plan recommendations include: 

Increase the uptake of the Earned Income Tax Credit by developing an effective public awareness campaign of its availability to all low-income workers 

Evaluate state governmental policies related to child support enforcement and workforce development to determine whether revisions need to be made that would encourage increased involvement of non-custodial parents in raising and supporting their children. 

These strategies complement VIPP’s efforts which aim to improve social determinants of health, decrease violence, and decrease risk-taking behavior for Utahns experiencing economic instability.


Evidence-based or evidence informed approaches to improve socioeconomic conditions for Utahns include:      

     Strengthen household financial security

     Promote family-friendly work policies

     Support economic policies that ensure equitable practices for low-income families

     Encourage housing stabilization policies

     Strengthen economic supports for disadvantaged groups

     Support policies that improve access to education

Success is:

      Decreasing the percentage of Utahns living under the poverty level

      Decreasing the proportion of Utah children living below the poverty level

      Decreasing the percentage of household spending more than 30% of income on housing

      Decreasing the percentage of Utah adults who are unemployed

      Improving income equality

      Decreasing the proportion of households with food insecurity