SALT LAKE CITY—The Utah Foundation, a nonprofit research organization, has recently released a report that found Utah ranks favorably compared to the nation as a whole on measures of social trust.
A report called “The Kindness of Strangers: Social Trust in Utah,” examined Utah’s data on violent crime rates, convictions for fraud, penalties for breach of trust and public corruption convictions.
Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard pointed out that the report focuses less on national attitude surveys and more on the reality of whether Utah itself is “trustworthy.”
“Indicators like public corruption and violent crime levels tend to correlate closely with public trust attitudes and social capital levels,” Reichard said. “While the trends nationally look gloomy, our indicators suggest that Utah has a relatively strong level of social trust. That helps make this state a good place to live and do business.”
The report looked at Utah’s performance on these measures over time, comparing the Beehive State both to the seven other mountain states and to the nation at large.
• Social trust in the United States has declined dramatically on multiple fronts—including trust in government, trust in institutions, trust in the judgment of fellow citizens, trust of each other and trust in the mass media.
• Fraud convictions in Utah are below the national average and trending downward. Among the mountain states, only one other state has a lower level of convictions.
• Utah has the nation’s lowest level of breach-of-trust penalties.
• When it comes to federal corruption convictions, Utah performed second best in the nation, behind only Wyoming.
• On violent crime, Utah in 2019 was part of a cluster of three mountain states (with Wyoming and Idaho) with rates far below the national average. The other five states in the region all had higher than average violent crime.