Highlighting Salt Lake City

Utah Social Security Quick Facts

Posted on 05/07/24

Joel Eskovitz, Jim Palmieri
AARP Public Policy Institute


More than one in seven Utah residents—447,459 people—receives Social Security benefits. These payments inject more than 8.6 billion into the state’s economy every year.


Who Receives Benefits

  • Retirement benefits: The largest group of beneficiaries in Utah are its 330,823 retired workers, who account for 73.9 percent of all Social Security beneficiaries in the state.[1]
  • Disability benefits: Utah has 42,865 residents who receive Social Security disability income, representing 9.6 percent of the state’s Social Security beneficiaries.[2]
  • Spousal and survivor benefits: In Utah, 43,046 spouses, former spouses, widows, widowers, and parents of deceased beneficiaries[3] account for 9.6 percent of the state’s Social Security beneficiaries.[4] An additional 30,725 children, representing 6.9 percent of the state’s Social Security beneficiaries, receive benefits.[5]

Impact

  • Economic engine. Annual Social Security benefits to Utahns pump $8.6 billion into the state economy, with $6.8 billion paid annually to those receiving retirement benefits and their eligible family members, $1.0 billion via survivors benefits, and an additional $0.8 billion paid through the disability program.[6] Recipients buy goods and services with their Social Security benefits, increasing business sales—which help not only the companies making those sales but also the firms that supply them. The result is more jobs and income to businesses and workers in Utah.
  • Reduced poverty. Social Security lifted 96,000 Utahns 65 or older out of poverty from 2020 through 2022. In fact, 31.4 percent of the state’s residents in this age group would be in poverty but for Social Security benefits; that number falls to 6.7 percent when Social Security income is included. Nationally, the program lifted 16.5 million people 65 and older out of poverty, reducing the proportion below the poverty line from 38.7 percent to 10.2 percent.[7]

Average Benefits

  • Retirement benefits: In Utah, the average Social Security retired worker benefit is $1,901 per month ($22,808 annually). The national average monthly retirement benefit is $1,825.[8]
  • Disability benefits: In Utah, the average Social Security disabled worker benefit is $1,474 per month ($17,684 annually). The national average monthly disabled worker benefit is $1,483.[9]

Reliance

  • At least half of income. 156,707 Utah residents, or 41 percent of individuals 65 and older, live in families that rely on the program for at least half of their income.
  • More than 90% of income. 63,062 Utah residents, or 16 percent of individuals 65 and older, live in families that rely on the program for at least 90 percent of their income.
  • Black individuals rely more on Social Security income. Overall, 16 percent of Black Utah residents 65 and older live in families that rely on Social for at least 90 percent of their income as compared with 17 percent of white residents.





[1] OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2022. Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/oasdi_sc/2022/table02.html
[2] OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2022. Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/oasdi_sc/2022/table02.html
[3] In certain circumstances where parents are dependent on their children for at least half of their income, the parents can receive parent’s benefits.
[4] OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2022. Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/oasdi_sc/2022/table02.html
[5] OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2022. Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/oasdi_sc/2022/table02.html
[6] OASDI Estimated Total Benefits Paid, 2022, Social Security Administration:  https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2023/5j.html#table5.j1
[7] Social Security Lifts More People Above the Poverty Line Than Any Other Program. https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/social-security-lifts-more-people-above-the-poverty-line-than-any-other
[8] OASDI Number and Total Monthly Benefits for Beneficiaries, age 65 or older, 2022: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2023/5j.html#table5.j6
[9] OASDI Number and Total Monthly Benefits for Beneficiaries, age 65 or older, 2022: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2023/5j.html#table5.j8

This story is provided by AARP Utah. Visit the AARP Utah page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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