Best of the Beehive 2023: Wasatch Faults

Some things maybe we wish we weren’t the best at. The dubious distinctions:

The best at driving the worst

Utah is no. 1…on QuoteWizard’s ranking of the worst drivers in the U.S. Utah drivers rank high in every dangerous driving category—first in speeding, second in citations, fifth in accidents and eighth in DUIs.

Wasatch Faults

The best at mental health crises

Utah reports higher rates of mental illness than any other state in the country. Researchers have found that, while the air and altitude likely contribute to the comparatively high prevalence of suicidality and depression in Utah, genetics play a role as well as culture. 

The best at the lowest per-student spending

Despite being so good at having all those dang kids, Utah ranked 50th in the U.S. for student spending—just above Idaho who ranked dead last, according to The National Education Association. (Have we considered “Utah: At least we’re better than Idaho” as a state slogan?)

The best at the gender-income gap

Utah typically ranks low on analyses of how states treat women. This year, WalletHub had Utah listed dead last for women’s equality (which is the norm at this point). Why? A chasm of a gender-wage gap factors huge here. Utah men working full-time make 37% more than Utah’s full-time working women. Utah has among the lowest percentage of women in elected leadership or management positions, and survey analysis has found Utahns hold some of the most sexist and rigid views when it comes to gender roles. 

Great Salt Lake Drying
Biologist, Dr. Bonnie Baxter, above, routinely gathers samples from the Great Salt Lake, which she began studying, “in a backwards way,” to discover how life survives in such an extreme environment. Recently, GSLI research efforts have turned to studying the microbialites being lost as the lake dries up. Photo by Adam Finkle.

The best at being dry

Utah is among the driest states in the nation, in case the 1,200-year drought and active desiccation of Great Salt Lake failed to tip you off.  

Christie Porter
Christie Porter
Christie Porter is the managing editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade, writing about everything under the sun, but she really loves writing about nerdy things and the weird stuff. She recently published her first comic book short this year.

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