Are you relocating within the Wasatch Front region or moving to the Front? While Salt Lake City has a lot to offer, Provo offers a more laid-back atmosphere with lower crime and some of the best schools in Utah – not to mention excellent employment opportunities and affordable living! Provo is famous for Brigham Young University, but the Happy Valley is more than BYU. Living in Provo offers a great quality of life with family-friendly amenities and beautiful scenery.
Named for Etienne Provost, an early fur trapper, Provo was settled by Mormons in 1849 as the first Latter-day Saint colony outside the Salt Lake Valley. Fort Utah was constructed as a stockade with 14-foot exterior walls, but slowly over time, the Mormon settlers and the Ute Indians who inhabited the region reached peace, and the city expanded outside the walls. Provo became known as the Garden City thanks to its extensive gardens and orchards. Brigham Young Academy, today BYU, was founded in 1875, followed by the Provo City Center Temple in 1898, which made Provo a top destination for Latter-day Saints from around the world.
Today, Provo boasts a diverse and thriving economy that frequently earns it a spot as one of the best cities in the country for job growth. Just an hour outside Salt Lake City, you can enjoy a calmer lifestyle with affordable homes and world-class skiing, hiking, and outdoor sports at your fingertips. Here’s why moving to Provo may be the best decision you ever make!
Where Is Provo?
Provo is in Utah County in Utah Valley in north-central Utah. Part of the Wasatch Front, Provo is 43 miles south of Salt Lake City. It borders Springville to the south and Orem to the north. To the west is Utah Lake, and the Wasatch Mountains and Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest are to the east.
- Provo County: Utah
- Area: 44.19 square miles
- Provo zip codes: 84601-84606
- Area codes: 385 & 801
- Elevation: 4,551 feet
Provo time zone: UTC-7 (MST)
- Closest airport: Provo Municipal Airport (PVU) and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), 42 miles
Provo Population & Demographics
The Provo, Utah population is 115,162 according to the 2020 census, with a population density of 2,762.5 people per square mile. The Provo-Orem metro area has a population of 671,185 spread across Utah and Juab counties. It’s the second-largest metro area in Utah after the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.
The racial and ethnic composition of Provo is 83% white (72.5% non-Hispanic), 17.8% Hispanic, 2.6% Asian, 1.1% Black or African American, 1.1% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, 1% American Indian and Alaska Native, and 7.1% two or more races.
Additional Provo, Utah demographics:
- Median age: 23.5 years
- Median household income: $57,659 (Utah: $79,449)
- Homeownership rate: 38% (Utah: 70%)
- Educational attainment: 49% bachelor’s degree or higher (Utah: 36.8%)
- Foreign-born population: 12.6% (Utah: 8.3%)
- Veteran population: 2.1% (Utah: 4.8%)
- Sex ratio: 51 females to 49 males over 18
Getting Around Provo – Public Transportation & Major Highways
After moving to Provo, you’ll find it easy to get around the city and the rest of the Wasatch Front. The main highway serving the area is I-15 which runs through western Provo and the rest of Wasatch Front, connecting the Provo-Orem area to Salt Lake City and north to Idaho. I-15 connects to I-80 (serving Salt Lake City), I-215 (to Murray), and I-84 (to Riverdale and Tremonton). In northern Provo, US-189 runs through Provo Canyon and Heber, and it connects US-89, running through the southeast of the city, to I-15, Orem, and BYU.
Provo is served by Amtrak’s California Zephyr route from the Provo Station as well as Salt Lake Express intercity bus service and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) bus system. The UTA FrontRunner commuter rail connects Provo and SLC, while the Provo Intermodal Center connects FrontRunner to local bus routes.
The main airport for the metro area is the Provo Municipal Airport, the state’s second busiest airport and the base of Allegiant Airlines. The larger Salt Lake City International Airport is 48 miles away, with more destinations and usually lower airfare.
Cost of Living in Provo
How much does it cost to live in Provo, Utah? The Provo cost of living index is 100, exactly average for the United States. The cost of groceries is slightly below average, while Provo utilities and healthcare are 13% and 10% lower than average, respectively.
According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the living wage in Provo for a single adult with no children is $17.56 an hour or $35.38 with one child. A family of four with two working adults needs to earn a living wage of $25.19, while a family of four with one working adult needs to earn $39.19 an hour.
The Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator reports a family of four needs to earn $6,698 or $80,380 per year to afford a modest lifestyle in Provo.
According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, average annual expenditures in the West, including the Provo area, are:
- Housing: $26,078 (National: $22,624)
- Transportation: $12,083 (National: $10,961)
- Food: $8,973 (National: $8,289)
- Personal insurance & pensions: $8,523 (National: $7,873)
- Healthcare: $5,447 (National: $5,452)
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures average changes in prices over time paid by urban consumers for goods and services. Year-over-year, the CPI for the West region, including Provo, was up 6% in February 2023. Food prices increased by 9.2%, and energy prices increased by 6.9%.
You can learn more about the cost of living in Provo Utah, with our complete guide.
Provo Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices
Before moving to Provo, UT, you probably want to know what to expect from the housing market as a home buyer or renter. The Provo housing market is now considered “falling” which means home prices will start to drop for buyers. The market is slowing down thanks to significantly higher mortgage rates. From 2020 through early 2022, Utah experienced a housing frenzy with staggering rises in home prices and historic low inventory.
The median home price in Provo is $453,000, with a median price of $250 per square foot. Homes sell in an average of 15 days on the market. The median price for a single-family home is $550,000 compared to $288,500 for a condo.
As a renter, you can expect average Provo rent of $1,786, according to RentCafe. Average rent varies significantly by neighborhood, with the most desirable areas like BYU, Edgemont, Carterville, North Timpview, and Oak Hills priced at an average of $1,900 and more affordable neighborhoods like Lakewood and Franklin seeing average rent of $1,390.
Provo Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Provo Utah
There are 35 neighborhoods in Provo, each with something unique to offer. Are you looking for a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood or the walkability and excitement of urban living? Here are just a few of the best Provo neighborhoods to explore.
Edgemont – Quiet, Family Neighborhood with Great Schools
Families appreciate Edgemont for its privacy, quiet streets, and convenient location close to BYU and the Shops At Riverwoods. You’ll find a combination of traditional 1950s homes and newer, larger homes in this established community. Several of the city’s top schools are in Edgemont, including Edgemont Elementary and Timpview High School.
Little Rock Canyon – Great Provo Neighborhood for Active Young Families
This charming and desirable neighborhood in northeast Provo is popular with young families and outdoor enthusiasts thanks to the many hikes, neighborhood parks, and trails in the area. It’s also right next to the Shops at Riverwoods and known for its manicured lawns and newer homes. Little Rock Canyon is home to the Walden School of Liberal Arts, one of the best schools in Provo and ranked one of America’s top high schools!
River Bottoms – Provo Neighborhood with Luxury Homes and Mountain Views
River Bottoms is one of the best neighborhoods in Provo if you’re looking for large estates, wooded lots, and a picturesque setting. This neighborhood, which stretches along the Provo River east of University Ave, is known for its estates and custom homes with sweeping mountain views.
Provo Climate | What’s the Weather in Provo Like?
Provo has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa) or cool semi-arid climate (BSk), depending on the classification. After moving to Provo, you’ll have hot and dry summers with freezing, snowy winters.
Provo only gets about 18% of annual rainfall, mostly in the spring and fall. The summer high is 93°. There are about 55 days per year with a high temperature of over 90°.
Be prepared for cold winters and a lot of snow. Provo gets 43” of annual snowfall, far above the U.S. average of 28”. During the winter, there’s about a 30% chance of at least one inch of snow on the ground, but about 11 days per year have 5” or more inches of snow accumulated. The average January low temperature is 21° with 117 average days per year with nighttime low temperatures below freezing.
The best time to visit Provo is May to June or September to enjoy pleasant weather without extreme heat or cold.
Best Provo Restaurants
One of the best things about living in Provo? The amazing food scene! There are dozens of amazing restaurants to explore with everything from New American, farm-to-table and Indian cuisine to Brazilian and Japanese eateries. Here are just some of the best restaurants in Provo, UT, to check out.
La Jolla Groves
One of the best restaurants in Provo for date night, La Jolla Groves is an upscale global menu with a European-inspired atmosphere and lemon tree theme.
La Jolla Groves, 4801 N University Ave #610, Provo, UT 84604 (801) 224-5111
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This hip Provo restaurant offers locally sourced, seasonal cuisine with farm table seating and family-style meals.
Communal, 102 N University Ave, Provo, UT 84601 (801) 373-8000
This revered local chain delivers traditional Indian cuisine with a wide selection of wine and beer in a bustling setting.
Bombay House, 463 N University Ave, Provo, UT 84601 (801) 373-6677
Things to Do in Provo
Ready to explore the fun things to do in Provo, UT for the whole family? You’ll find tons of family-friendly attractions, cultural destinations, and excellent hiking and outdoor recreation to enjoy! There are always community events and festivals happening in the area too. You can check the City of Provo events calendar and Utah Valley events to find upcoming things to do. The Provo City Library also offers community programs, events, and services, including art exhibits plus a huge digital library of eBooks, films, and music.
Here are some ideas for what to do in Provo once you get settled in.
Top Provo Attractions
- Provo Beach is a family-friendly indoor entertainment center with 50,000 SQ FT of arcade games, laser tag, bowling, indoor surfing, mini croquet, an indoor playground, and a ropes course.
- Provo Pioneer Village is a living history museum at North Park. During the summer, visitors can explore original structures and learn about the early history of Provo in the 19th century.
- Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most well-known natural attractions in Provo. The picturesque waterfall is right off the road and easy to access from the parking area.
- Splash Summit Waterpark is one of the best things to do in Provo for families with 15+ water slides, pools, and play areas.
Provo Museums, Entertainment & Arts
- Bean Life Science Museum is a natural history museum and one of several BYU museums. Admission is free!
- Brigham Young University Museum of Art (MOA) boasts a diverse art collection with ten galleries as well as a sculpture garden with free admission.
- Covey Center for the Arts is the main performing arts venue in Provo, with a large auditorium, dance studios, and art galleries.
Provo Parks & Outdoors
- Utah Lake State Park is home to the largest freshwater lake in Utah, with fishing, boating, swimming, and paddleboarding, plus campgrounds.
- Pioneer Park is one of the best parks in Provo, with a fun interactive water feature, fenced playground, and regular community events.
- Rock Canyon Park is one of the best outdoor attractions in Provo! The largest park in the city, it features a 9-hole disc golf course, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, two playgrounds, and picnic areas over 55 acres.
Shopping in Provo
- The Shops At Riverwoods is an upscale open-air shopping center and entertainment destination with AMC Provo 8, Provo Beach, and great restaurants like R&R BBQ.
- Provo Towne Center is a major Provo mall anchored by Cinemark 16, JCPenny, and other big-box retailers.
Map of Things to Do in Provo Utah
Provo has no professional sports teams, but college athletics are big in the city. The BYU Cougars football team has won 23 conference championships and one national championship. Provo Parks & Recreation also offers recreational and competitive sports teams for kids and adults, including baseball, softball, basketball, pickle ball, flag football, soccer, tennis, track/cross country, volleyball, wrestling, and Ultimate Frisbee.
Provo Crime Rate
Provo is served by the Provo Police Department. Provo is a very safe place to live, with a crime rate 38% below the national average and violent crime 70% below the national average. The Provo crime rate is 1,462 crimes per 100,000 people, with 117 violent and 1,344 property crimes per 100,000. By comparison, the national average crime rate is 2,346 total crimes and 388 violent crimes per 100,000. The Utah crime rate is 2,725 total crimes and 261 violent crimes per 100,000.
Jobs in Provo
The Provo economy is diverse, with major sectors like education, retail, and light industrial. Provo is a center for innovation and startups with multiple billion-dollar startups and the headquarters for several international companies. It’s consistently ranked highly for job growth and entrepreneurship and named America’s best-performing city for its economy. Provo has also recently been named one of the Best Small and Medium Sized Cities for Jobs and one of the Best Places for Business and Careers.
Major employers in Provo include:
- Brigham Young University (jobs)
- Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (Intermountain Healthcare careers)
- Arm Security
- Revere Health
- Chrysalis Utah
- RBD Acquisition
- City of Provo (jobs)
The average salary in Provo is $67,000 per year or $17.90 per hour, according to Payscale. According to the BLS, average weekly wages in the Provo area are $1,119 compared to $1,334 for the U.S. Provo has an unemployment rate of 2.6%, well below the U.S. average of 3.9%.
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While living in Provo Utah, you will be served by the Provo City School District, with a small area of the city served by the Alpine School District, one of the top 10 school districts in Utah. The Provo district has two high schools with many programs to support students’ academic success and overall growth, including multicultural programs, gifted and talented programs, advanced placement, concurrent enrollment, and elementary dual language immersion.
You can use the Provo school boundary tool to find your school by address.
Families can also choose from many private schools in Provo, including Ivy Hall Academy and Heritage Community.
Provo is a major destination for higher education. It’s home to Brigham Young University (BYU), a private research university operated by the LDS Church and the third largest in the U.S., with over 34,000 enrolled students. The main Provo campus has 11 colleges or schools with 186 undergrad majors, 64 master’s programs, and 26 doctoral programs. The city is also home to Provo College, an accredited for-profit institution providing career education, and Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, offering graduate healthcare education. In neighboring Orem, students can attend Utah Valley University (UVU), a public university with enrollment of 41,000.
Does living in Provo, Utah sound perfect for your family? Wasatch Moving Company is ready to assist with your relocation and take over all the hard work. Get the stress-free move you want; call our friendly Provo movers today for a free, personalized moving quote!