- About South Salt Lake
About South Salt Lake
South Salt Lake is a small city with big opportunities. Our City is among the most socially and economically diverse in Utah, with many newcomers arriving from other countries every year. With a population of about 27,000, our community has grown from a first-tier suburb of single-family homes to a burgeoning urban village with a new downtown and streetcar neighborhood. The City has fully embraced its niche, offering varied housing that attracts a diverse demographic.
At a Glance
- Population: 26,777
- Median Household Income: $49,616
- Median Age: 32.2
- Businesses: 3,200
- Total Retail: $1,331,288
The City is 7 square miles in area and shares its borders with Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Millcreek City. We are conveniently located within 15 minutes of Salt Lake International Airport. The University of Utah, Westminster College, and Salt Lake Community College campuses are also within minutes of the City. Interstates I-15 and I-80 intersect within the northern boundary of South Salt Lake, providing convenient transportation all across the state.
The western two-thirds of the city is dominated by industrial and commercial businesses, while the eastern portion has a mix of residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. For years, the City of South Salt Lake was known as the "Center of Industry" and zoned for commercial or light industrial uses. While the City still embraces itself as an important commercial and industrial hub for Utah, the City has adopted the tagline "City On The Move" to include all of the progressive developments occurring within the City today.
We are growing at approximately 1% annually, and have built hundreds of new housing units close to public transit systems.
The neighborhoods that make up the city were built in several eras, starting with the bungalows from around the time of city incorporation (1938), to post-war cottages (1950s), to modern subdivisions (1960s to today). Multi-family units, from duplexes on up to urban apartment buildings are mixed in throughout, particularly around our seven light rail stops. More than half our residents are renters.
South Salt Lake youth attend Granite School District schools, including three elementary schools, one International charter school for grades 7 through 12, and one junior high school. High School students attend several different high schools outside city boundaries. The City hosts numerous afterschool and summer programs through Promise South Salt Lake - a nationally-recognized program for youth and families that operates out of both schools and City community centers. A Youth City Council also connects youth to City leadership, the legislative process, and service opportunities.
Our City is served by a full-time mayor, a seven-member city council, and approximately 400 employees. The city has its own local police, Fire department, and Public Works department.
The City's origin, while not glamorous, is evidence of an independent-minded community. South Salt Lake was started by civic leaders who needed a sewer system in their community. When they couldn't get service from adjacent communities, they started their own utility, and eventually added other City services.
Officially established in 1938, the City grew and expanded by adding unincorporated land in several steps over the coming decades. Much of the city included industrial, commercial and institutional uses, with just ⅓ of the area as residential neighborhoods. More of our story can be found on our City History page.
Over the last decade, the City has set a vision to transform itself into a modern urban community that invests in our residents. In those years, we have attained several notable accomplishments, including:
- Establishing a cutting-edge youth and family service initiative, Promise SSL
- Building a Downtown and streetcar neighborhood
- Expanding our award-winning Parks and Recreation programs
- Attracting small, local businesses and creative industries to the business district
The City's priorities reflect its diverse population and changing expectations for municipal government. South Salt Lake is currently led by its first female mayor, Cherie Wood, and seven council members who are dedicated to keeping our City moving forward.
South Salt Lake has come into its own as a desirable, complete community with its own urban center, destinations, dining and nightlife, and notable educational opportunities.
As the City plans for the next twenty years, it will be guided by a new General Plan, as well as Strategic Plans and Neighborhood Master Plans that encompass a wide range of topics and reflect community values. Community involvement is critical to developing these plans and budget priorities to achieve them. We encourage anyone with ties to our community to stay in touch and share their ideas and concerns through City Council meetings and other public forums.