School enrollment rates show Utah's trend of out-migration during recent years may have been reversed by an improving local economy.

From 1984 to 1989, approximately 40,000 more people left the state than moved here, according to a Utah Foundation survey, which now shows fall enrollments in Utah's public schools totaled 444,732 in 1990 - an increase of 8,970 over the 1989 total. The increase was 85 percent higher than the 4,849 additional students officials had projected would enroll this year.The 1990 school enrollment data show a positive grade-to-grade retention rate, indicating that the out-migration trend has reversed and that Utah is now experiencing an influx of residents.

Foundation analysts predict that school enrollments will level off after 1993 and then begin to decline throughout the remainder of the decade. "But if the Utah economy continues to improve and a new in-migration trend is established, the enrollment projections included in this report may prove to be too low and the enrollment declines indicated after 1993 may not actually materialize," the report said.

Most of the increase in school enrollments continues to be along the Wasatch Front, with the Davis, Granite and Jordan school districts accounting for 48 percent of the state's total enrollment gain during the past year.