#STATEOF208: California's Migration to Idaho

Idaho is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and it seems the capitol city makes some kind of "top ten" list every week. Some blame it on the the quality of life, while others simply blame it on California.

Before we examine why, keep in mind Idaho's motto is "Esto Perpetua," which in Latin means, "let it be perpetual." It means never ending, changing.

Boise State professor Jeffrey Lyons researches political behavior and has studied domestic migration flows here in the West. Lyons says there's no doubt Californians are changing the landscape -- both economically and politically. "It's that the Californians are older and tend to be as little more Republican than Democratic," says Lyons. So you're not going to see an influx of left leaning Californians who are going to make Idaho the next California, at least on the political front. And as far as the housing market, it's simple economics. "Not only are they driving up prices, they are also able to make cash offers."

Even Boise City Councilman T.J. Thomson has heard the small talk. "I do hear about folks coming here from California; I know several as well. We cannot limit who comes here, but we can put a vision around how we want to grow."

There's one "valley voice" who takes more of a tongue-in-cheek approach to all of this. Chris Cruise from WOW Country radio in Boise thinks Idahoans should warn Californians about the dangers of moving here. Volcanoes, no food, and yes, even honey badgers. "The reason you don't want to come to Boise is the honey badgers, and that's something nobody talks about," jokes Cruise. "We have a huge honey badger epidemic here, and I feel our friends from California need to know these things before they make the decision to move here." 

The bottom line -- it's not California's fault. Or any other state for that matter. Remember our state's motto: "never ending and changing." 

Welcome to Idaho.

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