Census report: Idaho's rural-to-urban shift continues; larger counties still growing

Census report: Idaho's rural-to-urban shift continues; larger counties still growing
Posted at 12:46 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 14:46:36-04

The steady shift of Idaho’s population from rural to urban counties continued between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, according to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Six counties –- Ada, Canyon, Kootenai, Bonneville, Bannock and Twin Falls –- had a combined population of 1,116,173; accounting for 75 percent of the growth in Idaho’s population and 65 percent of overall population. 

Officials say the state’s total population was estimated at 1,716,943.

Adams County had the highest percentage gain at five percent -- but less than 200 new people. 

Fifteen counties had a percent increase larger than the state’s 2.2 percent gain. Clark County’s population increased at the same rate as the state’s. 

Forty-two counties showed population increases ranging from 12,580 people in Ada County to 18 additional people for Camas County. Six counties reported growth in excess of 1,000 –- Ada County (at 12,580), Canyon County (at 5,588), Kootenai County (at 4,493), Bonneville County (at 2,570), Twin Falls County (at 1,588) and Bonner County (at 1,217), the Census Bureau report said.

On the flip side, two counties experienced a decrease in population – Clearwater’s population decreased by nine people and Power’s population dropped by 61 people.

Nearly 93 percent of the state’s population growth was due to people moving into the state. More people moved into 40 of Idaho counties than moved out, adding 27,334 people, according to the report. 

The increase from net migration ranged from 10,268 in Ada County to eleven in Cassia County. Four counties –- Gooding, Madison, Minidoka and Power -- experienced losses in net migration.

The twelve counties that make up Idaho’s five Metropolitan Statistical Areas accounted for sixty percent of the state’s net migration.

Births and deaths are two other major components in population changes, commonly referred to as natural increases, officials pointed out. Statewide, there were 22,981 births between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, and 12,653 deaths -- resulting in a gain of 10,328 people. 

Ada County reported the largest number of births (5,170) and deaths (2,899) -- for a net gain of 2,271 people.

Clark County experienced the smallest number of births -– eight -- with the fewest deaths at two. 

Three Idaho counties had a natural increase (births minus deaths) of more than 1,000: Ada (2,271), Canyon (1,763), and Bonneville (1,147). Seven counties experienced net losses -– Lemhi (4), Benewah (7), Bonner (7), Idaho (11), Boise (12), Shoshone (19) and Clearwater (37), the report said.