Idaho’s largest cities continued growing at a faster pace than the rest of the state in 2015 -- but not as fast as in the past, according to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The population of the state’s 10 largest cities -– Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Caldwell, Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls, Lewiston and Post Falls -- grew by 1.5 percent from mid-2014 to mid-2015, compared with an overall statewide population growth of 1.2 percent.
Ada County –- the state’s largest county -– accounted for 26 percent of the state’s total population, and saw 37 percent of the statewide population gain in 2015, down from 47 percent in 2014.
Nearly 55 percent of the state’s total increase of 20,100 people was in those ten cities, but that was down from nearly 60 percent between mid-2013 and mid-2014.
The number of people living in Idaho’s rural areas increased by 1 percent.
Meridian was the state’s fastest-growing urban city with a population increase of 3,027 or 3.5 percent. The growth moved Meridian to the second largest city in Idaho, bumping Nampa to the No.3 position. Another 110 Idaho communities saw gains over the year while 65 lost population, the most notable being Mountain Home where the population dropped by 170 people. The remaining 25 communities saw no change.
Of the 22 cities with populations over 10,000, Burley and Blackfoot joined Mountain Home in recording losses with a decrease of 44 and 54 people respectively. Dover in Bonner County saw the largest percentage population increase at 8.9 percent, an additional 54 residents, from 606 to 660.
The population of all 200 Idaho communities, ranging from Warm River’s three people to Boise’s 218,281, was just over 1.15 million or 69.5 percent of the statewide total and up slightly from 68.7 percent in the 2010 census.
In 1990, only 62 percent of the population lived in incorporated cities.