Idaho communities are close-knit places to call home, where an emphasis on local goods and services is always front-and-center.
But according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more folks from around the country are moving to the Gem State, even from places you might not expect.
If you listen closely, you can almost make out a little “North Carolina” in Amy Taylor’s accent.
“Hailey-Mae, you’re not going to give up,” she said as her 12-year-old rescue dog begged for a little extra attention on Sunday.
Taylor moved to Idaho Falls from Willmington, N.C., about 3 weeks ago to take an on-air job with Riverbend Communications radio station KLCE 97.
“There’s a girl in the complex just down who’s from Nagshead, Carolina,” said Taylor.
She’s already met a few other southerners, and was a little surprised how many.
It could have something to do with new numbers from the Internal Revenue Service.
Between 2009 and 2010, 812 North Carolinians moved to Idaho. The state ranks 13th in the nation for contributing to Idaho’s population.
Another Southern state, Florida, ranks 11 and sent Idaho 1,166 new Gem Staters during the same period.
“I left the beach for the mountains, but I even think there’s more to do here,” said Taylor.
Though it may not come as a surprise, the states contributing most to Idaho’s growing population are just a car drive away.
Utah gave us 6,427 new Idahoans between 2009 and 2010 ranking as Idaho’s third-largest population contributor. Washington is No. 1 with 10,520 folks moving here from there in the same time.
All told, the US Census said Idaho has grown by 20 percent since 2000. That’s 275,000 more people are here now than a decade ago. Taylor said she’s happy to be one of them.
The No. 2 contributing state to Idaho’s population is also noteworthy. California contributed 10,000 new Idahoans to the state between 2009 and 2010.
The top 10 states sending people to Idaho are:
California Utah Oregon Nevada Arizona Texas Montana Colorado Wyoming