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Where is Idaho’s population boom coming from?

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Like the Great Migration, that's the comparison Idaho populations experts are giving to the gem state's massive increase in population over the past decade.

But where is this growth coming from ,and how will it continue to impact the state?

State experts say Idaho is experiencing a population explosion. In fact, according to census data, Idaho has been the fastest growing state in the nation since 2010.

And most of that comes from migration or people moving into the state.

Local realtor Daren Long told Local News 8 people moving into the state make up 30 percent of their clients.

"There's a lot of people that come out to work at INL," Long said. "A lot of them are moving out of a higher crime area, particularly out of Oregon. We see a lot of that. Some people move for more favorable gun laws, especially those out of Oregon. lower cost of living in Idaho than the states that are moving from. And I just a lot of people say that we have a little more friendly disposition on the people here."

According to economists, most of the people moving to Idaho come from California, Washington or Oregon, but they may not fit the stereotype many Idahoans think of.

"You can find communities throughout Idaho where it does seem like a lot of people move from California to Washington state to retire here," Idaho Department of Financial Management economist Matthew Hurt said. "But broadly speaking, migrants probably look more like someone like me. Moving to Idaho in prime working age, after finishing my PhD at Colorado."

He acknowledges this shift has had an impact on the economy, housing market, and cultural attitudes.

But Hurt also says Idaho's working population was on a downward trend until 2018. According to the numbers, that time less than 40% of the state population made up the workforce.

He says that trend would have continued without the population boost.

"That recovery is being driven by the fact that a lot of migrants are coming to Idaho or had came to Idaho," Hurt said. "And they were much more likely to be of prime working age. "

And this rapid population growth isn't going away anytime soon. Researchers expect Idaho to continue to grow at these rates through 2028.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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