Population decline in rural Idaho intensified in 2011, new U.S. Census Bureau estimates show.
More people left the state’s rural areas between mid-2010 and mid-2011, and more counties lost population than at any other time since the 1980s. Eighteen of the 33 rural counties saw population declines.
In the Idaho Panhandle, Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Shoshone counties all lost population between July 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, according to Census Bureau estimates. Kootenai County gained about 2,200 residents, or 1.6 percent, in the same period.
Statewide population rose 13,883 – almost entirely in 11 urban counties, the figures show.
Nine counties posted more deaths than births during the one-year period. They include Beneweh, Boundary, Shoshone, Clearwater, Lewis and Nez Perce counties in North Idaho.