Arrow-right Camera


Post Falls, Boise suburbs grow fastest since 2000

Boise suburbs and the North Idaho cities of Post Falls and Hayden were among the fastest-growing areas of Idaho in the past decade, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.

Nampa, with 81,557 residents, grew by 57 percent, while neighboring Meridian, at 75,092, grew by a whopping 115 percent, according to 2010 Census details released this afternoon. Kuna, southwest of Boise, nearly tripled to more than 15,000 residents. And little Star, with just 1,800 people a decade ago, added another 4,000 residents during the building boom of recent years.

Idaho’s population grew 21.1 percent in the past 10 years to 1,587,582.

The state’s Hispanic population grew by 73 percent, while its non-Hispanic population grew by 16.7 percent; still, 89.1 percent of Idahoans are white.

Panhandle growth

In North Idaho, Post Falls was the boom town, growing 60 percent since 2000. It added 10,327 residents for a total of 27,574, and now ranks as the state’s 10th-largest city, up from 12th a decade ago.

Hayden also saw brisk growth of 45 percent. The city added 4,135 residents and now has a population of 13,294. Rathdrum grew 42 percent and Spirit Lake is 41 percent more populous.

The city of Ponderay, next door to Sandpoint, added 500 residents for an increase of 78 percent.

Coeur d’Alene grew 28 percent and Kootenai County grew 27 percent.

Coeur d’Alene, which dropped one spot to Idaho’s seventh-largest city, added 9,623 residents since the previous census in 2000.

Kootenai County remains the state’s third-largest county, with 138,494 residents. It grew by 29,809 residents in the past 10 years.

As it has for most of the past 50 years, Shoshone County lost population. It shed more than 1,000 residents since 2000, shrinking 7.3 percent. That’s a higher rate of loss than any other county.

Ada County, with a population of 392,365, grew by 30.4 percent since 2000, and Canyon County, at 188,923 residents, grew by 43.7 percent.

Teton County was the fastest-growing county, up 69.5 percent. In addition to Shoshone County, seven other counties lost population: Elmore, Minidoka, Caribou, Bear Lake, Butte, Clark and Clearwater.

Inching toward greater diversity

Idaho also saw sharp increases in minority populations. The Hispanic/Latino ethnic population grew 73 percent over the past decade. Meanwhile, blacks increased 80 percent, Asians 52 percent and those identifying themselves as two or more races were up 52 percent.

North Idaho remains overwhelmingly homogeneous in race and ethnicity, changing little in the past 10 years. Kootenai County is 94.5 percent white.

County residents who describe themselves as of Hispanic or Latino origin more than doubled in number and now represent 3.8 percent of the county’s population.

Post Falls has had one more dramatic increases in Hispanic/Latino population in North Idaho: an increase of 192 percent since 2000. The 1,280 Hispanic or Latino residents represent 4.6 percent of the city’s population.

Districts out of balance

Idaho’s total population increase wasn’t enough to give the state a third seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. But the numbers living in its two congressional districts are now out of balance by more than 116,000 persons, requiring the boundary between the two to be adjusted.

The 1st district, stretching from the Canadian border to Nevada and bordering Washington and Oregon, is the largest, with 841,930 persons.

The 2nd district, covering central and eastern Idaho, has 725,652 persons.

The Census Bureau released 2010 population details for Washington state two weeks ago.

Click here to comment on this story »