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U.S. Census reveals Washington State’s mega-commutes

The U.S. Census Bureau refers to anyone who commutes at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to work as a “mega-commuter”.  A study released by the bureau found that nearly 600,000 road-hardened Americans qualify for the designation – about one in 122 full-time workers.  These brave souls spend a horrific amount of time each day trapped in a car, train or bus to make their daily dollar. 

WNYC News used the report’s findings to create an interactive map detailing the nation’s average commute times by zip-code.  Washington State’s grueling mega-commute starting points are detailed below.    

Huetter Grew Most Percentagewise

Idaho's largest cities are growing at about three times the pace of its smaller communities, according to new population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. As of July 1, 2011, Idaho's estimated population was 1,584,985, up 13,883 or 0.9 percent from the year before. The state's 10 largest cities accounted for 9,541 of that increase, according to the agency. They grew at the rate of 1.4 percent, compared to a 0.48 percent growth rate for the 190 smaller communities it tracks. The bureau released its 2011 city and town population estimates for all states Thursday. Idaho doesn't try to provide more up-to-date estimates. Washington, which tracks population data independently, released it 2012 population estimates last week. Huetter, a tiny community on the outskirts of Coeur d'Alene, had the highest population growth in the state last year, according to the census estimates. It grew by 2 percent, or two people/William Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How would you rate the size of your North Idaho community: too big? too small? just right?

Idaho 49th In Education Spending

Item: Idaho near the bottom in education spending/Bill Roberts, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Idaho ranks near the bottom of the country in the amount of money it spends per student on public elementary and secondary education, a new study shows. Idaho ranked 49th, trailed only by Utah, in 2007-08, according to the study from the U.S. Census Bureau. The state put in $6,931 per student that year. Utah spent $5,765. New York spent the most: $17,173. When the states are ranked based on every $1,000 of personal income, Idaho rises to 41st. Utah is 25th. New York is fifth.

Question: Surprised?

17 North Idaho Towns Lose Population

Here are the North Idaho towns that lost population from mid-2008 to mid-2009: Bonners Ferry, -29; Clark Fork, -2; East Hope, -1; Kellogg, -33; Kootenai, -1; Mullan, -12; Oldtown, -1; Osburn, -22; Pinehurst, -23; Plummer, -18; Ponderay, -3; Priest River, -7; Smelterville, -10; St. Maries, -41; Tensed, -2; Wallace, -13; Wardner, -3. You can read all the gains and losses for Idaho’s 200 towns in the Idaho Department of Labor census report here.

Question: What size would you say is a perfect population for a town?

CdA Gains 719 People, Post Falls, 594

Coeur d’Alene gained an estimated 719 new residents between 2008 and 2009 to move from the seventh to the sixth largest town in Idaho. Meanwhile, Dalton Gardens gained 15 people in the same time period; Hayden gained 268; Post Falls (9th largest town), 594; Rathdrum, 165; and Sandpoint, 13. Other changes include: Athol, 3 new residents; Fernan, 1; Hauser, 3; Hayden Lake, 7; Huetter, 1; Spirit Lake, 27; State Line, 0; and Worley, 57. Several Shoshone County towns lost population. Overall, Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise reports that a quarter of Idaho’s 200 towns lost population between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009. Idaho’s official population is now 1,545,801, or an increase of 18,295, for a 1.2% increase. You can read Betsy’s report (and find a link to the population change of Idaho towns) here.

Question: Are you comfortable with your community’s population?