West Coast Transplants Spur Growth in Idaho

Donna Leinwand, USA Today, March 10, 2011

People from the West Coast are seeking more affordable living in the mountain states, helping to propel nine counties in the southern half of Idaho to grow more than 25% in the past decade.

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Many of the new residents migrated from California, Washington and Oregon, Dale said.

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Several counties in the state’s southeast quadrant grew by more than a quarter. Madison and Jefferson Counties both grew 37%.

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Idaho became slightly more diverse in the past decade. The population in 2000 was 88% non-Hispanic white; now it is 84%. The non-Hispanic black population, less than 1% of the state, went from 0.4% to 0.6%: 8,875 people.

Hispanics, who can be of any race, account for 11% of the population, up from 8% in 2000.

“People don’t think about Idaho having any diversity at all,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. “Hispanics account for a lot of the growth in the state.”

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