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Urban Cowboy

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Idaho is becoming an increasingly urban-based population, according to new census data released recently.

The majority of residents moving into the state were headed to the six most populated counties, according to July 2007 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The statistics show that just more than 80 percent of the state's 35,500 new residents headed to Ada, Bannock, Bonneville, Canyon, Kootenai and Twin Falls counties. That's actually down from 84 percent in 2006 and 85 percent in 2005.

Still, Idaho's rural counties aren't down for the count. In fact, counties with less than 70,000 residents saw jumps in the number of people moving in compared with last year.

Statewide population growth averaged 2.4 percent, the fourth-highest in the nation, with more than half comprised of people relocating from out-of-state.

Among the largest counties, Canyon topped the list, with a 4.5 percent population increase, while Teton County on the Wyoming boarder boasted the greatest increase at 6.9 percent for a total population of 8,349.

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