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Census: Idaho Continues to Shift Toward Urban Living, Meridian Now Second Largest City in State


  • Kelsey Hawes

According to new statistics from the United States Census Bureau, Ada County accounted for 26 percent of Idaho's population in 2015. Idaho's 10 largest cities—ranked in order of size: Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Caldwell, Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls, Lewiston and Post Falls—grew by 1.5 percent, compared to overall statewide population growth of 1.2 percent. The growth in Idaho's top 10 cities represented nearly 55 percent of Idaho's overall population increase of 20,100.

The fastest growing city in Idaho continues to be Meridian, which saw a 3.5 percent population gain, amounting to 3,027 more residents in 2015. That officially makes Meridian the second largest city in Idaho, bumping Nampa to the No. 3 position. 

The most notable population decline in Idaho was the city of Mountain Home, where the population decreased by 170 people. In total, 65 Idaho communities, including the cities of Burley and Blackfoot, lost population in 2015.

The smallest community in Idaho? The Fremont County town of Warm River, with a population of three. Boise registered a population of 218,281.

Another notable figure: 69.5 percent of Idaho's population now lives in an incorporated city, compared to 62 percent who lived in cities in 2010.