Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Movin? to Idaho

Gem State ranked 4th in population growth


People continued to move to Idaho in 2007, making it the fourth fastest growing state in the country.

The Gem State ranked behind only Nevada, Arizona and Utah for growth from July 1, 2006, to July 1, 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau reported last week.

During that period, Idaho's population grew by more that 35,000, a 2.4 percent increase. The gain lifted the Gem State's population to 1,499,402, which makes it the 39th most populated state in the nation.

Leading the nation in growth was Nevada with a 2.9 percent population increase. Arizona was second at 2.8 percent, followed by Utah with 2.6 percent growth.

Over the same period, the entire U.S. population grew by 1 percent, the Census Bureau reported.

Other states experiencing growth rates of 2 percent or greater were Georgia and North Carolina at 2.2 percent, Texas at 2.1 percent and Colorado and Wyoming at 2 percent.

The Census Bureau reported population declines in only two states. Rhode Island's population fell by .4 percent and Michigan saw a decline of .3 percent.

The Census Bureau stated that Idaho's growth rate has been one of the largest in the nation since 2000. Since then, the Gem State's population has increased by 16 percent, or more than 200,000 people. The Census Bureau reported that during that period, Idaho gained more than 100,000 residents from other states and 17,000 from other countries.

The Idaho Department of Labor reported that "Idaho's economy remains among the best in the nation despite slower growth since (last) spring. While job creation was strong, it fell about 11,000 short of the 28,000 jobs created in 2006.

"But Idaho's comparatively low operating costs, skilled labor force and quality of lifestyle continue to attract both business operators and workers, which is expected to keep the economy performing ahead of the nation," the Labor Department reported.

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