The Treasure Valley, located in Southwest Idaho, surpassed a population of 800,000 people in the previous year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census. Idaho’s counties experienced population gains, with the most significant increases observed in rural areas while urban areas continued to grow. The state gained nearly 100,000 new residents since 2020. Nationally, there is a trend of population growth in the South and the West, with college towns such as Pullman, Washington, experiencing significant gains as students return to campus after COVID-19 disruptions. The population shift away from major urban areas during 2020 and 2021 is starting to reverse as cities return to normal activity and employers require employees to return to the office either full or part-time.
In Southwest Idaho, the population has increased significantly since the pandemic. The counties of Ada, Canyon, Owyhee, Gem, and Boise collectively added 46,613 residents in 2020, bringing the population of the greater Boise metro area to approximately 811,000. When including the populations of Elmore County, Payette County, and Malheur County (part of the Ontario metro area), the entire Treasure Valley is just below 900,000 residents. Ada County alone added 23,943 new residents in the past two years, with Canyon County not far behind, adding another 19,959. Boise, Canyon, and Gem counties ranked among the top counties in the state for growth during this period.
North Idaho has also experienced significant population growth. Boundary County, located near Canada, saw a 10.6% increase in population since 2020, attracting residents from states with stricter COVID-19 policies. Other counties in North Idaho, such as Bonner, Benewah, and Kootenai (home to the Coeur d’Alene area), also saw notable growth rates during this period.
Overall, both Southwest and North Idaho have seen substantial population increases in recent years, with urban and rural areas alike experiencing growth. (boisedev.com)