Leaving for the City: UI Study Shows Idaho Becoming Urban
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A study from the University of Idaho's McClure Center for Public Policy Research shows Idaho is becoming steadily more urban. The trend has some worried about the future of the state's rural communities.
The Post Register reports that about two-thirds of Idaho's population is found in counties the study considered to be urban, including Bonneville, Ada, Kootenai and Nez Perce counties. The remaining third lives in rural counties. That's still more than the national average of 15 percent. The study focused on the time period since the Great Recession, which ended in 2009.
In that time frame, the population of urban Idaho has increased 6 percent while the rural population has remained flat. McClure Center Director Priscilla Salant says people are leaving rural communities for urban jobs, and that can make it hard for rural communities to recover.