A new forecasting model produced
by the Idaho Department of Labor projects that the statewide population will
increase by 15.3 percent from 2015 to 2025. This projection estimates that the
state population will reach approximately 1,907,000 in 2025.
While national population growth remains
low – at approximately 0.5 percent annually – Idaho’s population growth is
boosted by high levels of in-migration. Annual total population growth in Idaho
is now projected at 1.4 percent - almost three times as high as the national
Due to both the nature of Idaho’s
in-migration patterns – which predominantly sees retirees moving into the state
– and the aging of Idaho’s existing population, the majority of Idaho’s
population growth is projected to occur in retirement age groups. The 65 and
older population is projected to increase from 243,356 to 330,334, for growth
of 35.7 percent - more than twice the rate of the state’s total population
growth. While the over-65 population currently accounts for only 14.7 percent
of Idaho’s population, it is forecast to account for 34.4 percent of the total growth.
In contrast, the youth population
is projected to grow more slowly, due to declining birth rates and the
relatively low in-migration of families with children. The under-15 population
in Idaho is projected to grow from 360,231 to 391,792, or 8.8 percent. While
the over-65 population is projected to grow as a share of the total population
from 14.7 percent to 17.3 percent, the under-15 population’s corresponding
share of the total is expected to decrease from 21.7 percent to 20.5 percent.
The geographic dynamics of
Idaho’s population growth imply a continued trend of urbanization. The majority
of population growth is forecasted to occur in the state’s major urban areas;
more than two-thirds of total growth – 68.8 percent - is projected to occur in Idaho’s
three most populous counties: Ada, Canyon and Kootenai counties. In all, by
2025 the share of Idaho’s population living in urban counties is expected to
increase from 70.6 percent to 74.3 percent.
Among Idaho’s sub-state regions,
the northern, southwestern and eastern regions will experience the fastest
growth, according to projections. Northern Idaho’s population is expected to
grow from a 2015 total of 225,007 to 256,936 by 2025, for growth of 14.2
percent. In the same period, southwestern Idaho is projected to grow from 749,500
to 897,118, for growth of 19.7 percent, while eastern Idaho is projected to
grow from 214,078 to 249,957, for growth of 16.8 percent. These three regions
are collectively expected to account for 85.2 percent of the state’s total
for more information.