Meridian is a boom town. As if you didn’t know.
The population of the once-rural dairy town increased 4.5 percent last year to 95,263 people, making it the 13th fastest-growing city in the nation, according to U.S. Census figures released Thursday.
Just three other Western U.S. cities made the 15 fastest-growing cities list: Bend, Oregon, ranked sixth, Buckeye, Arizona, ranked seventh; and Lemhi, Utah, ranked 12th.
Among Idaho cities last year, Meridian’s population rose by 4,122, followed by Boise (2,873), Nampa (1,650), Caldwell (1,602) and Post Falls (1,253).
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No Treasure Valley city has grown the way Meridian has over the past quarter-century. Traffic is a concern: “We’ll never grow our way out of congestion,” Mayor Tammy de Weerd said recently.
The Treasure Valley is home to the state’s three largest cities. Boise is first with a population of 223,154. Meridian is second and Nampa third with 91,382 people. Thirty-nine percent of Idaho’s 1.68 million people live in Ada and Canyon counties, which have a combined population of 651,726.