Boise & Garden City

Idahoans could number just shy of 2 million by 2025, projections show

Idaho mascot Spuddy Buddy dances on the fringe of a New Year’s Eve crowd of revelers waiting to ring in 2015 at the second annual Idaho Potato Drop in Downtown Boise.
Idaho mascot Spuddy Buddy dances on the fringe of a New Year’s Eve crowd of revelers waiting to ring in 2015 at the second annual Idaho Potato Drop in Downtown Boise. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Idaho’s population is expected to grow a whopping 15.3 percent over the course of a decade, from 2015 to 2025, according to projections from the Idaho Department of Labor.

It could also look a little older and a little more urban, if a new forecasting model holds, Labor officials say.

The state’s projected annual growth rate of 1.4 percent is triple the national rate. The total state population is expected to top 1.9 million residents by 2025.

That’s not because we’re having a lot of babies. In fact, birth rates are declining and fewer young families are moving here.

One big reason why: Idaho is a good place to retire and grow old.

The 65 and older population is expected to grow from 243,356 to 330,334 — an increase of almost 36 percent.

Currently, seniors account for about 15 percent of the state’s total population. The influx is expected to bump that up to about 17 percent.

At the other end of the age spectrum, there will be an 8 percent increase in the number of people 15 and younger. But that age group’s overall share of the population may drop from about 21.7 percent to 20.5 percent.

About two-thirds of newcomers are expected to settle in urban areas, primarily Ada, Canyon and Kootenai counties. Southwest Idaho will see the biggest increase, about 20 percent, while eastern and northern Idaho will see 17 and 14 percent increases, respectively.

Learn more about Idaho’s population projections at the Department of Labor’s website.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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