West Ada

Lucky or not? Meridian is the nation’s 13th fastest-growing city

Meridian Mayor talks about finding a balance between ‘rooftops and jobs’

Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd reflects on 13 years in office and explosive growth in the heart of the Treasure Valley.
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Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd reflects on 13 years in office and explosive growth in the heart of the Treasure Valley.

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).

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.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell

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