Population growth in rural Idaho is up, but not in Idaho County, one of 21 counties in the state to lose population last year.
U.S. Census estimates released last Thursday, March 27, show Idaho County’s 2013 population at 16,116, a 1.3 percent decrease from the prior year. During this period, the number of deaths in Idaho County equaled the number of births – 158 each; and the net migration estimation was a 172 decrease (168 relocating domestically within the U.S. and four internationally).
Idaho County numbers go against the trend noted in 2013 estimates showing 33 rural counties seeing a combined population increase for the first time in three years, slowing the shift of persons into urban areas. Census figures show Idaho’s population in these rural counties rising two-tenths of a percent from mid-2012 to mid-2013, about 1,200 people, while the population of the 11 urban counties increased 1.5 percent.
Within the past four years (2010-2013), U.S. Census estimates Idaho County has seen a net migration decrease of 139 (127 domestic and 12 international). County population went from 16,295 in 2010, increasing (by 1 percent) to 16,467 in 2011, and then started to decrease: down by .85 percent to 16,327 in 2012 and a larger 1.3 percent decrease for 16,116 in 2013.
Statewide, Idaho’s population rose 1 percent to just more than 1.6 million in 2013, resuming a growth rate higher than the national rate of seven-tenths of a percent. During this time, Idaho reported 22,187 births and 11,250 deaths, and a net migration increase of 6,142.
How did neighboring counties fare in these 2013 estimates?
• Lewis County saw a .2 percent increase from 2012: total population 3,902; 43 births and 27 deaths for a net migration of one.
• Clearwater County was one of five counties (including Washington, Fremont, Clark and Custer) to record a fourth straight annual population loss: down .1 percent. Clearwater County reported 8,577 population in 2013 (62 births, 98 deaths) and 32 in net migration.
• Valley County saw a net migration increase of 58 from 2012 to 2013 (85 births and 52 deaths), reporting 9,606 in population last year.
• Adams County’s population – after leading the state in growth in 2004 and 2005 — decreased 2.2 percent for a total 3,828 population in 2013. Estimates were births, 24, deaths 20, for a net migration decrease of 55.