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County getting grayer; older population increasing

The face of Idaho County is looking grayer these days.

According to recent U.S. Census estimates comparing changes from 2010 to 2015, the age 65 and older population has consistently increased, between 2.5 to 3.4 percent, making up 24.7 percent of Idaho County’s total population (4,025 of 16,272 as of July 2015). During this same period, the median age in the county has increased steadily from 48.0 to 49.6.

For the state overall, the 65 and older group – accounting for 15 percent of Idaho’s population — increased by 30 percent from mid-2010 to mid-2016, compared with 22 percent for the nation.

Those ages 40 to 64 make up the largest group in Idaho County: 34.8 percent (5,661) of the population. Yet, Census numbers show this population has been decreasing steadily – between 0.1 to 3.0 percent — since 2010. During this period, the 40-to-60-age group lost a total 562 people. Idaho and Lemhi counties had the largest decreases for this age group in the state.

Next highest, the 0 to 19 age group made up 22.1 percent of the population in 2015, also lost ground during this period. Increases in 2010 and 2015 (nine and 23, respectively) were overmatched by a total 181 decrease seen from 2012 to 2014. Idaho and Gooding counties had the largest numeric decreases for this age group in the state.

Net growth was seen in the 20 to 39 age group that in 2015 made up 18.3 percent (2,984) of the county’s total population. Apart from a drop of 13 in 2013, the remaining years saw gains between eight and 67 (0.3 to 2.3 percent, respectively).

Also part of Census estimates were Hispanic numbers: Idaho County reported 571 in 2015, 3.5 percent of the population, showing a steady increase from 421 (2.6 percent) in 2010.


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