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MERIDIAN -- New numbers show that the city of Meridian is now the second most populated city in Idaho, surpassing Nampa with over 85,000 residents.

Growth is visible all around Meridian. We can see it in the addition of the Village at Meridian, breaking ground on the new Meridian Interchange, and even see it in our schools because Meridian School District is the largest in the state.

According to Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho or COMPASS, it turns out this surge in population is coming from a few things.

COMPASS does a study each year to get a better idea of long-term traffic and infrastructure needs in the Treasure Valley.

Planner Carl Miller tells KTVB that Meridian is centrally located, the housing prices are fair and it s close to Interstate 84.

Miller explains COMPASS collects data on new housing starts and building permits and those numbers help the agency generate new population numbers.

Meridian is getting more housing starts than any other county and vacancy rates are dwindling in both Ada and Canyon counties.

However, Meridian has also annexed some large subdivisions in the south part of the city.

This study is a key part of what COMPASS does in terms of transportation planning.

We can look at this and we can see which of these areas are maybe under-served for roads, services and we really use this for both current planning of what we need now and also looking into the future, Miller said. (These) trends (are) telling us for how the region is going to grow, what the valley is going to look like in 20 or 30 years from now.

COMPASS is in currently in the public comment period of their Communities in Motion 2040 Master Plan. It is a long-term transportation plan for Ada and Canyon counties. They anticipate that Meridian will have over 154,000 people by 2040.

Boise continues to be at the top of the list in terms of population, because Boise is also getting a number of new housing starts, especially post recession still Miller said Meridian remains the fastest growing city in southern Idaho.

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