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BOISE -- Fresh population data show Idaho's growth in 2012 once again was concentrated in the cities, especially in the southwest corner communities of Star, Meridian and Eagle.

U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday pegged the state's population at more than 1,595,728 -- up 0.8 percent from 2011 estimates.

The combined population of the state's 200 cities increased 1 percent from 2011, though 88 cities lost population from 2011 totals.

The growth in the cities again comes at the expense of rural communities. The bureau reports the rural population grew by just 0.3 percent, slightly lower than the 0.4 percent growth from 2010 to 2011.

The city of Star was tops in Idaho with a growth rate of 3.4 percent, while Dubois in eastern Idaho posted the biggest loss at 8.8 percent.

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