The U.S. Census Bureau population estimate that was carried out July 1 will likely reveal that Meridian has officially crossed over to having more than 100,000 residents.
The popular and fast-growing city could already be there. Based on the Census’s 95,623 estimate in July 2016 and the local COMPASS population estimate of 98,300 on April 1, Meridian has probably crossed the 100,000 threshold.
The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, which tracks Treasure Valley population statistics for local governments, noted a 6,880 person increase in Meridian since April 2016. At that rate of 18.8 new residents per day, Meridian passed 100,000 on July 1. That's also the birthday of Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd, who recalls serving 42,000 residents when she was first elected in 2004.
“I couldn’t have fathomed that,” de Weerd said about reaching 100,000.
Carl Miller, COMPASS’s principal planner and population tabulator, would rather calculate growth with 9.1 new residents per day since 2010, which conceivably welcomes Meridian’s 100,000th resident on Oct. 7.
Meridian's neighboring city, Nampa, is growing fast as well. Miller estimated Nampa's population at 96,820 in April and the Census in July 2016 tallied Nampa at 91,382. Miller foresees Nampa hitting 100,000 on Sept. 13, 2018, couching the dates for both cities with “not guaranteed.”
If they reach the 100,000 mark, Meridian and Nampa will be only the second and third Idaho cities to do so.
Boise hit 100,000 around 1979. And Idaho may not see a fourth 100,000 city for decades; Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Caldwell, Coeur d’Alene and Twin Falls are clustered between 60,000 and 48,000 residents and have nowhere near the growth rate of Treasure Valley cities.
Meridian and Nampa take different roads to reach 100,000
Meridian in 2016 was the 13th fastest-growing city in the country among cities with at least 50,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It has been landing on national lists for fastest-growing cities for several years; a few times, it has been ranked No. 2 for its growth rate. To read more, see the full story online at the Idaho Business Review.