All you have to do is look at the skyline over Boise to notice things have changed a lot in just a few years. Last year, the population grew by a little over 3 percent, making it the fastest growing city in America, according to Forbes Magazine ranking of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.
Since 2010, the total population of Ada and Canyon counties has increased by 100,000 people to about 670,000. COMPASS is expecting the population of the state’s two largest counties to be pushing one million by 2040.
In Ada County, nearly 130 new subdivisions, providing more than 3,500 new homes, were built in 2017.
“I was just looking at this new construction and I just thought how in the world are we going to be able to keep up with this,” said Ada County Assessor Bob McQuade.
More than 200,000 vehicles were registered with 1A plates in 2017.
“That's going to be a combination of new people coming in and new cars,” said McQuade.
The influx of people has caused a shortage of available homes.
“We're now 40 months in a row, we are lower than the year before,” said Boise Regional Realtors President Gary Salisbury. “About a third of my business people are coming into the state.”
It’s not just people either, businesses are also flocking to the Gem State.
“We're also seeing an emerging opportunities for people. The tech sector is growing; food is growing. There's a lot of manufacturing that's growing,” said Boise Valley Economic Partnership Executive Director Clark Krause.
Krause added with unemployment rates going down across the country, the workforce has become more important.
“Why do they want to come to Boise? I think you’re looking at place that has that quality of people they're looking for,” said. Krause.
Local universities also provide that channel to young professionals.
“They're looking for a pipeline of people, of talent, of good attitudes, that people are happy here and so that's what they're looking for; so we do pretty well there,” said Krause.
Krause says with all this sustainable growth it’s important that we have plans and that people are a part of those plans.
“You can do growth or have growth done to you and I think it’s very, very important that we start to show up to help our leaders to find what our community should look like in the future,” said Krause.