BOISE, Idaho — Idaho is among the U.S. states with the highest rate of people moving in from across state lines, and it's also one of the nation's youngest states. Those are a couple of findings the Idaho Dept. of Labor noted from the recently released U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey for 2016-2020.
The survey shows 4.4% of Idaho's population came from a different state. The rate of in-migration, particularly among those coming from California, has been widely discussed. However, Idaho's in-migration rate isn't the nation's highest -- it's fourth, behind the District of Columbia (8.2%), North Dakota (4.5%) and Wyoming (4.5%). Almost 17% of Idaho's population moved during the five-year period from 2016 through 2020. The national average was 14%.
The median age of people moving in from other states was 28.7 years. Overall, the median age of Idaho's population was 36.6, sixth-youngest in the nation. Utah was the youngest, with a median age of 31.1. Nationwide, the median age was 38.2. States with the oldest median age were concentrated in the eastern U.S.
The survey shows some impacts of Idaho's population growth, which increased from 1,567,582 in the 2010 census to 1,839,106 in the 2020 census. The American Community Survey for 2016-2020 shows the number of Idaho households grew by 8.4%, with homeowners making up 71% of occupied housing, and renters comprising 29%. Owner-occupied housing increased during that survey period, and the rate of home ownership in Idaho was higher than the national average of 64.4%.
Commuters in the Treasure Valley probably don't need a survey for this fact: Commutes are taking longer. The average commuting time for Idahoans increased by almost 5% -- from 20.2 minutes to 21.2 minutes between 2016 and 2020. This, despite more of the state's population working from home: the percentage of Idahoans working from home increased from 5.9% to 7.8% during the survey period, which ended in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More about remote work in Idaho: The incidence was highest in three Idaho counties with popular tourist destinations -- Valley County (15.5%), Teton County (14.1%) and Blaine County (12.8%).
This and other data from the American Community Survey can be found here. The American Community Survey's first set of multi-year estimates was released in 2008. The survey replaced the Census long form in order to provide statistics more frequently than the once-every-10-years Census. The survey contacts 3.5 million U.S. addresses each year about more than 40 topics. The findings are used to help allocate more than $675 billion in federal funds.
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