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Growth a top concern in new Boise State public policy survey

Nearly 75 percent of people surveyed believe the economy will remain strong over the next two years.
Credit: KTVB
Road construction in Boise.

BOISE, Idaho — More than 50 percent of Gem State residents are concerned about our growing Idaho.

New numbers from the 2020 Idaho Public Policy Survey shows 57 percent of the state’s residents believe our population is growing too fast.

While growth is a concern, a little more than half say they're confident in Idaho's future.

Nearly 75 percent of people surveyed believe the economy will remain strong over the next two years.

On the opposite end, 65 percent of those surveyed believe there needs to be improvements to the state's education system.

But the strongest response on the survey favored a ban on texting and driving.

Respondents showed overwhelming support (86 percent) a ban. Boise State officials said this is the strongest response they've received in survey's five-year history.           

"A majority of Idahoans feel the state is headed in the right direction, but they also see some continuing challenges such as education, and some new ones such as the growth we are experiencing," said Boise State's Jeffrey Lyons, assistant professor in the School of Public Service and the Idaho Policy Institute's survey research director. "While the concerns about education appear across the state, it is primarily those who live in the Treasure Valley that cite growth as the biggest issue facing Idaho."

The annual statewide survey focused on important issues facing Idaho including growth, education, taxes and the environment. It was conducted Dec. 5-13, 2019, and included 1,000 adults over the age of 18 who currently live in Idaho.  

Other key findings include:
• Idahoans that feel that the level of taxation is about right (61 percent).
• Education continues to be seen as a weak spot in Idaho. Most perceive the quality of education in the state to be fair or poor (65 percent), and education tops the list of priorities for the state legislature.
• Those who have moved to Idaho in the last 10 years are slightly younger and have slightly higher educational attainment than those who have been here for longer, but are very similar in their party affiliation.
• Idahoans are divided on whether dams on the lower Snake River should be removed to aid salmon recovery. Lost hydroelectric power is the most commonly cited reason for opposing dam removal.
• A majority of Idahoans (63 percent) are satisfied with the current rules for getting an initiative on the ballot for a citizen vote.

To view the full report.