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Three Idaho cities among 15 fastest-growing in the U.S.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new population estimates Thursday, including data on growth in cities with more than 50,000 people.
Credit: ACHD

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Boise is still Idaho's largest city, but the bulk of the Treasure Valley's growth is happening west of the city limits.

That's no surprise to anyone looking at Interstate 84 during the afternoon commute, but population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau provide some black-and-white numbers to back it up.

Meridian, Nampa and Caldwell are all on the list of the nation's 15 fastest-growing cities between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, with populations of 50,000 or more in 2020.

Meridian, with an estimated 2021 population of 125,963, ranks 13th for growth with a 5.2-percent increase compared to 2020. Meridian had the nation's 11th-largest numeric increase, with 6,234 added to the population in just one year. Meridian is the second-largest city in Idaho and in Ada County.

Credit: Brian Myrick / Idaho Press
Traffic drives along Main Street in downtown Meridian in this October file photo.

Caldwell's population also grew by 5.2 percent, to 63,629, from July 2020 to July 2021, according to the estimate. Caldwell, the Canyon County seat, ranks 14th nationally.

Credit: KTVB

Also in Canyon County, Nampa rounds out the top-15 list. Its estimated population grew by 5 percent, to 106,186.

Boise's population grew by fewer than 2,000 people -- less than one percent -- from 2020 to 2021, when the estimated population increased from 235,829 to 237,446.

Topping the list of the 15 fastest-growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more is Georgetown, Texas, a suburb of Austin. Three of the nation's fastest-growing cities are in Texas. Five are in Arizona; three are in Florida; one, Spring Hill, is in Tennessee.

The Census Bureau estimates 129,277,621 people live in the 798 U.S. cities that have populations of 50,000 or more.

The list of the five most populous cities in the nation was unchanged from 2020: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix.

San Antonio, Texas, the nation's seventh most-populous city, had the largest numeric population increase with a net gain of 13,626 people. The nation's largest city, New York, experienced a population decrease of more than 305,000 people between 2020 and 2021. However, New York's population of nearly 8.5 million is still more than twice that of Los Angeles, which is the nation's second most-populous city with about 3.8 million living within LA's city limits.

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