By Nicole Blanchard
Idaho's population increased enough in the past year to earn us the title of nation's fastest-growing state, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Between July 2016 and July 2017, Idaho's population increased 2.2 percent to a total of 1.7 million residents.
"Domestic migration drove change in the two fastest-growing states, Idaho and Nevada, while an excess of births over deaths played a major part in the growth of the third fastest-growing state, Utah," said the Census Bureau's Luke Rogers, Chief of the Population Estimates Branch, in a release.
It's not the first time our state's growth has made the Census Bureau's top 10 list in percentage increases. In January 2016, the Bureau announced that Idaho's population increased 1.2 percent. The previous year, Idaho grew by 1.4 percent. In all, Idaho has accrued nearly 200,000 new residents since 2010, when the state's population was just over 1.5 million.
Of course, percentage growth differs from numeric growth -- that top title went to Texas, which brought in an additional 400,000 residents between July 2016 and July 2017, bringing the Southern state's total population to 28.3 million people.
Idaho was the only state to top 2 percent growth, according to the data. Trailing Idaho in percentage population growth were Nevada (2 percent growth); Utah (1.9 percent); Washington (1.7 percent); Arizona (1.6 percent); and Texas, Washington, D.C., Colorado and Oregon (1.4 percent each).
The news may come as no surprise to those of us in the Treasure Valley. Earlier this year, Meridian was named the nation's 13th fastest-growing city, and Ada and Canyon counties accounted for 50 percent of the state's population growth in 2016.
Idaho officials estimate that our state could swell to 2 million residents by 2025.
(c)2017 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)