Managable population growth for Magic Valley


By Jay Michaels


The US Census Bureau has released the county population estimates for Idaho counties; statewide, Idaho’s population increased by 19,000 people from mid-2008 to mid-2009. In the eight counties of Magic Valley, only the population in Gooding county dropped by just under 200 people.

Idaho Department of Labor Regional Economist Jan Roeser says, “Around the state we saw an exodus of people going to more urban areas looking for jobs. And so Gooding's one of our more remote areas, and that could be part of it, too. They could have had a large graduation class, there are a few things that can contribute to that sort of thing.”

Roeser says the new Gooding hospital might help reverse the population drop during the next year. She says she's pleasantly surprised to see growth in the Gem State's mostly rural areas.

“Overall, it seemed like Twin Falls seemed to outperform the state. They had 1.5 percent growth, whereas the state was at 1.2%. Certainly the large urban areas had the largest growth in the state.”

Roeser says there are plenty of people moving into Magic Valley from other states, as well as other countries. She says the College Of Southern Idaho's Refugee Center has brought in up to 250 new international residents every year for the last ten years.

Roeser says Jerome’s population jumped by 3.3 percent, twice as much as the rest of Magic Valley.

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