Idaho's 2013 population: Who's coming, going, and staying?


by Jamie Grey

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 10:16 AM

BOISE -- Idaho's population may be getting back on track after a strange year in 2012 when more people left the state than in previous decades.

KTVB analyzed driver's license data from the Idaho Department of Transportation to look for trends in population in early 2012. That's when the dip was noticed. New data showing all numbers from 2013 was made available Friday, so KTVB looked at the new numbers.

In 2013, driver's license data shows Idaho's numbers began to normalize again, in terms of overall in and outmigration. Below, you can see the totals of people coming in (moving to Idaho) and people going out (moving from Idaho), as well as the net result.

                       IN          OUT        NET
2001        33,109      27,649    5,460
2002        34,757      28,915    5,842
2003        37,344      23,637    13,707
2004        41,535      23,592    17,943
2005        45,820      21,633    24,187
2006        47,217      20,713    26,504
2007        43,623      24,313    19,310
2008        39,846      21,917    17,929
2009        35,164      21,588    13,576
2010        36,287      21,215    15,072
2011        33,886      15,843     18,043
2012        36,930      29,290     7,640
2013        39,804      22,284    17,520


Source: Idaho Department of Transportation, compiled by KTVB in April 2013 and January 2014

As we looked at numbers last year, the Idaho Department of Labor reported 2012 was the first time there had been an outmigration since the 80s and was worried about keeping a labor force to help man an economic recovery.

In addition to looking at the overall numbers, KTVB looked at where people are moving to and from. Over the past ten years, including 2013, most people have left Idaho for other western states. In 2013, the top five states people came from were California, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Arizona.

The graphic below shows the states where people are moving to Idaho from, with the darker the shade indicating more people (mobile viewers can view the graphic in the photo gallery attached to the story).

People who leave Idaho for another state also tend to stay out west. As with all of the last decade, the most overwhelming out-migration in 2013 was to Washington. Utah came in second for 2013. The graphic below shows the trend over the last decade for where people leave Idaho to live (mobile viewers can view the graphic in the photo gallery attached to the story).

More than just the total in and out migration numbers, last year, the Idaho Department of Labor explained officials really look hard at the age of people coming and going.

For example, the 2012 pattern showed a huge decline in people in their 20s and a rise in those over 60. It was dubbed the "silver tsunami," a concern for them because of a decrease in working- aged people and rise in retirement-aged people.

The Idaho Department of Labor told KTVB it is still crunching the 2013 numbers to get its take on the latest population trends. KTVB was able to look at data of the ages of current drivers in Idaho and was able to see there was likely another increase in people over 60, and the number of younger people (from 20s-30s) decreased.