Policy brief from the James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research | Idaho at a Glance. 2003. | The 1990s brought major demographic changes to Idaho. Population grew by 29 percent from 1990 to 2000, from 1 million residents to almost 1.3 million, the fifth fastest rate in the nation. On an annual basis, our growth rate peaked in 1993 at a remarkable 3.5 percent. Hispanics made up 8 percent of the population in 2000 and accounted for 17 percent of the growth that occured during the 1990s. These trends played out differently across rural Idaho. The population of most rural counties grew at a moderate rate, while a few grew rapidly and two, Shoshone and Butte, lost population. Most rural counties bordering the state's urban areas grew, sometimes dramatically. Several rural counties grew enough to be reclassified as metropolitan. Hispanic populations in rural southern and eastern parts of the state grew significantly, while hardly increasing in the north.