Policy brief from the James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research | Idaho at a Glance. 2008. | Roughly 3-in-10 Idahoans now live in rural areas, compared to 4-in-10 in 1990. Rural Idaho has continued to grow since 2000, though not as fast as urban parts of the state. The rural population increased an average of one percent a year from 2000 to 2006; the urban population increased about three percent per year. The more remote a county is, the more slowly it is likely to grow. In contrast, rural counties with strong commuting ties to large cities are growing the fastest (about two percent a year since 2000).