Idaho at a Glance - Rural Idaho Since the Recession Report uri icon



  • Policy brief from the James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research | Idaho at a Glance. August 2015, Vol. 6, No. 2 | Idaho is in the 6th year of recovery since the 2007-09 recession. This report explores how rural parts of the state—which account for about one-third of Idahoans—are recovering from the economic downturn. Since the recession ended, population growth in rural Idaho has been flat, growing less than 1%. In contrast, urban Idaho has grown by 6%, led by growth in Ada, Canyon, and Kootenai counties (8.6%, 7.5%, and 6.4%, respectively). Most of Idaho’s rural counties experienced net out-migration between 2010 and 2014, meaning that more people moved out than moved in. Since 2010, rural Idaho’s Hispanic population has grown while its non-Hispanic population has decreased. By 2013, Hispanics made up 14% of the state’s rural population. Most of the rural counties that are growing are located in south central Idaho where agriculture is strong and has a growing workforce, and in selected counties adjacent to growing urban areas. Both rural and urban Idaho lost jobs during the recession, and neither has returned to pre-recession levels. Since job growth began in 2010, the number of rural jobs has increased 2.6%, compared to an increase of 4.8% for urban jobs. At least since 1990, rural parts of the state have had weaker economic performance, as measured by indicators such as unemployment rates, average wages, and per capita income. Since the recession, however, the gaps have narrowed. For example, in 2007, per capita income in rural Idaho was $4,329 lower than in urban Idaho. By 2013, the gap had decreased to $515.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015

Additional Document Info


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