Report: The Hispanic profile data book for Idaho, 4th edition Report uri icon



  • Research report from the James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research | This report offers statistics and analysis on the state of Idaho Hispanics in population, income and poverty, employment, education, family and kids, health, housing, and crime and safety. Idaho Hispanics make up 12% of the total population, 18% of K-12 public school students, 2% of Idaho public school teachers, 12% of the labor force, 27% of the uninsured, and 3% of registered voters. Three-fourths of Idaho's Hispanics were born in the U.S., and 9-in-10 live south of a line from Payette County to Madison and Bonneville counties. Hispanics accounted for 30% of the state's population growth between 2010 and 2015, 42% of K-12 public school enrollment growth between the 2010-11 and 2015-16 school years, and 37% of employment growth between 2009 and 2015. However, Hispanic population growth in Idaho is slowing. On an annual basis, the population grew 9% in the 1990s, 7% in the 2000s, and 2% from 2010-2015. In terms of education, Idaho Hispanic students are less proficient in basic subjects and less prepared for college and career than non-Hispanics, based on standardized test scores. Students in the English Learner program score the lowest on standardized tests. Compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanics in Idaho have higher unemployment and poverty rates. They also have lower average annual wages and household income. However, their economic well-being has improved since the recession. The Hispanic unemployment rate is down 8 percentage points; the non-Hispanic rate is down 4 points. The Hispanic poverty rate is down 5 percentage points; the non-Hispanic rate is up 1.5 points. The number of employed Hispanics is up 34%; the number of employed non-Hispanics is up 6%. What accounts for these findings? First, Hispanics are more likely to be in the labor force and to work in growing occupations and industries. Second, the number of Hispanics in the labor force is going up in all age categories, but going down among non-Hispanics under age 25 and age 25-54. It may also be that younger Hispanic workers are becoming more educated and likely to work non-traditional, higher paying jobs. A better understanding of Idaho's Hispanic and non-Hispanic labor market dynamics could inform strategies to increase Idaho's economic prosperity overall.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017