Will North Idaho explode into another California?
“Someone spilled the beans!”…
“Herds of people are moving to North Idaho!”…
“Just a matter of time before it grows into another California!”
Beans…Herds…California… Yikes!!! Sounds like a bad country song.
Fact is, percentage wise, growth is nothing new to North Idaho!
Idaho has consistently been one of the Top-Five fastest growing states for the past 3 decades:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau: STATE-LEVEL CHANGE BY PERCENTAGE 2000-2010 -Nevada (35.1 percent) Arizona (24.6 percent), Utah (23.8 percent), Idaho (21.1 percent), and Texas (20.6 percent).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau: STATE-LEVEL CHANGE BY PERCENTAGE 1990-2000 – Nevada (66 percent), Arizona (40 percent), Colorado (31 percent), Utah (30 percent), and Idaho (29 percent).
Even with the large percentage of growth in North Idaho, according to the latest U.S. Census in 2016, Idaho is not even in the top ten of places most Californians are bailing to!
As for growing into “California” …North Idaho is a long way from that many people!
The chart below shows the population density of Kootenai County (home of Coeur d’Alene) compared to some California counties:
Now, let’s put things in perspective…
There are 199 people per square mile in Kootenai County Idaho, the home of Coeur d’Alene. If each person in a square mile of Kootenai County were to lie on the ground head-to-toe, they would form a line the length of 2.5 football fields.
There are 8,362 people per square mile in Los Angeles County… if each person in that square mile were to lie on the ground head-to-toe they would form a line 9.5 miles long!
There are 18,140 people per square mile in San Francisco County… if each person in that square mile were to lie on the ground head-to-toe they would form a line 20.6 miles long!
So, how long would it take for Kootenai county to grow into California?
Kootenai County grew 1.53% in 2016. If Kootenai County continued to grow at that rate (compounded) every year it would take 280 years to have as many people per square mile as Los Angeles County currently has!
And how many years of growth to catch San Francisco County? Forget about it…this writer does not have enough fingers and toes to do that kind of math!
The chart below shows how the population of Kootenai County measures up to other popular counties in the U.S.
So, as the chart above demonstrates, Kootenai County has far less people than many of the more notable counties in the U.S.
Even Ada County, the home of Boise, Meridian, and Eagle, Idaho, has nearly four times the amount of people per square mile as Kootenai County, Idaho!
So, what does it all mean?
North Idaho is one of the most conservative and attractive lifestyles in the country. It has clean and safe cities, all the amenities... from excellent health care to fine dining, and unmatched outdoor recreation. As a result, people want to live here. Growth will happen!
However, North Idaho has a long way to go be considered crowded, and to compare that growth in the context of California …or any popular place people are relocating to…is extremely overstated!
Furthermore, Kootenai County growth will be limited due to its massive amount of public/resource land, water surface area, and rural subdivision laws that limit urban sprawl. Learn more here.
Lower population, just another reason people Live Better in North Idaho!
Article by Kory Martinelli - Owner/Realtor: Martinelli Realty Team-Keller Williams CdA