Survey Looks at Many Aspects of Idaho’s Demographics and Economy

Idaho’s senior population is increasing at a much faster pace than the U.S. as a whole, according to the recently released American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. Nationally, the senior population – those 64 and older – increased 9.9 percent from 2017 to 2019, while Idaho’s senior population grew 32.4 percent.

In the next couple of months, the Census Bureau will publish American Community Survey data for counties, cities, ZIP code areas, Native American homelands and reservations, and census tracts. The survey provides information about demographics, employment, education, income, poverty, health insurance, veterans, types of households and people with disabilities. The ACS is described as the “most detailed look at America’s people, places and economy.”

Highlights from the new 2018 American Community Survey show how rapidly Idaho’s population is growing and changing, the numbers and types of people moving into the state, the regions where today’s Idaho residents were born, the educational attainment of Idahoans and who is self-employed in the state:

  • Rapid growth of Idaho’s senior population (32.4 percent compared with 9.9 percent for the total state population).
  • Many people are moving to Idaho and they aren’t all rich retirees.
  • Fewer than half (5 percent) of Idahoans were born in Idaho, while 58.1 percent of U.S. residents live in the state where they were born.
  • Idahoans are more likely to have high school diplomas than U.S. residents, but less likely to have college degrees.
  • Female college graduates now outnumber males in Idaho.

Age

  • Idaho’s population grew 9.9 percent, from 1,595,728 in 2012 to 1,754,208 in 2018.
  • The U.S. population grew 4.2 percent to 327 million in the same period.
  • The fastest-growing age group is the population 65 years and older. This group grew 32.4 percent in Idaho and 21.5 percent in the U.S.
  • Idaho’s under-18 population grew 4.9 percent to 445,370, while the number of U.S. children in that age group fell 0.5 percent.

People moving to Idaho in 2018:

  • An estimated 79,765 people moved to Idaho from another state in 2018, up 34.5 percent increase from 2017 when 59,283 people moved to the Gem State.
  • Approximately 16,936 children were moved to Idaho, making up 21.2 percent of the people moving into the state.
  • 17,187 people age 55 and older moved to Idaho and made up 21.5 percent of the people moving into the state.
  • 6,724 people moved to Idaho from abroad. These include foreign-born people, but also Idahoans and other U.S. citizens who had been living abroad.
  • About 16.9 percent of the people who moved to Idaho from a different state had incomes greater than $50,000 a year.
  • 1 percent of the Idaho residents who lived in the same house a year earlier had incomes greater than $50,000 a year.
  • Of the population 25 years and older who moved to Idaho from another state in 2018, 32 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 27.6 percent of Idahoans who lived in the same house the year before.

Where Idahoans were born

  • In 2018, 46.5 percent of Idahoans were born in Idaho.
  • In 2018, 58.1 percent of Americans lived in the state where they were born.
  • Of the Idahoans born in another state, 68.6 percent were born in the West; 15.3 percent in the Midwest; 10.6 percent in the South; and 5.4 percent in the Northeast.

Foreign-born population

  • In 2018, 1.3 percent of Idahoans under 18 years old were foreign-born, compared with 3.4 percent across the U.S.
  • In 2018, 7.5 percent of Idahoans 18 years and older were foreign-born, compared with 16.5 percent across the U.S.
  • Of the 105,228 foreign-born Idahoans, 45,441 were naturalized U.S. citizens.
  • Of Idaho’s 2018 foreign-born population, 18.4 percent entered the United States after 2009, 28.6 percent entered between 2000 and 2009, 24.1 percent entered between 1990 and 1999 and 28.8 percent entered before 1990.

 Educational attainment

  • Idahoans are more likely to have high school diplomas than U.S. residents. In 2018, 90.9 percent of Idahoans 25 years and older had graduated from high school or earned a GED high school equivalency certificate, compared to 88.3 percent of the nation’s population of the same age.
  • Women now are more likely to have college diplomas than men. In 2018, 28.1 percent of Idaho women 25 years and older had bachelor’s degrees or higher, while 27.2 percent of Idaho men in the same age group had them
  • Six years earlier, 24.3 percent of Idaho women 25 years and older had college diplomas, while 26.7 percent of Idaho men 25 years and over did.
  • In 2018, 33.3 percent of American women 25 years and older had college diplomas, while 31.9 percent of American men did.
  • In 2012, 29.1 percent of American women and 29.1 percent of American men were college graduates.
  • The more education people have, the less likely they are to be poor. In 2018, 4.4 percent of Idahoans 25 years and older with bachelor’s degrees or higher lived in poverty, while 8.7 percent of those who attended college but didn’t earn a bachelor’s degree lived in poverty. About 12.1 percent of those with a high school diploma, but no further education, had incomes below the poverty level, and the income of 18.5 percent of those without high school diplomas fell below the poverty level.

Self-employed

  • In 2018, self-employed individuals made up 11.7 percent of employed Idaho residents.
  • The number of self-employed Idahoans grew 9.6 percent, from 85,953 in 2012 to 94,179 in 2018.
  • In 2018, 38.5 percent of self-employed Idahoans were women.
  • The median earnings for self-employed individuals in their own incorporated businesses in Idaho in 2018 was $48,015, and the median earnings for self-employed individuals in their own unincorporated businesses was $30,821.

Kathryn.Tacke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984

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