Three of Boise’s suburbs are ranked in the top 15 fastest growing cities in the country, according to recent data from the US Census Bureau.
Meridian, Caldwell and Nampa placed 13th, 14th and 15th respectively. All their populations increased by at least 5% last year.
“Often, growth reflects a strong economy, and I think this is the case in our region,” says Krista Paulsen, professor of urban studies at Boise State University. “It also reflects what people perceive as a high quality of life in an area, and that is certainly the case in Treasure Valley”
Meridian saw more than 6,000 new residents last year, bringing its total population to just under 126,000. Although the economy is strengthening, housing supply is lagging.
The total number of housing units in Idaho rose only 2.5%, although it was the second highest increase in the country behind Utah.
“When growth is happening so quickly, it can be difficult for cities, regions and governments to try to keep up,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen also warned of a rise in localism, where longtime residents fear the changes that come with growth.
“We all have the potential to be members of our communities and to contribute,” Paulsen said.
Meridian, Caldwell and Nampa were the only major cities in the Pacific Northwest to make the rankings. Idaho as a whole saw a 2.9% increase in population from 2020 to 2021, totaling 1.9 million.