Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation, and a majority of its citizens say it is growing too fast, an Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.
Updated Census figures released last year show Idaho’s population growing at 2.2 percent, the highest rate in the U.S. Population growth is usually good for the economy, but it also has downsides.
A survey for the Idaho online political newsletter by Dan Jones & Associates finds:
57 percent of residents say the state is growing “too fast.”
- 39 percent said it is growing “about right.”
- Only 1 percent say it is growing “too slow.”
- And 3 percent don’t have an opinion.
Home prices in Idaho have also been rapidly increasing – good if you’re selling; not so good if you’re buying. Jones also asked if it is “definitely” or “probably” good or bad that home prices in Idaho are going up. He found Idahoans split on that issue:
- 45 percent said it is good that home prices are increasing as quickly as they are.
- 47 percent said such increases are harming the state’s economy.
- And 8 percent didn’t know.
On the question of population growth, generally Republicans and political independents don’t like it, Democrats do:
- Republicans don’t like the rapid population growth, 61-37 percent.
- Independents don’t like it, 60-36 percent.
- But Democrats are more accepting of the growth, 48 percent say it is about right, 43 percent say the state is growing too fast.
On the question of rising home prices, there is a real difference between men and women:
Half of all men like rising housing costs, but only 40 percent of women like the price of homes going up quickly.
And younger Idahoans – who are seeing themselves priced out of the cost of a starter home – don’t like higher housing costs, while their grandparents – who may own their own homes and like the idea of getting more money out of it when they sell – like the prices going up.
- Those who are 18-29 years old think rising home prices are bad, 51-39 percent.
- While those who are 60-69 years old like the rising cost of homes, 49-42 percent.
Generally speaking, the more conservative you are politically, the less you are to like the fact that Idaho’s population is growing quickly.
That’s probably because conservative folks don’t much like change, or seeing their neighborhoods or counties changing by new people moving in.
- 66 percent of those who said they are “very conservative” think the state is growing too fast.
- 58 percent of those who said they are “somewhat conservative” say the state is growing too fast.
- But 55 percent of those who said they are “very liberal” say the state is growing at just about the right rate.
Finally, there is a real difference between folks who live in the 1st Congressional District and those who live in the 2nd District when it comes to the question of population growth.
In the 1st District, 65 percent say the state is growing too fast, while only 38 percent say it is growing about right.
But in the 2nd District, only 47 percent say it is growing too fast, while 50 percent say it is growing at about the right rate.
No doubt that’s because the 1st District is the western/northern part of the state, while the 2nd District is Boise and the eastern part of the state.
Boise is more liberal and more open – most likely – to welcoming newcomers, while the 1st District is more rural and white and less likely to welcome rapid population growth.
Jones polled 606 adults. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.