Idaho Population 2017

1,695,178

Our 2016 estimate for Idaho's population is 1,675,054, based on the most recent Census estimates and its current growth rate of 0.89% per year.

Situated toward the northwestern edge of the United States, Idaho is one of the larger states in the country, and its population growth statistics are impressive as well. The last set of confirmed figures comes from the official Census of 2010 which declared that there were 1,567,582 people living in the state -- a rise of just over 20% on the numbers declared in 2000.

An updated estimate on those figures was released in 2011, and it was suggested that the population of Idaho had increased to 1,584,985, making it the 39th largest state in the US. As of the 2015 estimates, the population had increased to 1,654,930.

Idaho Population Density

At a total surface area of 83,570 square miles, Idaho is the 14th biggest state in the country, and even without looking at population density figures, it’s already clear from a population of just over 1.6 million that Idaho must be a very sparsely populated state.

In fact, there are just 19 people for every square mile of land, and only six states in the US can claim a more sparsely populated landscape.

There are a number of reasons for this, mainly because parts of Idaho are inhospitable for permanent settlement. The Rocky Mountains dominate much of Idaho’s skyline and the state is also home to sprawling lakes.

Idaho Population Chart

Idaho’s Population History

Idaho is a relatively new addition to the list of US states, and the creation of the Idaho territory took place in 1863. The first recorded Idaho population came from the US Census of 1870 when it was shown that there were just 14,999 residents.

Ten years later in 1880, those numbers had more than doubled to 32,610, and similar increases were recorded throughout the remainder of the 19th century. Idaho joined the Union in 1890, and by the time of the 1900 Census, 161,772 citizens were residing in the new state.

Those huge increases started to slow down, but continued, steady growth throughout the 20th century has taken the Idaho population of 2016 over the 1.6 million mark.

Impressive natural growth

In 2005 it was claimed that Idaho was the 6th fastest growing state in the US after natural growth figures were released. In the five years following the Census of 2000, that natural growth had led to a net increase of 58,884 citizens due to 111,131 births minus 52,247 deaths and a further increase in net migration added more than 75,000 new residents.

In 2016 Idaho is still growing at an impressive 1.22% per year, putting it 11th among the 50 states in growth rate, and drawing it closer to the 38th spot in overall population, currently held by West Virginia.

Can that growth be sustained? Idaho may have the space, but geography and a harsh landscape may suggest otherwise. Estimated figures for the 2020 population are expected to surpass 1.75 million people.

Population Data via US Census

Idaho Growth Rate

Idaho State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 1,755,550 1.16%
2019 1,735,426 1.17%
2018 1,715,302 1.19%
2017 1,695,178 1.20%
2016 1,675,054 1.22%
2015 1,654,930 1.23%
2014 1,634,806 1.37%
2013 1,612,785 1.05%
2012 1,596,097 0.76%
2011 1,584,134 1.06%
2010 1,567,582 1.94%
2000 1,293,953 2.54%
1990 1,006,749 0.65%
1980 943,935 2.85%
1970 712,567 0.66%
1960 667,191 1.26%
1950 588,637 1.15%
1940 524,873 1.66%
1930 445,032 0.30%
1920 431,866 2.86%
1910 325,594 7.25%
1900 161,772 6.21%
1890 88,548 10.51%
1880 32,610 8.08%
1870 14,999 0.00%

Idaho Facts

Idaho Population in 2017 Source: SniperProgrammer

  • Idaho is known as the Gem State because 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones are produced in the state.
  • Idaho's 3,100 miles of rivers is the most in the United States.
  • Boise State has the world's only blue football field, nicknamed The Smurf Turf.
  • Hell's Canyon is the deepest gorge in the country. At 7,900 feet, it is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
  • Five historic pioneer trails cross over Idaho.
  • The largest man-made geyser is located in Soda Springs.
  • Elk Mountain Farms, which grows hops for Anheuser-Busch, stretches across 1,800 acres and is the largest hops farm in the world.
  • The Kamiah Valley was the setting for legends and history of the Nez Perce tribe.
  • Idaho City's economy was originally developed around gold mining.

Idaho Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Idaho Population Growth Rate by County

The population of counties in Idaho are balanced pretty evenly, with some counties reflecting growth in population and others posting decreasing numbers. The 2010 Census numbers were compared to estimates taken by the US Census Bureau in 2015 to get the positive and netgative growth rates of all Idaho counties. These numbers show that the southwestern county of Ada had the highest growth rate, recorded as 10.36%. Neighboring county Canyon saw a growth increase of 9.54%, while Kootenai along the western border also posted a high increase of 8.23%. Other counties, including Blaine, Lincoln, and Jerome posted smaller increases in population.

As far as decreasing population, a few Idaho counties posted significant drops, with Butte County recording the highest decline of over 14%. Its neighbors Clark County and Custer County also had decreases of 10.11% and 6.26%, respectively. Other counties including Fremont, Power, and Elmore are among the other areas that had declining populations during this 5-year period.

Population Pyramid

To compare Idaho to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

Idaho is considered one of the least diverse states in the nation. In fact, it is one of just 10 states that has a predominantly white population -- or a population that is more than 90% white. The top ancestries for residents in the state include German, English and Irish. The state's percentage of African Americans ranks as 48th out of 50 states, which shows the lack of diversity within Idaho.

Idaho has been one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, increasing its population by 55% in the period from 1990 to 2010. In 2015 alone over 75,000 residents moved from other states to Idaho. However, just over 14,000 people from outside of the United States migrated to Idaho. According to 2011 data, just over 27% of children under the age of 1 were classified as belonging to racial or ethnic minority groups.

Languages Spoken in Idaho

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 1,465,609 100
English 1,325,611 90.45
Spanish 114,560 7.82
German 4,485 0.31
French 3,265 0.22
Serbocroatian 2,425 0.17
Chinese 2,175 0.15
Portuguese 1,565 0.11
Romanian 895 0.06
Nepali 890 0.06

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Idaho. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Idaho Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 89
BachelorsDegree 25
Disabled 9
NoHealthInsurance 16
LaborForceTotal 63
LaborForceFemale 57
FoodServiceSales 2,680,225
HealthCareRevenue 7,895,614
ManufacturerShipments 20,201,432
MerchantWholesalesSales 17,906,012
RetailSales 20,444,278
RetailSalesPerCapita 12,812
MeanWorkTravelTime 20
MedianHouseholdIncome 47,334
PerCapitaIncome 23,087
PovertyPercentage 15

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Idaho for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.5% and the labor force participation rate is 62.8%.

Idaho Business

NonemployerEstablishments 118,885
AllFirms 146,642
MenOwnedFirms 70,438
WomenOwnedFirms 45,121
MinorityOwnedFirms 10,592
NonminorityOwnedFirms 130,973
VeteranOwnedFirms 12,804
NonveteranOwn 124,314

Idaho Housing

HousingUnits 692,493
HousingUnits 667,796
OwnerOccupiedRate 69
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 160,500
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,212
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 338
MedianGrossRent 738
BuildingPermits 9,954
Households 585,259
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 83
NonEnglishAtHome 11
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts