Two of the Fastest Growing Cities in the United States Are In Idaho
“Growth.” It’s a word that many people in the Boise area have grown to hate over the last few years. When you apply that word to our area, what sort of thoughts pop into your head?
If we had to take a guess we’re sure the words Californians, traffic and housing are involved. They probably weren’t positive thoughts, either. Your frustrations are understandable. Over the past few years, Boise and its surrounding suburbs added new residents faster than any of us couldn’t have predicted and it’s had some very real, negative side effects.
At the same time, it’s also provided the opportunity for new businesses to open which in turn provides more job opportunities which could lead to higher household incomes. More people working and making money? That’s also a sign of growth.
That’s why when putting together the list of the “Top Boomtowns in America - 2022 Edition,” Smart Asset took into account more than population figures. While analyzing data for close to 500 of the largest cities in the country, they looked at five-year population chance, average GPD growth, five-year growth in the number of businesses, and five-year change in the number of housing units, change in the one-year unemployment rate from September 2021 to September 2022 and five-year change in household income.
After crunching the numbers, not only did several local cities end up on the list. They actually took the two top spots.
Meridian, ID Ranks as the #2 Boomtown in America for 2022
No one should be shocked to see Meridian on this list because it was #3 last year. In putting Meridian on the list Smart Asset said:
The city ranks in the top five cities for population growth (31.72%) and its increase in the number of available housing units (39.23%). Additionally, the county where Meridian is located ranks 18th-best for its five-year growth in the number of businesses (20.02%, since 2016) and 34th-best for average annual GDP growth (3.70%).
What’s Attractive About Meridian?
Living in Meridian really does put you in the middle of everything. Depending on the traffic and time of day you’re hitting the road, it’s a 20-ish minute drive to either Boise or Nampa. It’s also home to a lot of fun recreation and shopping destinations like Roaring Springs, the Meridian Speedway, The Village at Meridian and most recently, Top Golf.
If you’re looking at Idaho’s public school rankings on Niche.com, you’ll see the high schools in Meridian have a slight edge over their rivals in Boise. If you’re looking to buy, based on the current inventory homes in Meridian are slightly cheaper than in Boise. On Realtor.com, the median listing home price in December 2022 was $543,900 while it’s $545,000 in Boise.
Nampa, ID is the #1 Boomtown in America for 2022
Why did it feel weird to type that? It feels weird to read it too, doesn’t it? We love Nampa. When we do events in Nampa, Nampa always shows up. But we’re pretty sure that no one outside of Idaho has a clue where Nampa is on a map. In putting Nampa at #1 Smart Asset said:
From 2016 to 2021, Nampa’s population, incomes and available housing has increased by 16.21%, 43.99% and 22.24%, respectively. Additionally, the county in which Nampa is located has the second-highest growth in the number of businesses (almost 30% from 2015 to 2020).
What’s Attractive About Nampa?
Well, when it comes to our area’s still very much overvalued housing market - it’s the price point. On Realtor.com, the median listing home price in December 2022 for Nampa was $434,930, more than $10,000 cheaper than in Boise or Meridian.
The Ford Idaho Center is an extremely attractive part of living in Nampa. Not only does the concert and event venue host some of the biggest names in music and comedy, but it also hosts local events that make up the DNA of what makes the Treasure Valley special. We’re talking about events like the Snake River Stampede, Canyon County Festival of Trees, etc.
Nampa’s still small enough that you get that small community feel, but you have everything you need right at your fingertips. And if you want those “city” (let’s be honest Boise still doesn’t feel like a big city) vibes, you can be in Boise in 30 minutes or less.
…oh, and the social media team at the Nampa Police Department is a national treasure that should be protected at all costs. Don’t believe us? Click here.
If You Must Move Here, Know What You’re in For…
This isn’t an invitation to move to these two cities. It’s simply looking back on what’s already happened there. While there are many positive aspects to both towns, moving here can be a shock to the system and maybe you’ll discover it’s not for you.
What kind of things surprise people who are incredibly unfamiliar with Idaho before deciding to pick up their lives and move here? To find out, we asked our listeners who didn’t necessarily grow up in the Treasure Valley but have lived here for a decade or longer to tell us what surprised them during their first year. While the following list is mainly focused on Boise* itself, many aspects of it can be applied to Nampa or Meridian.
Like the inversion. If you are very prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD,) the inversion is a struggle.
10 Things That Shock People During Their First Year in Boise
*Boise was #22 on the Smart Asset "Boomtowns" list.