“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. 

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There’s no doubt that Idaho’s seen rapid growth since the COVID-19 pandemic inspired many people to pack up their things and move somewhere that they probably couldn’t have found on a map in 2019.

An uncomfortable number of people chose Idaho, but which of Idaho’s cities experienced enough growth to be named Idaho’s biggest “Boomtown?” GoBankingRates recently analyzed the change in one, five and eight populations in cities with a population of 25,000-500,000 to find the biggest boom town in each state. 

After crunching the numbers, a city just minutes outside Boise came out on top. 

Idaho’s Biggest Modern Day Boomtown


Based on data from the 2021 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau, Meridian’s experienced an eight year population change of 47.61%, good enough to be named Idaho’s biggest boomtown in the GoBankingRates study. 

Here’s a look at the data they shared to support their pick.

  • Change in population:
    • 1 year: 6.90%
    • 5 years: 30.57%
    • 8 years: 47.61%
  • Change in occupied housing units:
    • 1 year: 6.94%
    • 5 years: 30.67%
    • 8 years: 47.80%
  • Change in owner-occupied housing units:
    • 1 year: 8.09%
    • 5 years: 35.29%
    • 8 years: 57.58%

What’s Attractive About Meridian?

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

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 Top Golf. It’s also home to Idaho’s FIRST In-N-Out Burger. Whether you think the chain is overrated or not, it’s really brought people together and we’re for anything that can do that in today’s social and political climate. 

If you’re looking at Idaho’s public school rankings on Niche.com, you’ll see that the West Ada School district is ranked the #4 best school district in the state, just behind #3 Boise. 

If You Must Move Here, Know What You’re in For…

This isn’t an invitation to move to Meridian. It’s simply looking back on what’s already happened there. While there are many positive aspects to living in Meridian, 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 Meridian and surrounding communities.

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 is an absolutely fabulous place to live! But, if you're moving here from somewhere else it can be a bit of an adjustment. These are 10 things that seem to surprise people who relocate here from out of state.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

KEEP READING: 30 Google Maps Images That Show Just How Much Meridian Has Changed

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

19 Stores That Are No Longer at The Village at Meridian

At just 10 years old, it doesn't seem like The Village at Meridian has been around long enough to see this many stores come and go!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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