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 learned to hate over the past few years. When you apply that word to our region, what kind of thoughts come to mind?

If we had to guess, we’re sure the words Californians, traffic, and housing are implicated. They were probably not positive thoughts either. Your frustrations are understandable. Over the past few years, Boise and its surrounding suburbs have been adding new residents faster than any of us could have anticipated and it has had some very real negative side effects.

At the same time, it has also allowed new businesses to open up, which in turn provides more employment opportunities, which could lead to higher household incomes. More people working and earning money? It is also a sign of growth.

That’s why, when compiling the list of “Top Boomtowns in America – 2022 Edition,” smart asset considered more than population figures. While analyzing data from nearly 500 of the nation’s largest cities, they looked at the five-year population odds, average GPD growth, five-year growth in the number of businesses, and five-year change in the number of housing units, change in the unemployment rate over one year from September 2021 to September 2022 and change over five years in household income.

After calculating the numbers, not only several local towns ended up on the list. They actually took the top two spots.

Meridian, ID Ranks Second Boomtown in America for 2022

No one should be shocked to see Meridian on this list as it was #3 last year. In adding Meridian to the list, Smart Asset said:

The city ranks among the top five cities for population growth (31.72%) and its increase in the number of available homes (39.23%). Additionally, the county where Meridian is located ranks 18th in five-year growth in number of businesses (20.02%, since 2016) and 34th in average annual GDP growth (3.70% ).

Why is Meridian attractive?

Picture via Google Maps

Picture via Google Maps

Living in Meridian truly puts you in the middle of it all. Depending on traffic and what time you hit the road, it will take you about 20 minutes by car to get to Boise or Nampa. It is also home to many fun shopping and leisure destinations like Roaring Springs, Meridian Speedway, The Village at Meridian, and more recently Top Golf.

If you look at the Idaho public school rankings on, you’ll see that Meridian high schools have a slight advantage over their Boise rivals. If you are looking to buy, based on current inventory, homes in Meridian are slightly cheaper than in Boise. On Realtor.comthe median price of a listing home in December 2022 was $543,900 compared to $545,000 in Boise.

Nampa, ID is the #1 Boomtown in America for 2022

Why was it weird typing that? It feels weird to read it too, doesn’t it? We love Nampa. When we host events in Nampa, Nampa always shows up. But we’re pretty sure no one outside of Idaho has any idea where Nampa is on a map. Putting Nampa at the forefront of smart assets, he said:

From 2016 to 2021, Nampa’s population, income, and available housing 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 (nearly 30% from 2015 to 2020).

What’s attractive about Nampa?

Picture via Google Maps

Picture via Google Maps

Well, when it comes to our area’s still very overvalued housing market, it’s price. On Realtor.comthe median December 2022 listing home price 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 life in Nampa. Not only does the concert and event venue host some of the biggest names in music and comedy, it also hosts local events that are the DNA of what makes Treasure Valley special. We’re talking about events like the Snake River Stampede, Canyon County Festival of Trees, and more.

Nampa is still small enough that you feel like you’re in a small community, but you have everything you need close at hand. And if you want that “city” vibe (let’s be honest, Boise still doesn’t feel like a big city), you can be in Boise in 30 minutes or less.

…oh, and the Nampa Police Department social media team is a national treasure that must be protected at all costs. Don’t believe us? Click on here.

If you have to move here, know why you are…

This is not an invitation to move to these two cities. It is simply going back to what has already happened there. While there are many positives to both cities, moving here can be a shock to the system and you may find that 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 Treasure Valley but have lived there for a decade or more to tell us what surprised them during their first year. While the following list focuses primarily on Boise* itself, many aspects of it can be applied to Nampa or Meridian.

Like the inversion. If you’re highly prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), reversing is a struggle.

10 things that shock people during their freshman year in Boise

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

* Boise was #22 on the Smart Asset “Boomtowns” list.

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