The regional demographics of the Magic Valley in south-central Idaho illustrate a pattern of rapid and sustained growth. Crossroads Point® is uniquely located, allowing central access to both the expanding region, as well as interstate access to Salt Lake City and other major cities for easy distribution of your products. Additional information can be found at Idaho's Department of Labor and Department of Commerce.
The population of Twin Falls County* has grown steadily from 68,309 in 2004 to 80,914 in 2014, an 18.5 percent increase that preserves its ranking as the sixth most populous county in the state. It is a thriving retail hub for south central Idaho and northern Nevada, drawing on a consumer base of about 250,000. It is also the most urban of the region’s counties with 72 percent of the residents living in a city. Abundant natural resources and recreational opportunities attract visitors and residents alike.
The city of Twin Falls is the county seat with a population of 46,528. It lies on the edge of the spectacular Snake River Canyon spanned by the Perrine Bridge, one of the nation’s few legal take-offs for BASE jumpers. A path winds along the canyon rim adjacent to a new visitor’s center, retail shops, restaurants and a clubby event center, all with a bird’s eye view of golf courses. World-renown Shoshone Falls is just two miles up the canyon. A strong job market and a moderate climate for retirees sustain steady growth prospects for Twin Falls County.
|Twin Falls County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$34,454|
|Average Annual Wage||$30,960|
|Average Commute**||15 Minutes|
|Twin Falls City Cost of Living (Percent of National Average)**|
|Misc. Goods & Services||96%|
Twin Falls County Workforce Trends PDF
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Jerome County’s* population has grown steadily, rising 18 percent from 19,331 in 2004 to 22,818 in 2014 in response to strong economic and infrastructure development. Jerome is the county seat and by far the largest city at 11,189. Hilex Poly, a plastic grocery bag manufacturer, and Idaho Milk Products, a state-of-the-art milk processing plant, are examples of the newer companies requiring workers with higher-than-average skill levels. The dairy industry continues to be a major force driving the local economy, drawing feeder businesses such as Jerome Cheese, Darigold and Commercial Creamery. Old Hickory Sheds filled the former Con Paulos auto dealership while new schools and a new senior center were constructed during the Great Recession.
Pre-recession, affordable housing also grew and commercial interests sought locations close to the interstate and highway systems. New construction for community services include a $12.1 million new jail scheduled to open in 2016 and waste water infrastructure improvements judicially confirmed after voters denied the bond request - a $35.8 million investment. The Jerome School District is expanding and improving as enrollment grows.
|Jerome County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$37,198|
|Average Annual Wage||$34,247|
Blaine County’s* population rose 3.2 percent from 20,811 in 2004 to 21,482 in 2014, slow growth in the second half of the decade eroded gains during the good economic times in the first half. Hailey is the county seat and largest town at 8,014. Beautiful mountains and virtually unlimited recreational opportunities make Blaine County a destination for visitors, both domestic and international. The world famous Sun Valley Ski Resort reported 358,717 skier days during the 2014-2015 season, up 3 percent from last year.
Local leaders continue to try jump starting the economy. The recession was severe, dramatically cooling building activity in up-scale subdivisions and condominium projects. Ketchum, the commercial hub, has five approved hotel projects with just one starting construction in 2015. New attractions in recent years include an all-season gondola, another golf course, a Nordic ski lodge, an out-door symphony pavilion and rodeo grounds, all enhancing tourism. Collaborative marketing is expected to bring more visitors to the area. New direct flights from major cities and regional jets should increase access, mostly supported by local option tax.
|Blaine County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$83,573|
|Average Annual Wage||$40,241|
The population of Minidoka County* is growing after a series of starts and stops. Incremental increases in five of the last six years produced a 6 percent increase over the decade to 20,323 in 2014. Rupert, the county seat, has an estimated population of 5,673 for 2014. The downtown core has retained its historic buildings including the iconic Wilson Theatre, renovated with community collaboration. The downtown plaza is one of the few remaining in Idaho, continuing to be the centerpiece of the community.
Still heavily dependent on agriculture and food processing, the county economy has diversified to include durable manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade tied to agriculture. Wages tend toward the low end - a challenge in attracting and retaining workers but appealing to new businesses. New employers have been willing to pay higher wages although they remain below competing states. Renewed economic vitality, the area’s scenic beauty and the lure of nearby recreation are drawing new residents and companies.
|Minidoka County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$33,795|
|Average Annual Wage||$33,896|
Cassia County’s* population grew 10.4 percent over the last 10 years with highest growth during the Great Recession. Population was estimated at 23,540 in 2014, up from 21,323 in 2004. The county diversified beyond agriculture as national companies relocated and existing businesses survived the recession. Efforts to market Cassia and Minidoka counties together through a community partnership that spotlighted low land and labor costs were successful in landing new businesses.
The area offers an array of natural resources and recreational opportunities. Burley, the largest city with a population of 10,456 is on the banks of the scenic Snake River. It is a short jaunt to the City of Rocks National Reserve for climbing and Pomerelle Mountain Resort for skiing. City and business leaders expect moderate to strong growth based on the favorable business climate and Burley’s investment in waste water capacity.
|Cassia County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$41,492|
|Average Annual Wage||$31,794|
Gooding County’s* population has lost ground the last four years, experiencing low growth of 3.4 percent since 2004. Restructuring at the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind between 2003 and 2006 took its toll on the community, as did the recession and low dairy prices in 2009. Gooding County is the state’s dairy leader, but the explosive growth over the last 15 years was blunted by moratoria on dairies and feedlots. The industry has converted typically migrant, seasonal workers into permanent residents.
The county seat and largest town is Gooding at 3,461 residents in 2014. Wendell, coined the Hub City due to its central location, is the second largest town at 2,707, also low growth. Over half the county lives outside town borders. Despite the predominance of dairy, the county’s agriculture is diverse from specialty onions to trout and beef cattle. North Canyon Medical Center opened its new facility in 2010 in Gooding. Glanbia continues to expand its footprint in Gooding County, adding higher skilled and better paying jobs at its whey plant and acquiring a warehouse within Gooding city, a first for the Irish-based company.
|Gooding County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$57,168|
|Average Annual Wage||$31,446|
Lincoln County’s* population has risen 19.5 percent in the last 10 years to 5,316 in 2014, outpacing other counties in the region. The city of Shoshone, considered the gateway to Sun Valley, is the county seat with a population of 1,493. Lincoln County continues to rely on agriculture with several large dairies contributing to the industry’s regional growth. Manufacturing was nearly nonexistent prior to Glanbia Food’s whey processing plant in Richfield and Rocky Mountain Hardware, which machines high-end brass fixtures and hardware in Shoshone.
As a bedroom community to both the Wood River Valley and Jerome/Twin Falls, workers have an easy commute. Affordable housing continues to be an issue in the Wood River Valley resulting in growth of subdivisions and residential construction over the long term. An inventory of building lots exists in Lincoln County following the real estate bubble, leaving a high ownership ratio of 71 percent and low multi-family at 3.9 percent. The average household size is large - 3.21.
|Lincoln County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$37,734|
|Average Annual Wage||$31,982|
Camas County’s* population grew at a brisk pace from 2004 to 2009 when the Great Recession erased most of that growth. The population is an estimated 1,039 for 2014. It is the third least-populated county in Idaho but contains some of the most beautiful and rugged scenery. At an elevation of 5,069 feet, Camas County offers recreational opportunities from fishing, hunting, skiing and snowmobiling to camping and golfing.
Fairfield, the county seat and only major town with a population of 384, is at the foot of vertical Soldier Mountain with a summit elevation of 7,177 feet. The distance from population centers and the interstate limit its development. Consequently, the outlook is for slow but steady growth over the next decade as tourism in areas such as nearby Sun Valley return to pre-recession levels.
|Camas County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$31,448|
|Average Annual Wage||$47,279|