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 71,974 in 2006 to 83,514 in 2015, a 25 percent increase. The population grew 1.7 percent from 2015 and continues to be ranked 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 73 percent of the residents living in a city. Abundant natural resources, recreational opportunities and cultural events attract travelers and residents.
The city of Twin Falls is the county seat with a population of 47,468. 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, downtown redevelopment and job creation support continued growth.
|Twin Falls County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$35,934|
|Average Annual Wage||$33,370|
|Average Commute**||13 Minutes|
|Twin Falls City Cost of Living (Percent of National Average)**|
|Misc. Goods & Services||94%|
Twin Falls County Workforce Trends PDF
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Jerome County’s* population grew 1.2 percent from 2015. It rose 14.3 percent from 20,111 in 2006 to 22,994 in 2016—in response to strong economic and infrastructure development. Jerome is the county seat and by far the largest city at 11,184. 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 Agropur, previously known 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. Most recent construction for community services includes a $12.1 million new jail, waste water infrastructure improvements judicially confirmed after voters denied the bond request—a $35.8 million investment and the Jerome School District is expanding and improving as enrollment grows.
|Jerome County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$36,275|
|Average Annual Wage||$35,418|
Blaine County’s* population rose 3.4 percent from 21,082 in 2006 to 21,791 in 2016, slow growth with negative growth in 2010 and 2011. Year-over-year growth is the highest since 2008 at 1.1 percent. Hailey is the county seat and largest town at 8,134. 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 400,000 skier days during the 2016-2017 season, down four percent from the previous season. The resort recorded 337 inches of snow on Baldy Mountain, outpacing recent snowfalls.
Local leaders are working on issues such as affordable housing and how to attract workforce. The recession was severe, dramatically cooling building activity in upscale subdivisions and condominium projects. Ketchum, the commercial hub, has five approved hotel projects with one completed. New direct flights from major cities and regional jets should increase access, mostly supported by local option tax.
|Blaine County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$92,495|
|Average Annual Wage||$39,971|
The population of Minidoka County* is growing after a series of starts and stops. Incremental increases in eight of the last 10 years produced a 8.2 percent increase over the decade to 20,616 in 2016. Rupert, the county seat, has an estimated population of 5,705 for 2015. 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||$37,542|
|Average Annual Wage||$35,773|
Cassia County’s* population grew 10.5 percent over the last 10 years with highest growth during the Great Recession. Population was estimated at 23,504 in 2016, up from 21,281 in 2006. 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 10,436 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||$42,718|
|Average Annual Wage||$34,346|
Gooding County’s* population of 15,185 in 2016 lost an iota of population, growing three percent since 2006. Restructuring at the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind between 2003 and 2006 took its toll, 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 3,495 residents in 2016. Wendell, coined the Hub City due to its central location, is the second largest town at 2,711. Over half the county lives outside town borders. Despite the predominance of dairy, the county’s agriculture is diverse raising specialty onions and beef cattle to being a national leader in trout. North Canyon Medical Center opened its new facility in 2010 in Gooding, expanding recently. Glanbia continues to grow its footprint in Gooding County, adding higher-skilled and better-paying jobs at its whey plant and acquiring a warehouse within the city of Gooding.
|Gooding County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$53,068|
|Average Annual Wage||$33,951|
Lincoln County’s* population has risen 10.7 percent in the last 10 years to 5,271 in 2016, outpacing other counties in the region. The city of Shoshone, considered the gateway to Sun Valley, is the county seat with a population of 1,488. 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 73 percent and low multi-family at 4.4 percent. The average household size is large—3.24.
|Lincoln County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$34,543|
|Average Annual Wage||$33,350|
Camas County’s* population has lost population five out of the last ten years. The 2016 population is an estimated 1,072, up .7 percent. 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 389, 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 prerecession levels.
|Camas County Demographics*|
|Per Capita Income||$37,328|
|Average Annual Wage||$50,834|