• Since 2016, Idaho’s population has grown by 6.2%.
  • Since 2016, the number of non-farm workers in Idaho jumped by 8% while home prices have surged by 43%

The heavily Republican, northwestern state of Idaho has the best economy in America, largely through its bustling trade with East Asia.

A recent report by Bloomberg notes that Idaho – the reddest of red states – is flourishing partly by defying President Donald Trump’s nationalistic tenets and has been among the strongest economies under the current administration.

Though Trump will likely win Idaho this year, the state is slowly but surely changing.

“Idaho-registered Democrats increased 47% between November 2016 and June 2020, or almost twice the rate of new Republicans during the past four years,” Bloomberg wrote. “The state’s dynamic business diversity likely has a role in its changing politics.

Since 2016, Idaho’s population has grown by 6.2% -- one of the fastest such rates in the U.S. – to 1.8 million.

In addition, according to Bloomberg, since 2016, the number of non-farm workers in Idaho jumped by 8% while home prices have surged by 43%.

Idaho’s economy has diversified far beyond the state’s well-known potato crop. Idaho’s largest publicly traded company, Boise-based computer memory and computer data storage maker Micron Technology Inc. (MU), now boasts 40,000 employees, a 27% spike since 2016.

Semiconductors are, in fact, Idaho’s largest export – with Asia the predominant buyer.

Idaho has also led the nation’s employment recovery.

The state’s jobless rate stood at only 2.5% prior to the COVID-19 pandemic then skyrocketed to an all-time high of 11.8% in April. Since then, the jobless rate has dropped to 6.1% in September (versus 7.9% for the country). Idaho’s jobless rate was as low as 4.2% in August – it rose almost two points in September due to record growth in the size of Idaho's seasonally adjusted labor force).

“What’s helping is there’s a lot of activity happening in Idaho compared to other states,” said Bonang Seoela, the Idaho Department of Labor’s south-central region economist.

The office of Idaho Governor Brad Little said earlier this month the state is set to record the largest state budget surplus in its history – some $530 million.

“I’m optimistic that if we collectively continue our efforts to fight COVID-19, we will have enough money in the state budget at the end of the fiscal year to provide tax relief to Idahoans,” Little said.