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More people moving to Idaho

POCATELLO, Idaho - More people are moving to Idaho than the majority of other states in the nation.

According to a study released this week by Atlas Van Lines, Idaho and Montana were two of eight states that saw more people choosing to move in state than those who decided to leave.

Regional Economist Dan Cravens said Idaho's lower cost of living and quality of life are attracting more people to the state.

"There's a friendliness and warmth that people have within the communities here," Cravens said. "That makes Idaho as a place to live really hard to beat."

According to the Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho's population exceeded 1.6 million in 2013, a 1 percent increase from 2012.

Idaho saw a nearly 60 percent increase in seniors ages 55 and older moving to the state.

Cravens said eastern Idaho's ability to increase its healthcare options has helped seniors make the decision to retire locally.

"I think we have a lot of really good options when it comes to healthcare," he said. "Access to healthcare becomes a (bigger) issue as you get older."

Cravens said officials in Idaho are working on ways to retain Idaho youth after they receive a college degree or certificate – an area Idaho is currently lacking in.

"(They are) the backbone, the core of our workforce," he said. "There are a lot of young people (that are) not aware of the opportunities out there. Some feel like they need to leave in order … to have a higher income or pursue opportunities where they can fully utilize their education."

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