BOISE -- The exodus of Idahoans from rural counties to the cities between 2011 and 2012 is one of the biggest in decades.
U.S. Census data released Thursday show more than 5,600 people moved out of 33 rural counties than the total moving in between mid-2011 and mid-2012. Figures show 28 rural counties had a net domestic outmigration of people.
The rural decline is the biggest since the multiple recessions of the 1980s.
Meanwhile, population in the state's 11 urban counties grew by more than 13,000. That sum includes the number of people moving into those counties, those moving out and the birth-death ratio.
During the period, Idaho's population grew by nearly 12,000 -- or less than eight-tenths of a percentage point -- the smallest annual growth in more than 20 years.