"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Where the growth is

Th new census stats seem to emphasize some of the fastest growth around the country in mid-sized or smaller metro areas; in the year from the summer of 2006 to mid-2007, the fastest percentage growth in the Northwest among metros was in the Boise area (and it was by that measure the 13th fastest-growing nationally).

Here’s how the numbers stack up, drawn from the Census Bureau’s list of the 100 largest-growing (by raw numbers) metro areas around the country. Number 1 overall was Dallas-Fort Worth.

rank metro 07 pop % incr frm 06 added pop
13 Seattle 3,262,445 1.4 46,902
15 Portland 2,175,113 1.9 41,338
32 Boise 587,689 3.5 19,948
68 Spokane 456,175 2.0 8,783
83 Salem 386,714 1.8 6,852
99 Olympia 238,555 2.3 5,388
100 Tri-Cities 228,992 2.4 5,305

By percentage growth in the Northwest, the top growers were Boise (number 13), Idaho Falls (15), Bend (17), Coeur d’Alene (29), the Tri-Cities (41), Olympia (43) and Bellingham (52), Spokane (73), Portland (76), Salem (83), Wenatchee (85) and Longview (96). A small slice of Idaho around Preston is included in the Logan, Utah, metro, which ranks at 51.

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