Boom towns are a well-known concept in the West and elsewhere, but the pandemic brought about the Zoom town, communities where remote workers flocked to take advantage of open space and relatively lower housing costs. But looking at new Census Bureau population data for 2022, a Economic Innovation Group analysis found that growth across much of the region has slowed to pre-pandemic levels.

“That was … one of the surprising things, for me at least,” said Danny Newman, a research and policy analyst who co-authored the new study.

He noted that even with that slowdown, growth in the two Western regions they looked at remained high: 2.6% in what they called the West (which included high-growth counties in Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California) and 3% in the Mountain West (which included parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and South Dakota).

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