Bonner County, especially the greater Sandpoint area, has enjoyed considerable success in growing and diversifying its economy. Over, the past 20 years, the local economic base has shifted from an over-reliance on the timber industry to a vital mixture of tourism, manufacturing, retail, and services. During that period, the number of payroll jobs in Bonner County grew 83% to 13,300.
An Attractive Place to Live
Bonner County's beauty, recreational opportunities, and quality of life have attracted thousands of new residents since the mid-1980s. The resulting population growth has influenced Bonner County's economy in many ways. Population growth spurred growth in the construction industry, retail stores, health care providers, public schools, service organizations, and government agencies. It also increased competition for jobs, increasing unemployment and keeping wages low. Between 1990 and 2000, the county's population grew 38% from 26,622 to 36,835. In the next three years, it grew to 39,162. Since 2003, population growth has accelerated, and very rapid population growth is likely over the next few years.