Idaho: A lack of diversity?

PBS series examines large number of whites living in Idaho, Cd'A

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COEUR d'ALENE - A new documentary series by the Public Broadcasting Service will feature the city of Coeur d'Alene as one of the whitest places in America.

The PBS series is called "America by the Numbers," and uses U.S. Census data to identify dramatic demographic shifts currently taking place across the country.

Reporter Maria Hinojosa explores stories from every corner of the nation in an effort to reveal what she calls the human face of the biggest population change in U.S. history.

The new American mainstream - the growing number of Asians, Latinos, African-Americans, mixed-race, immigrants, women, youth and LGBT - is influencing elections, culture, commerce and every facet of contemporary life, Hinojosa said on her website.

"We visit Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - a town that successfully ousted the Aryan Nations in 2000, but remains overwhelmingly white," the website explains. "We explore both the allure and the complexity of living in a homogenous community."

American suburbs are becoming more diverse, but the "exurbs" which surround them remain overwhelmingly white. In fact, while whites account for only 6 percent of total U.S. population growth, they make up 73 percent of growth in exurban areas.

In the last decade, white population in the United States fell from 75 percent to 63 percent, while the white population in Idaho remained steady at 95 percent. Coeur d'Alene is 92 percent white.

Cary Balzer, production director for KSPS in Spokane, said he met the show's producers in May during the annual PBS convention.

"We discussed the whole series," he said. "It was not specific to Coeur d'Alene."

Balzer said the series will explore the shifting demographics of mainstream America.

The show will air on several occasions this week and next on the KSPS World channel; contact your digital television provider for the channel details. Here is a list of dates and times:

* 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday.

* 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday.

* 8 a.m., Oct. 22.

* 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., Oct. 23.

* 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Oct. 24.

* 8:30 p.m., Oct. 29.

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