Climate

Idaho’s climate is diverse and influenced by weather patterns off the Pacific Ocean. Generally, the northern part of the state receives more precipitation than southern Idaho, which has warmer summer temperatures.

CityElevationAnnual Precip.Mean SnowfallJul. High Temp.Jan. Low Temp.
Boise2,840 ft.12.1 in.21.3 in.90.221.6
Coeur d’Alene2,158 ft.25.9 in.52.2 in.85.423.3
Idaho Falls4,730 ft.10.9 in.37.5 in.86.010.0
Lewiston1,440 ft.12.4 in.19.8 in.89.027.6
Pocatello4,450 ft.12.1 in.47.2 in.88.114.4
Twin Falls3,670 ft.10.4 in.31.3 in.85.018.6

Cost of Living

Based on average housing costs, utilities, health care, transportation, groceries and other services, Idaho’s cost of living is the second lowest of the 11 western states. Specific numbers and a comparative chart is included in “Idaho At A Glance” pdf publication.

Crime Rate

According to FBI statistics, Idaho’s crime rate is the lowest in the West. The rate of serious crime is 21.3 percent less than the national average.

Education

Idaho ranks in the top third among the 50 states for percentage of adults aged 25 and older who have graduated from high school (84.7 percent). Nearly 64% of the state’s general fund is dedicated to education and almost 94% of school age children attend public schools. Almost every city with a population over 20,000 has a college or university and six professional-technical training centers provide vocational education as well.

Environmental Quality

Much of Idaho’s surface water flows out of the high mountains and is generally of high quality. Air quality is good throughout the year with the exception of winter temperature inversions and the effects of pollen in a few locations.

Housing

Idaho’s housing costs are moderate and affordable with homes available from modest cottages to executive estates. Values will vary from one city to another. Median home values in major cities are:

Boise$234,904
Coeur d’Alene$222,923
Idaho Falls$177,447
Lewiston$163,080
Pocatello$156,082
Twin Falls$155,741

Jobs and Employment

Idaho has a strong and diversified economy. Manufacturing and agriculture remain top industries while high-tech, tourism, retail, healthcare, business and information services are growth sectors. For job listings start with Idaho Commerce and Labor, which has 24 offices scattered throughout the state.

For starting or relocating a business, visit commerce.idaho.gov/business.

Newspapers

BoiseIdaho Statesman
Coeur d’AleneThe Coeur d’Alene Press
Idaho FallsThe Post Register
MoscowThe Moscow-Pullman Daily News
NampaIdaho Press Tribune
PocatelloThe Idaho State Journal
Twin FallsThe Times News

Population

Idaho’s population is 1,523,816 (2008)

Boise205,314
Nampa80,362
Meridian66,916
Pocatello54,901
Idaho Falls54,334

For a longer list of cities see “Idaho at a Glance” or download population data from Idaho Department of Commerce.

Residential Energy Costs

Idaho provides a substantial energy cost advantage over much of the nation. Natural gas rates are competitive and residential electric rates are among the lowest in the country. For regional averages in Idaho see Idaho at a Glance.

Taxes

The combined total of state and local taxes on income, property, sales and autos for a family of four with a $25,000 annual income in Boise is lower than comparable tax in the largest city of 44 other states. For an income level of $50,000, Boise’s total tax is lower than the largest city of 30 other states.

In fiscal year 2002, 36 of the 50 states had higher overall taxes per $1,000 of total personal income than Idaho and all but seven states had higher overall taxes per capita.

Idaho’s income tax parallels the federal government in that the same deductions are allowed and the same income is taxed. Idaho income tax rates range from 1.6 percent to 7.4 percent of taxable income.

The Idaho Blue Book, filled with information on Idaho’s history, government, economy, education system and recreational opportunities, can be purchased for $10 from the Secretary of State, Room 203, Statehouse, Boise, ID 83720-0080.