Is Idaho A Good Place To Live? Pros and Cons of Living in Idaho

Is Idaho A Good Place To Live? Pros and Cons of Living in Idaho. Idaho is a Northwestern state of the United States of America. The states that border Idaho includes Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, Utah and Oregon. The capital of Idaho is Boise which is also its biggest city. Idaho is the 14th largest state in the country and with a population of about 1.7 million; its 12th least populated state. Idaho is part of the mountain states and contains vast portions of the Rocky Mountains. In fact, 38% of Idaho’s land area is forested. Idaho is nicknamed the ‘Gem State’ because of the state’s natural beauty.

Is Idaho a good place to live? Idaho is a state of great natural beauty. The state has a strong and diversified economy with many job opportunities. The state also has a very low crime rate. The education system is average and the cost of living is low.

An expat moving to Idaho will happily find an outdoor wonderland. The state’s natural beauty is breathtaking and the landscape deserves to be called a gem. Other than the climate the city has a low cost of living which makes it an even better place to live. The state of Idaho is the perfect place for outdoor recreation and the people you meet will bear witness to that. Most people in Idaho own their homes and agriculture is still a major part of their economy. If you want to find out about what life in Idaho is like, read on.

Is Idaho a good place to live?

Idaho deserves credit as the adventure state. An expat in Idaho will probably live close to where they can get the most activity. Idaho is not the richest place in the country but there are some necks of the woods where you can live very well. Most people will judge the area they are going to be living on standards such as cost of living, home prices, rental rates and safety. Based on the above factors, the best places to live in Idaho include Boise, Moscow, Sun Valley, Sugar City, Meridian, Ketchum, Eagle, Ammon, Hailey, Garden City, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Hayden and St. Anthony. The worst places to live in Idaho are Weiser, Emmett, Caldwell, Nampa, Jerome, Pocatello, Burley, Payette and Rupert.

The overall degree of crime in Idaho is quite low. Both the violent crime rate and property crime rate are below the national average. The violent crime rate in Idaho is 2.7 crimes per 1000 people compared to a national average of 4.5 crimes per 1,000 people. The property crime rate in Idaho is 21.3 crimes per 1,000 people. Middleton is the city in Idaho with the lowest violent crime rate while Rexburg had the highest. Hailey deserves credit for having the lowest property crime rate in the state while Meridian had the highest.

The three comprehensive universities in the state of Idaho namely The University of Idaho, Idaho State University and Boise State University are overseen by the Idaho State Board of Education. Lewis-Clark State College is the only public, non-university 4-year college in the state. Idaho is also home to four regional community colleges. Private higher learning institutions in Idaho are largely religiously affiliated. Other notable higher education institutions Idaho include North Idaho College, McCall College, College of Eastern Idaho and College of Idaho.

The Idaho Transportation Department is responsible for overseeing the state’s transport network including operation, maintenance and development. Idaho does not have a highway linking its two largest metropolitan areas: Boise and Coeur d’Alene. The two ends of Idaho are connected by the US-95. The I-84 is the main highway in South and Southeastern Idaho. Other major highways in the state include US-89, US-91, US-93, US-2, US-12, US-20, US-26, US-30, 1-15, 1-86, I-90 and I-184. Major airports in the state of Idaho include Boise International Airport, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, Magic Valley Regional Airport, Idaho Falls Regional Airport and Pocatello Regional Airport. Idaho has three transcontinental railroads; The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, The Union Pacific Railroad and The Canadian Pacific Railway.

The social life in Idaho is primarily made of outdoor activities. There are plenty of national parks, wildlife preserves, national monuments, national recreation areas and state parks. Hiking, camping and hunting are some of the popular outdoor activities in Idaho. You will also find many sports grounds and college sports in the state.

Living in Idaho Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. Idaho is one of the safest states in the country. The state also has one of the highest police per citizen ratio in the country.
  2. Idaho is very clean. You will be hard-pressed to see a pile of garbage in the state that is not a dumping site.
  3. The cost of living in Idaho is relatively low. The degree to which you can stretch a dollar in Idaho is astounding.
  4. You will experience all four seasons intensely when you live in Idaho.
  5. You have your pick of outdoor activities in Idaho. The state is a haven for outdoor adventure.
  6. Idaho has one of the best country music scenes in the country. And you don’t have to worry about authenticity, they are really country.
  7. Many factors combine to make Idaho a great place to raise a family.
  8. Idaho has a laid back way of life in general that is quite apparent if you don’t live there.
  9. Idaho has a strong, diversified economy and job opportunities in the state abide aplenty.
  10. Idaho has the most beautiful natural scenery in the country.

Cons

  1. The infrastructure in Idaho is not built to handle a large population. Traffic jams and commute times pay testament to the above statement.
  2. The population of Idaho is predominantly white. The people lack an adequate level of diversity which can be daunting to minorities.
  3. The political inclination of the majority of the state is conservative republican. You will have a hard time living in Idaho if you are anything else.
  4. The housing market has experienced a significant upward surge due to an increase in demand as a result of increased immigration into the state.
  5. The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25 per hour. You will have to search for a long time to find a good employer.
  6. Idaho is one of the most sparsely populated states in the country. People tend to stay in isolation which is not great for communal ties.
  7. There is virtually no public transportation in Idaho. You will have to buy your own vehicle.
  8. There are limited shopping opportunities in Idaho.
  9. Some levels of government only focus on tradition.

Is Idaho a good place to work?

The average annual household income in Idaho is $55,225 which is $8,000 below the national average. The average income per capita in Idaho is $39,000 which is above the national average. The unemployment rate in the state is 2.6% and almost half the average national unemployment rate.

As of 2015, the GDP of Idaho was $65 billion. There are many industries in the Idaho economy. Agriculture is still a strong feature of the Idaho economy. Idaho produces about a third of the country’s potatoes. The state is also a producer of wheat. The largest barrel cheese factory in the world is in Idaho.

Idaho is also strongly involved in energy production. The largest Department of Energy facility in the country is the Idaho National Laboratory. The state is also a major beer producer and is home to three Anheuser-Busch breweries. Other important industries in the Idaho economy include food processing, manufacturing, chemical production, mining and tourism.

Outdoor sports are a crucial part of Idaho’s tourism industry. It attracts thousands to the state each year. National parks and forests are also a big part of Idaho tourism.

As of today, the largest industry in Idaho is Science and Technology. The industry is responsible for a quarter of the state’s revenue and 70% of its exports. Semiconductor manufacturing is a large part of the tech sector in Idaho and there are several companies in the sector including Hewlett-Packard.

The largest employers in the state of Idaho are Albertsons, Micron Technology, The State of Idaho, St. Luke’s Health, WinCo. Foods, Lamb Weston, Boise Cascade, Employers Resource, University of Idaho and Magic Valley Regional Medical.

Is Idaho a good place to buy a house?

The real estate market in Idaho has been historically very cheap until a few years ago. The Idaho real estate market has experienced a recent upsurge in prices due to a sharp increase in population. However, Idaho still remains a good state in which to buy a house as it will more likely be cheaper than elsewhere. Despite such low home prices, home insurance is strongly recommended if you live in Idaho.

The average home price in Idaho is $250,000. The homeownership rate in Idaho is about 69%. Most homes are owned via a mortgage. The mortgage rates in Idaho have increased with more people moving to the state who want to own their homes. The average rent in Idaho is about $800 which is way below the national average.

The best places to live in Idaho include Boise, Moscow, Sun Valley, Sugar City, Meridian, Ketchum, Eagle, Ammon, Hailey, Garden City, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Hayden and St. Anthony. The worst places to live in Idaho are Weiser, Emmett, Caldwell, Nampa, Jerome, Pocatello, Burley, Payette and Rupert.

The mean price of a one-bedroom house in Idaho is $218,450, of a two-bedroom one is $255,000, of a three-bedroom one is $294,200, of a four-bedroom one is $332,600 and the mean price of a five-bedroom one is $385,000.

The mean monthly rent for an apartment with a single bedroom in Idaho is $625, for one with double bedrooms is $805 per month, for one with triple bedrooms is $1129 a month, for one with quadruple bedrooms is $1335 and for one with quintuple bedrooms is $1600 a month.

Is Idaho a good place to retire?

Idaho is a great place in which to retire. There are several reasons that make the statement above ring true. The first reason is the state’s natural beauty. If you have spent the majority of your life working in the city, it is a good idea to retire in a state like Idaho. Retiring in Idaho is the definition of an active retirement due to the outdoor activities.

Another reason to retire in Idaho is the low cost of living. The cost of living truly matters when you are not actively making an income. For retirees with no other source of income, Idaho will be a pleasant surprise.

Idaho is a relatively safe state with effective law enforcement. A retiree will barely have to worry about feeling safe walking alone in the city streets. However, even as a senior citizen, it is advisable to have insurance for your property and belongings.

The best places to live in Idaho include Boise, Moscow, Sun Valley, Sugar City, Meridian, Ketchum, Eagle, Ammon, Hailey, Garden City, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Hayden and St. Anthony. The worst places to live in Idaho are Weiser, Emmett, Caldwell, Nampa, Jerome, Pocatello, Burley, Payette and Rupert.

The mean price of one-bedroom retirement property in Idaho is $225,000, of a two-bedroom property is $268,400, of a three-bedroom property is $302,000, of a four-bedroom property is $345,800 and the mean price of a five-bedroom property is $397,050.

The mean monthly rent for an apartment in a retirement property with a single bedroom in Idaho is $650, for one with double bedrooms is $825 per month, for one with triple bedrooms is $1150 a month, for one with quadruple bedrooms is $1350 and for one with quintuple bedrooms is $1675 a month.

Is Idaho a good place to visit?

The Gem State is one of the most amazing states you will ever visit in the country. The natural beauty of the state is unparalleled and the main reason to visit Idaho.

Must see places in Idaho include:

Yellowstone National Park

The first stop on the list when you visit Idaho should be the famed Yellowstone National Park. The park is home to mountains, incredible wildlife and the world’s largest collection of geysers. The park is also home to amazing hot springs.

Activities in the park include hiking, camping and kayaking. The park has a designated recreation area for family fun.

Sun Valley

Sun Valley may be the only resort town that can challenge Colorado’s Aspen. The resort town has gentle slopes for skiing during winter and mountain trails during summer. You can hunt and fish in one of the town’s many creeks. White water rafting is also very popular in Sun Valley.

Coeur d’Alene is a city in Northern Idaho most famed for its outdoor recreational activities. You can engage in a variety of water sports such as kayaking and white water rafting. There is also a forest where you can go hunting and camping. You also have Lake Coeur d’Alene which has amazing views and beaches where you can swim in the summer.

Coeur d’Alene

Marta Kovachek
About Marta Kovachek 91 Articles
Marta is a true digital nomad, traveling across the USA for the last 10 years and sharing her expertise with a wide range of readers. Read more articles by Marta Kovachek

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