Best Places To Raise A Family In Idaho For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Idaho have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Idaho.

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If you're looking for safe cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, good food, and just overall good family friendly fun, you can stop your search: Idaho is one of the most family friendly states in the USA.

Heck, there's a reason Idaho is one of the best states to raise a family in the country. There are great family friendly Idaho places around every corner in The Gem State. And, HomeSnacks is here to give you the ultimate guide: we've broken down the best places to raise a family in Idaho for 2020, and the top ten list is below.

It is a known fact that many families visit idaho on vacation and end up staying. This is because the state has Blue Ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools, cutting edge universities, good jobs with competitive salaries, and tons of staycation possibilities for families on a budget. And speaking of budgets, there are family friendly places for all types of budgets. There are places like Blackfoot for the family that loves spending time outside, places like Moscow for families just starting out, and places like Hailey for families who don't have to worry about being on a budget.

In all family fun seriousness, you can have the family skiing on the slopes in Sun Valley and at the Discovery Center of Idaho in Boise

How did we determine Idaho's most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in the Gem State with more than 5,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 22 family friendly Idaho places that any family would be lucky to call home.

But, there can only be one number one best place to raise your family in Idaho, and that would be Moscow.

To see how your favorite place in Idaho compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Idaho and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Idaho For 2020

Moscow, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 25,174
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 18.0%
More on Moscow: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Moscow is a city in northern Idaho along the state border with Washington, with a population of 23,800 at the 2010 census. The county seat and largest city of Latah County, Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho, the state's land grant institution and primary research university, as well as the home of New Saint Andrews College, a Christian liberal arts college.

Middleton, ID

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,115
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 50.0%
More on Middleton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Middleton is a city in Canyon County, Idaho, United States. The population was 5,524 at the 2010 census, up from 2,978 in 2000. It is part of the Boise City-Nampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Review Of Middleton by HomeSnacks User

I've lived in Middleton for 14 years and commuted to a job in Boise for the first 9 of them. I'm now a stay-home-mom of two.

If you are comparing our small town living to people who want city living then your correct - Middleton is not for them. We that prefer a quieter place to live away from our city jobs, it's heaven.

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,957
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 36.4%
More on Rexburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rexburg is a city in Madison County, Idaho, United States. The population was 25,484 at the 2010 census, up from 17,257 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Madison County and its largest city. Rexburg is the principal city of the Rexburg, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Fremont and Madison Counties. The city is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho, a private institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Emmett, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,670
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 29.5%
More on Emmett: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Emmett is a city in Gem County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,557 at the 2010 census, up from 5,490 in 2000. It is the county seat and the only city in the county. Emmett is part of the BoiseNampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Rupert, ID

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,782
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 39.5%
More on Rupert: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rupert is the county seat and largest city of Minidoka County, Idaho, United States. It is part of the Burley Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 5,554 at the 2010 census.

Hailey, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,259
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 37.5%
More on Hailey: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hailey is a city in and the county seat of Blaine County, in the Wood River Valley of the central part of the U.S. state of Idaho.

The city is named after John Hailey, a two-time Congressional delegate from the Idaho Territory.

Jerome, ID

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,503
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 39.9%
More on Jerome: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Blackfoot, ID

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,854
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 39.2%
More on Blackfoot: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Blackfoot is a city in Bingham County, Idaho, United States. The population was 11,899 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Bingham County. Blackfoot boasts the largest potato industry in any one area, and is known as the "Potato Capital of the World." It is the site of the Idaho Potato Museum, and the home of the world's largest baked potato and potato chip. Blackfoot is also the location of the Eastern Idaho State Fair, which operates between Labor Day weekend and the following weekend.

Rathdrum, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,904
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 40.0%
More on Rathdrum: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rathdrum is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,826 at the 2010 census, up from 4816 in 2000. It is part of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the entire county. It is named after Rathdrum in Ireland.

Meridian, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 97,008
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 35.3%
More on Meridian: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Meridian is a city located in Ada County in the US state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population of Meridian was 75,092 making it the third largest city in Idaho after Boise and Nampa. A 2015 estimate placed the population at approximately 90,739. Meridian is the state's fastest-growing city, with an 81.5 percent increase in population since 2000.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Idaho anyways?

To give you the places in Idaho which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Gem State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Idaho, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 5,000 people. For Idaho, that meant a total of 22 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Idaho

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Idaho ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Idaho according to the data:

  1. Pocatello
  2. Coeur d'Alene
  3. Twin Falls

For more idaho reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Idaho?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Moscow, ID 25,174 66
2 Middleton, ID 7,115 54
3 Rexburg, ID 27,957 43
4 Emmett, ID 6,670 41
5 Rupert, ID 5,782 58
6 Hailey, ID 8,259 50
7 Jerome, ID 11,503 40
8 Blackfoot, ID 11,854 60
9 Rathdrum, ID 7,904 33
10 Meridian, ID 97,008 59

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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