10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Idaho For 2018

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.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Idaho? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Gem State:

  1. Moscow (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Weiser (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Rupert (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Rexburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Hailey (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Caldwell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Preston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Sandpoint (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Blackfoot (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Mountain Home (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Idaho, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Idaho and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Idaho.

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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 23 cities.

Read on to see why Moscow is where all the families are headed, while Pocatello is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Moscow

Moscow, ID

Population: 24,855
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 73
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 20.8%
More on Moscow: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Moscow (/msko/ MOSS-koh) 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.

2. Weiser

Weiser, ID

Population: 5,350
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 34.1%
More on Weiser: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Weiser (/wizr/ WEE-zr) is a city in the rural western part of the U.S. state of Idaho and the county seat of Washington County. With its mild climate, the city supports farm, orchard, and livestock endeavors in the vicinity. The city sits at the confluence of the Weiser River with the great Snake River, which marks the border with Oregon. The population was 5,507 at the 2010 census.

3. Rupert

Rupert, ID

Population: 5,702
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Reno
Households with kids: 43.0%
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.

4. Rexburg

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain

Population: 27,114
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 33.5%
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 (BYU-Idaho), a private institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

5. Hailey

Hailey, ID

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,058
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 40.2%
More on Hailey: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

6. Caldwell

Caldwell, ID

Source: Public domain

Population: 50,288
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 42.9%
More on Caldwell: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Caldwell is a city in and the county seat of Canyon County, Idaho, United States. The population was 46,237 at the 2010 census.

7. Preston

Preston, ID

Population: 5,252
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Denver
Households with kids: 39.7%
More on Preston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Preston is a city in Franklin County, Idaho, United States. The population was 5,204 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County. It is part of the Logan, Utah-Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.

8. Sandpoint

Sandpoint, ID

Population: 7,698
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 28.5%
More on Sandpoint: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sandpoint is the largest town in, and the county seat of, Bonner County, Idaho, United States. Its population was 7,365 at the 2010 census.

9. Blackfoot

Blackfoot, ID

Population: 11,878
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 41.9%
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 (a museum and gift shop that displays and explains the history of Idaho’s potato industry), 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.

10. Mountain Home

Mountain Home, ID

Population: 13,823
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 34.5%
More on Mountain Home: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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. Chubbuck
  3. Coeur D’Alene

For more Idaho reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Idaho

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Moscow 24,855 72
2 Weiser 5,350 60
3 Rupert 5,702 47
4 Rexburg 27,114 66
5 Hailey 8,058 32
6 Caldwell 50,288 44
7 Preston 5,252 53
8 Sandpoint 7,698 41
9 Blackfoot 11,878 51
10 Mountain Home 13,823 53
11 Jerome 11,140 61
12 Meridian 88,247 65
13 Emmett 6,590 59
14 Payette 7,402 48
15 Lewiston 32,484 42
16 Rathdrum 7,357 30
17 Twin Falls 46,623 60
18 Post Falls 30,157 42
19 Idaho Falls 58,933 51
20 Nampa 87,896 56
21 Coeur D’alene 47,842 51
22 Chubbuck 14,326 52
23 Pocatello 54,592 71

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