These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Idaho For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Idaho have the most for people looking to make the move to Idaho.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Idaho a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Idaho.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Gem State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Idaho, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 34 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Gem State for 2018:

  1. Ada County (Photos)
  2. Caribou County (Photos)
  3. Franklin County (Photos)
  4. Jefferson County
  5. Blaine County (Photos)
  6. Bear Lake County
  7. Fremont County (Photos)
  8. Latah County (Photos)
  9. Nez Perce County (Photos)
  10. Madison County (Photos)

Ada County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Idaho. And you might want to avoid Owyhee County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Idaho, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Idaho and the best places to raise a family in Idaho.

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How do you determine which Idaho county is the best?

To give you the best county in Idaho, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Idaho across each of the criteria from one to 34, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Idaho’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Gem State.

Read on to see why Ada County is the best county, while Owyhee County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Idaho.

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1. Ada County

Boise City, ID

Biggest Place: Boise City
Population: 425,798
Median Income: $58,099 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $200,200 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (16th best)
More on Ada County: PhotosData

2. Caribou County

Soda Springs, ID

Biggest Place: Soda Springs
Population: 6,813
Median Income: $57,957 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $125,900 (30th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (1st best)
More on Caribou County: PhotosData

3. Franklin County

Preston, ID

Biggest Place: Preston
Population: 13,013
Median Income: $50,500 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $164,100 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (5th best)
More on Franklin County: PhotosData

4. Jefferson County

Biggest Place: Rigby
Population: 27,096
Median Income: $54,646 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $160,300 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (10th best)
More on Jefferson County: Data

5. Blaine County

Bellevue, ID

Biggest Place: Hailey
Population: 21,427
Median Income: $58,086 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $384,800 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (4th best)
More on Blaine County: PhotosData

6. Bear Lake County

Biggest Place: Montpelier
Population: 5,928
Median Income: $46,863 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $136,700 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (2nd best)
More on Bear Lake County: Data

7. Fremont County

St. Anthony, ID

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: St. Anthony
Population: 12,896
Median Income: $49,973 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $147,500 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (15th best)
More on Fremont County: PhotosData

8. Latah County

Moscow, ID

Biggest Place: Moscow
Population: 38,593
Median Income: $42,133 (23rd best)
Median Home Price: $195,800 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (27th best)
More on Latah County: PhotosData

9. Nez Perce County

Lewiston, ID

Biggest Place: Lewiston
Population: 39,995
Median Income: $49,541 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $169,500 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (19th best)
More on Nez Perce County: PhotosData

10. Madison County

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Rexburg
Population: 38,114
Median Income: $33,856 (34th best)
Median Home Price: $185,200 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (32nd best)
More on Madison County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Idaho To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Idaho can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Idaho according to the data:

  1. Owyhee County
  2. Shoshone County
  3. Canyon County

For more Idaho reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Idaho

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Ada County 1 425,798 $58,099 $200,200
Caribou County 2 6,813 $57,957 $125,900
Franklin County 3 13,013 $50,500 $164,100
Jefferson County 4 27,096 $54,646 $160,300
Blaine County 5 21,427 $58,086 $384,800
Bear Lake County 6 5,928 $46,863 $136,700
Fremont County 7 12,896 $49,973 $147,500
Latah County 8 38,593 $42,133 $195,800
Nez Perce County 9 39,995 $49,541 $169,500
Madison County 10 38,114 $33,856 $185,200
Bonneville County 11 108,989 $52,831 $157,100
Lemhi County 12 7,743 $34,762 $178,300
Kootenai County 13 147,716 $50,924 $193,300
Custer County 14 4,185 $39,497 $166,800
Valley County 15 9,897 $53,630 $246,300
Bonner County 16 41,389 $43,697 $212,100
Boundary County 17 11,141 $39,279 $174,500
Twin Falls County 18 80,955 $45,500 $149,100
Gooding County 19 15,157 $40,704 $132,200
Bannock County 20 83,815 $45,216 $146,600
Power County 21 7,696 $46,318 $125,100
Lincoln County 22 5,292 $44,500 $128,900
Bingham County 23 45,261 $49,943 $143,500
Idaho County 24 16,251 $38,597 $161,300
Elmore County 25 26,103 $44,444 $137,800
Clearwater County 26 8,528 $40,266 $129,500
Washington County 27 10,035 $37,525 $140,600
Minidoka County 28 20,331 $46,147 $117,400
Payette County 29 22,773 $45,670 $136,400
Jerome County 30 22,694 $44,447 $139,700
Gem County 31 16,853 $40,767 $143,000
Canyon County 32 202,782 $44,860 $131,300
Shoshone County 33 12,551 $37,449 $117,600
Owyhee County 34 11,356 $34,785 $120,500

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