Best Small Towns In Idaho For 2020


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Idaho are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our sixth time ranking the best small places to live in Idaho.

You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Idaho, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Gem State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Idaho based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Idaho ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Idaho for 2020.

What’s the best small town in Idaho? Ketchum is the best small town in Idaho based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Ketchum, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Gem State check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Idaho For 2020

Ketchum, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,761
Median Income: $69,107 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $621,700 (2nd Best)
More on Ketchum: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,451
Median Income: $74,263 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $189,700 (10th Best)
More on Iona: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,765
Median Income: $71,111 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $364,600 (3rd Best)
More on Dalton Gardens: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,507
Median Income: $56,364 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $169,300 (11th Best)
More on Moreland: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,748
Median Income: $59,574 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $151,300 (18th Best)
More on Lincoln: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,266
Median Income: $84,526 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $236,500 (7th Best)
More on Tyhee: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,445
Median Income: $51,094 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $825,000 (1st Best)
More on Sun Valley: Data | Homes For Sale

Soda Springs, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,997
Median Income: $55,962 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $129,900 (27th Best)
More on Soda Springs: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,418
Median Income: $82,083 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $197,800 (9th Best)
More on Robie Creek: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,759
Median Income: $59,286 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $167,000 (12th Best)
More on Kimberly: Data | Homes For Sale

American Falls, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,349
Median Income: $48,944 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $128,000 (32nd Best)
More on American Falls: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,361
Median Income: $60,391 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $147,400 (20th Best)
More on Ucon: Data | Homes For Sale

Grangeville, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,166
Median Income: $35,827 (48th Best)
Median Home Value: $139,200 (24th Best)
More on Grangeville: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Bellevue, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,715
Median Income: $62,689 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $274,500 (5th Best)
More on Bellevue: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,226
Median Income: $42,112 (33rd Best)
Median Home Value: $276,100 (4th Best)
More on Mccall: Data | Homes For Sale

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Idaho

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2014-2018 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 59 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 59, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Idaho. Top of that list — Ketchum. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Idaho.

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Idaho are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Idaho:

  1. Marsing
  2. Fort Hall
  3. Glenns Ferry

For more idaho reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Idaho

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Ketchum, ID 2,761 $69,107.0 $621,700.0
2 Iona, ID 2,451 $74,263.0 $189,700.0
3 Dalton Gardens, ID 2,765 $71,111.0 $364,600.0
4 Moreland, ID 1,507 $56,364.0 $169,300.0
5 Lincoln, ID 3,748 $59,574.0 $151,300.0
6 Tyhee, ID 1,266 $84,526.0 $236,500.0
7 Sun Valley, ID 1,445 $51,094.0 $825,000.0
8 Soda Springs, ID 2,997 $55,962.0 $129,900.0
9 Robie Creek, ID 1,418 $82,083.0 $197,800.0
10 Kimberly, ID 3,759 $59,286.0 $167,000.0
11 American Falls, ID 4,349 $48,944.0 $128,000.0
12 Ucon, ID 1,361 $60,391.0 $147,400.0
13 Grangeville, ID 3,166 $35,827.0 $139,200.0
14 Bellevue, ID 2,715 $62,689.0 $274,500.0
15 Mccall, ID 3,226 $42,112.0 $276,100.0
16 Sugar City, ID 1,649 $39,901.0 $163,200.0
17 Shelley, ID 4,370 $55,451.0 $142,300.0
18 Paul, ID 1,212 $49,135.0 $116,600.0
19 St. Anthony, ID 3,507 $49,688.0 $119,900.0
20 Salmon, ID 3,073 $36,717.0 $124,600.0
21 Driggs, ID 1,938 $59,844.0 $263,200.0
22 Malad City, ID 2,136 $43,095.0 $129,200.0
23 St. Maries, ID 2,769 $41,065.0 $145,300.0
24 Victor, ID 2,435 $56,250.0 $230,200.0
25 Filer, ID 2,736 $43,953.0 $143,500.0
26 Ashton, ID 1,029 $40,313.0 $120,600.0
27 Rigby, ID 4,051 $48,550.0 $138,600.0
28 Riverside, ID 1,156 $56,548.0 $166,100.0
29 Montpelier, ID 2,507 $43,750.0 $118,500.0
30 Orofino, ID 3,111 $44,375.0 $123,700.0
31 Heyburn, ID 3,271 $47,228.0 $125,300.0
32 Grace, ID 1,118 $66,875.0 $107,600.0
33 Hansen, ID 1,451 $44,038.0 $100,100.0
34 Priest River, ID 1,888 $32,250.0 $150,200.0
35 Ponderay, ID 1,179 $34,722.0 $129,200.0
36 Greenleaf, ID 1,298 $47,059.0 $130,100.0
37 Bonners Ferry, ID 2,544 $31,619.0 $155,800.0
38 Aberdeen, ID 2,169 $43,673.0 $93,100.0
39 Buhl, ID 4,345 $38,390.0 $89,100.0
40 Spirit Lake, ID 2,228 $45,733.0 $164,000.0
41 Wendell, ID 2,721 $41,548.0 $105,500.0
42 Shoshone, ID 1,305 $40,333.0 $117,100.0
43 Pinehurst, ID 1,402 $31,788.0 $129,500.0
44 Kamiah, ID 1,249 $38,889.0 $118,800.0
45 Hagerman, ID 1,103 $35,050.0 $114,500.0
46 Osburn, ID 1,490 $47,875.0 $106,300.0
47 Lapwai, ID 1,305 $40,650.0 $93,600.0
48 Athol, ID 1,037 $41,509.0 $164,700.0
49 Kellogg, ID 2,442 $34,938.0 $99,400.0
50 Gooding, ID 3,482 $35,302.0 $86,600.0
51 New Plymouth, ID 1,506 $35,240.0 $102,200.0
52 Parma, ID 2,109 $38,194.0 $98,100.0
53 Plummer, ID 1,230 $42,656.0 $104,500.0
54 Teton, ID 1,163 $38,409.0 $100,700.0
55 Wilder, ID 1,666 $39,010.0 $87,900.0
56 Homedale, ID 2,605 $30,152.0 $82,800.0
57 Glenns Ferry, ID 1,319 $28,086.0 $88,300.0
58 Fort Hall, ID 3,402 $37,500.0 $129,800.0
59 Marsing, ID 1,382 $30,969.0 $112,500.0

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.