The Best College Towns In Idaho For 2019


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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Idaho is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Idaho are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Idaho for 2019:

  1. Moscow, ID (Photos | Homes)
  2. Rexburg, ID (Photos | Homes)
  3. Meridian, ID (Photos | Homes)
  4. Pocatello, ID (Photos | Homes)
  5. Caldwell, ID (Photos | Homes)
  6. Nampa, ID (Photos | Homes)
  7. Lewiston, ID (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Moscow, Rexburg and Meridian - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Moscow ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Even though there are only 7 cities on our list, you need to remember there are another 224 places in Idaho that don't even have a college. One might say you gotta be in it in to win it.

Read on to find out more or for more on Idaho check out:

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Idaho?

To crunch our data on Idaho's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 7 places in Idaho with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Idaho For 2019".

And it looks like Moscow placed Summa Cum Laude.

Moscow, ID
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 24,833
% Undergrad Pop.: 35.3% (1st best)
Median Rent: $669 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 860.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Moscow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Colleges: University of Idaho, Mr Leon's School of Hair Design-Moscow

Rexburg, ID
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 27,369
% Undergrad Pop.: 32.7% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $672 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1050.0% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Rexburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Colleges: Brigham Young University-Idaho, Evans Hairstyling College-Rexburg, Paul Mitchell the School-Rexburg

Meridian, ID
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 91,917
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.0% (7th best)
Median Rent: $1,016 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 330.0% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Meridian: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Colleges: University of Phoenix-Idaho, Broadview University-Boise

Pocatello, ID
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 54,658
% Undergrad Pop.: 19.6% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $641 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 650.0% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 8th best
More on Pocatello: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pocatello ) is the county seat and largest city of Bannock County, with a small portion on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in neighboring Power County, in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. It is the principal city of the Pocatello metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Bannock county. As of the 2010 census the population of Pocatello was 54,255.

Colleges: Idaho State University

Caldwell, ID
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 51,634
% Undergrad Pop.: 1.5% (5th best)
Median Rent: $790 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 890.0% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Caldwell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Colleges: The College of Idaho

Nampa, ID
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 89,576
% Undergrad Pop.: 1.2% (6th best)
Median Rent: $862 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 710.0% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Nampa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Nampa ) is the largest city of Canyon County, Idaho. The population of Nampa was 81,557 at the 2010 census making it the second-most populous city in Idaho. Nampa is located about 20 miles west of Boise along Interstate 84, and six miles west of Meridian. Nampa is the second principal city of the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area. The name "Nampa" may have come from a Shoshoni word meaning either moccasin or footprint.

Colleges: Northwest Nazarene University, Nicholas Jay Salon & Spa Academy, College of Western Idaho

Lewiston, ID
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 32,482
% Undergrad Pop.: 8.3% (4th best)
Median Rent: $684 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 390.0% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Lewiston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lewiston is a city in north central Idaho and the county seat of Nez Perce County. It is the second-largest city in the northern Idaho region, behind Coeur d'Alene, and ninth-largest in the state. Lewiston is the principal city of the Lewiston, ID - Clarkston, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Nez Perce County and Asotin County, Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lewiston was 31,894, up from 30,904 in 2000.

Colleges: Lewis-Clark State College, Mr Leon's School of Hair Design-Lewiston, Headmasters School of Hair Design

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Idaho, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

7 Best College Towns In Idaho

Rank City Population
1 Moscow, ID 24833
2 Rexburg, ID 27369
3 Meridian, ID 91917
4 Pocatello, ID 54658
5 Caldwell, ID 51634
6 Nampa, ID 89576
7 Lewiston, ID 32482

Best College Towns By State

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