Planning To Move To Idaho
Boise is many things. Urban and outdoorsy. Wild and relaxing. The Boise area is a great place to live, work and visit! Whether it’s the vibrant cultural and recreational opportunities, the friendly people or the mild climate, Boise and the surrounding communities afford a quality of life second to none. Good jobs, affordable housing and a safe, clean and vibrant downtown all add up to a great place to live.
Nestled in the Treasure Valley against the majestic foothills, Boise is part of a thriving metropolitan area of over 550,000 people. Boise is the largest metropolitan area in Idaho, and also the most remote metropolitan area in the United States, fostering a “unique sense of community.” Situated where the high desert meets the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, Boise is the gateway to exceptional recreational opportunities including: world famous white-water rafting, Nordic and Alpine skiing, snowboarding, hunting, fishing, backpacking and camping. Hiking, biking and fishing are popular activities right in the metro area, accessed by miles of greenbelt along the Boise River. The foothills provide trails for hikers and bikers of all abilities.
Find Employment in Boise
Idaho has a very diverse economy. While the traditional resource-based industries of agriculture, forest products, and mining continue to contribute to the economy, high-tech, tourism, retail trade, healthcare, business, and information services are growth sectors.
For employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors, contact the Idaho Department of Labor at 317 W. Main Street, Boise, ID, 83735 or visit their website at www.labor.idaho.gov. For detailed and up-to-date labor market information, visit the LMI section of the Department of Labor website. You can also visit the Boise Valley Economic Partnership website for a summary of regional labor market data.
History of Boise Idaho
Nestled on a high desert plain in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains with a pristine river flowing through its center, Boise finds its roots from the gold rush days of the 1800s. In 1834 Fort Boise, owned by the Hudson Bay Company, was established by British fur traders. The fort, now known as Old Fort Boise, was located at the mouth of the Boise River, 40 miles from present day Boise. In 1854, due to frequent Indian raids, the fort was abandoned. Despite this, the military desired to build another fort in the area, but, before this plan could go into effect, gold was discovered in the Boise Basin in 1862. It was now necessary, more than ever, to protect the vast number of travelers coming to the area. On July 4, 1863, the military chose a location for the new Fort Boise and construction began soon afterward. A town site was located next to the fort, and with the protection of the military, the town grew quickly. A major reason for this growth, other than the gold rush, was its location along the Oregon Trail.
The Oregon Trail was a thoroughfare for thousands of travelers heading for the Oregon Territory. Of all the western roads, the Oregon Trail was the longest at 2,020 miles. It began in Independence, Missouri and ended at Oregon City, Oregon. Its route in Idaho began at the Idaho-Wyoming border, crossed through Bear Valley, turned north toward Fort Hall and then followed the Snake River until it reached the Boise River. It followed the south side of the river winding through what is now the southern part of Boise. To this day, wheel ruts can still be seen along some areas of its path.
Adding to this major thoroughfare were the routes to the Boise Basin and Owyhee mines. These routes crossed the Oregon Trail at the Fort Boise location. Because it was located at these major crossroads, Boise became a prosperous commercial center.
In 1864, when the territorial legislature held its second session in Lewiston, Boise was incorporated as a city and proclaimed the capital of the Idaho Territory. This same year, on July 26, the Idaho Statesman newspaper produced its first publication and became the second newspaper in Idaho. The first was the Idaho World in Idaho City. After the gold rush, Boise’s population declined from 1,658 citizens in 1864 to 995 in 1870. With new construction, including the territorial prison in 1869 and the U.S. Assay Office in 1872, Boise began to grow again. The capitol building was completed in 1886 and in 1887 Boise built a streetcar system. In 1890, Idaho became a state.
What to Know Before Moving to Idaho
Relocating to the Gem State? If so, there are several points you should consider before moving to America’s 14th biggest state by size (83,570 sq. ft.) and 39th largest by state population (1.75 million).
Pros and Cons of Living in Idaho
Cost of living: With one of the lowest costs of living out of the 11 western states, Idaho offers great savings on housing, groceries, healthcare, transportation, and more.
Job opportunities: Growth is booming, and so is business. Primary industries include manufacturing and agriculture, with major growth in tech, retail, tourism, and healthcare.
Crime rate: Coming it at #8 in the Crime & Corrections Rankings by US News, the state is also ranked #5 in public safety and #24 in corrections.
Weather: Life is more enjoyable with Idaho’s combo of four distinct seasons and mild weather. Its enjoyable climate allows for year-round outdoor fun and sports.
Outdoor activities: Speaking of the outdoors, if you’re an enthusiast, there are limitless options: skiing, snowboarding, rafting, paragliding, off-roading, the list goes on.
Starry Nights: Known as one of the best states to gaze at the night sky, many residents get cozy and marvel at the mesmerizing beauty.
Friendliness: In general, people here go out of their way to be nice. Whether it’s starting a conversation or giving a hand with a flat tire, Idahoans are a friendly bunch.
Barren middle: Not really an issue if you’re living in the southern or northern part of the state, but Central Idaho is sparse. However, this may be considered a plus.
Isolationist spirit: Though Idahoans tend to be super nice, many like to be left alone. With one of the lowest population densities in America, it’s easy to keep to yourself.
Lack of diversity: With Boise having a population of nearly 90% Caucasian residents, there isn’t a whole lot of ethnic and cultural diversity throughout the state.
Politics: Of course, this is a matter of perspective. If you’re liberal or progressive, know that Idaho consistently votes conservative.
Rapid growth: Many people are moving here, and this is leading to higher congestion and more expensive housing. This influx is especially apparent in Boise and other major cities.
Public transportation: Without access to a personal vehicle, it’s hard to get around the state, particularly in rural areas.
Weird laws: Not so much a con, Idaho has several odd laws on the books. For instance, selling bad potatoes can get you arrested, and it’s illegal to look gloomy in Pocatello.
Property Tax: Ranked #15 in the nation, Idaho has an effective real-estate tax rate of 0.75%.
Sales Tax: Base sales tax rate is 6%. Combined with local taxes, the total rate can be up to 9%.
Income Tax: Ranges from 1.125% to 6.925%. Individual income tax is graduated.
Due to rapid growth, housing prices have risen. However, Idaho offers great overall value, especially for people moving from California and other costly states. Housing prices are currently as affordable as the national average. Median rent is low, but it can be difficult to find a place in Boise.
Median Home Value: $267,600
Median Rental Expense: $655 (1BR), $848 (2BR)
Cost of Living
Idaho ranks 19th in the country for cost of living with an index of 92.3 (according to the 2019 MERIC Data Series). This index is below the nationwide index of 100. Employing the EPI Family Budget Calculator, we can break down the average monthly expenses of a family of four (2 adults + 2 children) in two separate Idaho cities.
Idaho Cost of Living Chart vs. National Average
Our first example is Boise. The cost for a family of four: $866 for housing, $774 for food, $1,170 for childcare, $1,206 for transportation, $1,035 for healthcare, $662 for other necessities, and $843 for taxes, for a grand total of $6,555 per month or $78,660 per year.
Next, we’ll take a look at Idaho Falls. Breakdown of expenses: $739 for housing, $736 for food, $1,068 for childcare, $1,221 for transportation, $1,104 for healthcare, $595 for other necessities, and $758 for taxes, which comes out to $6,221 per month or $74,647 per year.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Influenced by the Pacific Ocean, Idaho’s climate is quite diverse due to its size. The southern part of the state sees less precipitation compared to the northern part of the state. For example, Boise receives about 12 inches of rain and 21 inches of snowfall, while Coeur d’Alene gets about 26 inches of rain and 52 inches of snowfall.
Southern Idaho also has warmer summers than the northern region. For instance, Boise experiences a high temperature of 90°F in July. Coeur d’Alene, on the other hand, sees temperatures that top out at around 85°F in July. During winter, Idaho Falls has a low temperature of 10°F in January. Lewiston’s low temperature in January hovers around 28°F.
Economy & Job Market
According to Economy Rankings by US News & World Report, Idaho has the 6th best state economy in the nation. This ranking is based on several categories, including business environment (#7), employment (#5), and growth (#9).
Top Idaho Industries:
- Lumber / Wood Products
How to Become an Idaho Resident
To qualify as a bona fide resident of Idaho, you must establish domicile for an entire tax year and live there for no less than 270 days out of the year. For in-state tuition purposes, a student must show proof of domicile and physical residency in Idaho for at least 12 months before a new school term.
Moving to Idaho DMV
Acquiring a new driver’s license: New residents have 90 days to apply for an Idaho driver’s license.
Considering moving to Idaho? Improving YOUR life is our ethos and what we are all about. Lets start the conversation and see if we can help you achieve your relocation goals!