Ultimate Guide to Living in Idaho

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So, you’re curious about living in Idaho? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

The expert movers, travelers, and worldwide locals that make up the team at Relocalate.com are here to help. 

We’ve compiled the ultimate guides to answer the most common questions people just like you have about living in the great state of Idaho.

Dive deep into the topics you’re interested in to make sure your new home in Idaho matches what you’re looking for. 

We’ll explore whether Idaho is a good place for YOU to live, and we’ll highlight some of the best cities for you to visit, explore, and ultimately call home. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Idaho

You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: no place is perfect. What matters is how good of a fit it is for you.

Relocalate.com is here to help you decide whether Idaho is the best place for YOU to live. 

Here are some reasons to love living in Idaho:

  • You’ll love the open spaces and the nature.
  • It’s not overcrowded or expensive to live in Idaho, so it’s perfect for low income residents.
  • The winters are rough but you get used to them after a while (so long as you dress warm).

And, on the flip side, here are some of the downsides of living in Idaho:

  • Idaho has few major cities, which means that if you don’t enjoy country living then this might not be your ideal destination state.
  • And just because there aren’t many people doesn’t mean they’re all friendly! People like their privacy here.

Read More: Is Idaho a Good Place to Live?

Best Place to Live in Idaho

So, you’ve got your heart set on living in Idaho? Well, the decision making doesn’t end there. You’ve still got to decide where to live in Idaho!

In some other articles, we’ll dive deeper into some of the best places to live in Idaho. 

Our experts have considered a whole bunch of different criteria to select the top locations, including:

  • The best places to live for families, retirees, singles, young adults, outdoor lovers, foodies, and more. 
  • The safest places to live. 
  • The cheapest places to live. 
  • The best schools. 
  • The best job markets. 
  • The best housing markets. 
  • And so much more. 

Just want a quick list? No worries, here are some of the best cities to live in Idaho:

  • Boise
  • Hailey
  • Moscow

Read More: Best Places to Live in Idaho

Checklist for Moving to Idaho

So now you’re preparing for your big move to Idaho. Maybe you’ve even started packing!

As you probably already know, there are a lot of things to take care of when you’re moving. Both in your current state and once you get to Idaho.

Here are some of the major things you’ll want to take care of when you move to Idaho:

  1. Updating your address with USPS. 
  2. Getting your Idaho driver’s license. 
  3. Transferring your vehicle titles and registrations to Idaho
  4. Getting Idaho car insurance.
  5. Signing up for health insurance in Idaho and finding new doctors, dentists, and local hospitals. 
  6. Updating/changing other insurance policies you may need (homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, pet insurance, motorcycle insurance, etc.)
  7. Registering to vote in your district in Idaho.
  8. Updating your address with your banks, credit cards, subscription services, loans, investments, phone plans, and bill pay. 
  9. Enrolling your kids in their new school district. 
  10. Licensing your pets and finding a new vet. 
  11. Setting up your utilities for your new home. 
  12. Preparing to file state taxes for Idaho and your previous home state. 

Visit your Idaho Moving Checklist for a detailed guide on all of the above.  

Read More: Moving to Idaho Checklist

While we’re at it, let’s cover some high-level questions and fun facts about Idaho.

Things to Know About Living in Idaho

As you’re preparing for your move or getting settled into your new home in Idaho, here are some things to know about living there. 

Cost of Living in Idaho

One thing to consider when moving to a new state is the relative cost of living

Idaho ranks 27th on the Cost of Living Index with an overall rating of 99, meaning it’s a slightly below average costing place to live. 

Here is how Idaho scores for the cost of living in each specific category:

  • Groceries: 91.6
  • Housing: 105.5
  • Utilities: 82.8
  • Transportation: 98.6
  • Health: 101.7
  • Miscellaneous: 100.9

The average cost of living in this index is scored at 100. The numbers above represent the percentage of the average. A number higher than 100 represents an above average cost of living, while a number lower than 100 represents a lower cost of living. A lower rank indicates a lower cost of living. 

This data comes from the Cost of Living Index prepared by the Council for Economic Research (C2ER), which compiles data from cities across the country to rank and compare the differences in costs of living. 

Sales Tax Rates in Idaho

Sales tax is a way that state and local governments collect tax revenue from its residents and visitors. 

These taxes are applied when you purchase something. It’ll show up on your receipt or bill. If you’ve recently moved to Idaho from somewhere else, the new sales tax rates may surprise you. 

On top of the state sales tax rates, local rates for certain counties and cities may apply and vary as well.

Idaho’s state sales tax rate is higher than the national average at 6.00%, with an average local rate of .03% (the highest local sales tax rate is 3%). Across the state, the average sales tax rate is about 6.03%. 

Check with the Idaho tax office for the most current tax rates.

Real-Estate Property Tax Rates in Idaho

If you own or plan to own real estate in Idaho, you’ll want to think about the property tax rates when you move there. 

Idaho ranks 14th (from low to high) for its state property tax rate of .69%.

There may be additional property taxes on top of the rate stated here depending on your county, city, and school districts

Check with the Idaho tax office for the most current tax rates.

Idaho’s Job Market & Economy

Another thing to think about when moving to Idaho is the job market and economic indicators

Overall, Idaho ranks 41st for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States. 

The GDP measures the overall monetary value of all goods and services produced within a certain place over a period of time. 

Its top 10 industries (ranked from largest to smallest by economic contribution to the state) are:

  • Real estate and rental and leasing
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional and business services
  • Educational services, health care, and social assistance
  • Retail trade
  • Construction
  • Wholesale trade
  • Finance and insurance
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

The top employer in Idaho is St. Luke’s Health System.

Notable Destinations and Landmarks in Idaho

Our Idaho moving guide wouldn’t be complete without a brief mention of some of the most iconic destinations in the state

When you get settled in, a road trip may just be in order. 

One of the most iconic landmarks in Idaho is Craters of the Moon National Monument.

National Parks that you can visit in Idaho include:

  • Yellowstone National Park.

National Monuments that you can find in Idaho include: 

  • Craters of the Moon National Monument
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

These destinations are all great places to visit when you get a chance. 

Facts about Idaho

Idaho is the 43rd state of the United States that lies in the western region. To its north is Montana and Canada, to its south is Nevada and Utah, to its east is Wyoming, and to its west is Washington and Oregon. 

What is the capital of Idaho?

The capital of Idaho is Boise.

Boise is located in Ada County with a population of 205,671.

What is the population of Idaho?

The population of Idaho based on 2020 US Census data is 1,839,106.

What is the largest city in Idaho?

The largest city in Idaho is Boise. 

What is the size of Idaho?

Idaho is 83,569 square miles, making it the 14th largest state in the U.S.

What is the state motto of Idaho?

The state motto of Idaho is: Esto perpetua

What is the state bird of Idaho?

The state bird of Idaho is the Mountain bluebird.

What is the state flower of Idaho?

The state flower of Idaho is the Syringa, mock orange.

What is the state tree of Idaho?

The state tree of Idaho is the Western White Pine.

What is the minimum wage in the state of Idaho?

The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25 per hour.

What is the median income in Idaho?

The median annual household salary in Idaho is $55,583.