According to the U.S. 2010 Census, Idaho has seen noticeable population growth over the past decade, and that trend continues today. And with a strong economy supported by the agriculture and technology sectors, Idaho is becoming one of the best places to do business in the country. With rolling hills, scenic rivers and miles of trails, the state is a sportsman's paradise with opportunities for fishing, kayaking, white river rafting, biking and running.
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Here's more about the Idaho’s 10 biggest cities:
1. Boise: 205,671 Inhabitants
Pronounced “Boy-see” and not “Boy-zee,” the state’s capital is consistently recognized for its growing economy, vibrant culture and safe living conditions. Even TIME Magazine acknowledged Boise as one of the few cities who were “getting it right” in 2014. In addition, Bike Magazine dubbed the city one of the best biking towns in the country. Interestingly, Boise’s disdain for the band Nickelback is second to none, as evidenced by a 2012 piece published in the Boise Weekly, offering Idahoans helpful suggestions on things they could purchase instead of a ticket to a local Nickelback concert.
2. Nampa: 81,557 Inhabitants
Nampa has been booming with an estimated population growth of 39 percent in recent years. Reasons include cost of living, job growth and affordable public schools, in which Nampa scores above the nation’s average. In fact, Nampa’s cost of living is 12.40 percent lower than the U.S. average, with public schools costing, on average, $5,477 less. In addition, employment in Nampa has increased by 2.49 percent, maintaining an unemployment rate far lower than the national average.
3. Meridian: 75,092 Inhabitants
After being named in 1893 by an Order of Odd Fellows chapter who established a lodge in the area, Meridian has become one of Idaho’s fastest growing cities. Between 1990 and 2000, this city’s population tripled in size. Since then, it has more than doubled in size. One reason for the influx of inhabitants could be the fact that Meridian boasts having one of the lowest overall costs of doing business, and is frequently recognized as one of the country’s leading cities for new business.
4. Idaho Falls: 56,813 Inhabitants
Originally named Eagle Rock, this city became Idaho Falls in 1891. Located in Bonneville County, Idaho Falls is the biggest city in the region. It’s also the home of the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park
, which offers a Junior Zoo Crew program for teenagers looking to volunteer and learn more about zoology.
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5. Pocatello: 54,255 Inhabitants
Known as the “Gateway to the Northwest,” Pocatello was founded in Idaho in 1889 and quickly became a destination for pioneers and gold miners traveling along the Oregon Trail
. As transportation evolved with the railroad systems, Pocatello quickly became a major trade center. Today, their major products involve innovation telecommunication solutions and the city is frequently recognized as being one of the best cities for business, raising a family and retirement.
6. Caldwell: 46,237 Inhabitants
Also known as “The Treasure of the Valley,” Caldwell rests along the Boise River and offers historical homes, rich walking paths, immaculate golf courses and plenty of opportunities for outdoor sports. Only minutes from Lake Lowell, Caldwell is also home to the College of Idaho, the Canyon County Fair and the Caldwell Night Rodeo.
7. Coeur d’Alene: 44,137 Inhabitants
Coeur d’Alene is known for its unparalleled hospitality and beautiful scenery, and it’s grown in popularity over the years. Referred to both as the “City of Excellence” and the “City with a Heart,” Coeur d’Alene offers plenty of opportunities for recreational sports, with both a lakeside park and 90-mile trail system for outdoor enthusiasts.
8. Twin Falls: 44,125 Inhabitants
Known for the Twin Falls Southside Irrigation Tract, this city located in south-central Idaho has been providing water for more than 200,000 acres since 1905. Visitors can enjoy the Snake River Trails that weave throughout the area. It was also the location for Evel Knievel’s jump back in 1974.
9. Lewiston: 31,894 Inhabitants
Lewiston marks the lowest point in Idaho at 738 ft, and is nestled between the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. It is also the location of Idaho’s only seaport. The Nez Perce Tribe had inhabited the area long before the city was founded in 1861 during the gold rush. It became the capital of the Idaho Territory in 1863, but the capital was moved to Boise in 1864 once the gold rush ended and the mineral rush began.
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10. Post Falls: 27,574 Inhabitants
Nestled in Kootenai County between Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, is Post Falls.
Also known as Idaho’s “River City,” Post Falls is the gateway to Northern Idaho. The city’s bread and butter is tourism, and they’ve been able lure fans with their beautiful scenery, beaches and golf courses. Many tourists also visit for water sports and rock climbing.
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