The 10 Best Places To Live In Idaho For 2024

The best places to live in Idaho for 2024 are Meridian, Eagle, and Coeur D’Alene. Find out where your city or town ranks.

Do you live in one of the best places in Idaho?

While Idaho as a state is a great place to live, we wanted to find the pockets of greatness.

We set out to determine where the best places to live in Idaho using Saturday Night Science. We compared home prices, incomes, and crime data, among others, for 32 places in Idaho over 5,000 people from the Census, FBI, and Zillow.

Boise is an excellent place to live, but its suburbs are better. Most of the cities at the top of the list are suburbs of Boise or at least considered part of the greater Boise City-Nampa Metro area.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Table | Map | Methodology | Summary

The 10 Best Places To Live In Idaho For 2024

  1. Meridian
  2. Eagle
  3. Coeur d’Alene
  4. Star
  5. Hailey
  6. Kuna
  7. Chubbuck
  8. Rexburg
  9. Moscow
  10. Sandpoint

What’s the best place to live in Idaho for 2024? The best place to live in Idaho for 2024 is Meridian, according to the most recent FBI and Census data.

Sorry, small towns in Idaho, you have your own list.

For more reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Idaho For 2024

Best Places To Live In Idaho Map

Meridian, ID

Source: Public domain
Stat Meridian Idaho
Population 119,872 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 2
Median Home Value $510,137 $442,087
Median Income $93,296 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 2.7% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0085 0.0133

More on Meridian: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

If you want to score some of Idaho’s most coveted real estate and the state’s 2nd highest median income in terms of median home price to income ratio, look no further than the Gem State’s #1 best place to live, Meridian.

Yes, according to our SnackAbility research, Meridian is one of Idaho’s largest cities for both likability and population. In fact, this city of 119,872 residents is part of The Center of the Treasure Valley and we can see why. So, here are some tips to help navigate the cost of living in this Idaho treasure like a pro. First, homes in Meridian are the 8th most expensive in the state, so your household median income needs to be at least $93,296/year to afford Meridian’s median home price, $510,137.

You shouldn’t have trouble finding a job in the city “Built for business…designed for living” as the unemployment rate here is the 9th lowest in the state at 2.7%. And after you get your ducks in a row, make sure to leave time for the fun things that Meridian has to offer because we wouldn’t want you to miss out on the annual Meridian Dairy Days Festival or the perfect day spent with the family at Kleiner Park.

Eagle, ID

Source: Wikipedia User GaryERichardson | CC BY-SA 4.0
Stat Eagle Idaho
Population 30,635 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 1
Median Home Value $798,612 $442,087
Median Income $114,271 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 1.5% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0085 0.0133

More on Eagle: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Head about 15 minutes directly north from Meridian and you will run into Idaho’s 2nd best place to live, Eagle.

Be prepared to pull out the pocket book and write a pretty big check for a home here as Eagle has the highest median home price in the state. The overall cost of living in Eagle is also quite a bit more expensive than both the state and national average. To live the Eagle dream comfortably, you’re going to have to make upwards of $114,271/year. Yes, you have to have the big bucks if you want to play in Eagle–probably why there are only 30,635 residents in this Idaho town.

What this small town lacks in size, it makes up for in big time safety and big time personality. Matter of fact, the crime rate in Eagle is virtually non-existent: it is the 8th safest city in the state. In terms of personality–A.K.A. amenities: you’ll find both classical and contemporary experiences in Eagle; and the best part, you can explore it all by walking, hiking, biking, public transportation–or even by paddling if you’re up for it. (Word on the street, the Boise River Greenbelt will connect you to everything Eagle and Boise.)

Coeur D'Alene, ID

Source: Wikipedia User | CC-BY-SA-3.0
Stat Coeur d’Alene Idaho
Population 54,599 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 4
Median Home Value $548,397 $442,087
Median Income $65,786 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 2.0% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0138 0.0133

More on Coeur D’alene: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coeur d’Alene’s overall grade-A ranking and reputation as one of the best places to live in Idaho make it an attractive choice for individuals and families. Its combination of low cost of living, median home price, and abundant recreational opportunities make it a highly desirable location within the state. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful lakeside retreat or an active outdoor lifestyle, Coeur d’Alene offers something for everyone.

Apart from its affordability, Coeur d’Alene boasts a variety of attractions and activities for residents to enjoy. Situated on the north shore of the beautiful 25-mile-long Lake Coeur d’Alene, the city offers boating, fishing, and other water sports. The surrounding Coeur d’Alene Mountains provide ample hiking trails and scenic views for outdoor enthusiasts. Additionally, the city is conveniently located west of Spokane, Washington, providing access to even more amenities and entertainment options.

Star, ID

Source: Wikipedia User Tamanoeconomico | CC BY-SA 4.0
Stat Star Idaho
Population 11,971 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 3
Median Home Value $556,806 $442,087
Median Income $88,625 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 7.3% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0085 0.0133

More on Star: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

A star on an old school house led 19th Century travelers to and from this destination and now Star, Idaho is the 4th best place to live. Today, only 11,971 residents call it home, but that is starting to change as Star is one of the fastest growing places in Idaho.

However, if you want to “Live the Life of Riley” in Star, you’re going to have to make $88,625/year to manage this city’s slightly higher than average cost of living. As a result, Star continuously ranks as one of the richest cities in the state. The people in Star are super smart, too, and it seems to be trickling down to the youngsters as over half the adult population has some sort of college degree and the high school dropout rate here is one of the lowest in Idaho. A piece of advice, you’re going to want to find time between making that median income and schlepping the kids to some of the best schools in the state to experience Star’s vast Canyon Country that includes the pristine Boise River and some of the best kayaking in the upper northwest.

Hailey, ID

Source: Public domain
Stat Hailey Idaho
Population 9,238 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 7
Median Home Value $776,233 $442,087
Median Income $77,035 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 3.2% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0068 0.0133

More on Hailey: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located in south central Idaho is Hailey, our 5th best place to live. At 9,238, “Idaho’s Hometown in the Mountains” is the largest city in the area and has seen considerable growth over the past decade.

Like you would expect from a mountain town in Idaho, Hailey offers a ton of outdoor activities for you and your family.Surrounded by the Sawtooth National Forest, you can go hiking, skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, or whatever cold outdoor activity you desire. Ski spots in the area include Rotarun Ski Area and the Sun Valley Resort.

In terms of pure numbers, Hailey ranks 3rd for property crime and 16th for violent crime making it an incredibly safe area to live. Add in top 10% scores in Idaho for economic indicators and it’s no surprise people continue to move to Hailey.

Kuna, ID

Source: Wikipedia User Jeremy Reeder | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Kuna Idaho
Population 24,845 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 6
Median Home Value $423,480 $442,087
Median Income $83,960 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 2.1% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0085 0.0133

More on Kuna: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Blink and you’ll miss Idaho’s 6th best place to live because this is truly some small town living. But, don’t let this one stoplight town fool you, there’s a bunch of big Idaho fun to be had here and the town’s overall cost of living won’t break your bank. Quite the contrary, to be honest, as the median household income in Kuna is the 4th highest income in Idaho: $83,960/year.

If you do decide to move to Kuna without a job, you’ll probably be able to find one right away whether it’s in Kuna, or the nearby cities Nampa and Boise. But, don’t wait because the locals here will not be happy if you mess with their great unemployment rate as they have the 5th lowest in the state at 2.1%.

Kuna’s big-city energy mixed with Old West charm is no small potatoes here either. You can relax at one of the town’s four wineries by day and you can experience the town’s hot night-life along Indian Creek after dark.

Chubbuck, ID

Source: Wikipedia User Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0
Stat Chubbuck Idaho
Population 15,638 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 5
Median Home Value $364,541 $442,087
Median Income $69,992 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 3.9% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0285 0.0133

More on Chubbuck: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

The closest city on our list to the Potato Capital of the World, Blackfoot, Chubbuck rounds out our list as the 7th best place to live in Idaho. Chubbuck’s bold energy and outdoor culture has transformed this town of 15,638 residents into one of the Gem State’s best of the best. It also doesn’t hurt that your Idaho dollar will go the furthest in this city as the cost of living here is one of the lowest on our top ten list.

Located just outside of the Pocatello Metropolitan Area, Chubbock’s household median income $69,992 to median home price ratio is the 23rd best in the state. An average priced home in Chubbuck will run you $364,541. More importantly, all that extra cash that you save with Chubbuck’s low cost of living will allow you the freedom to spend a little more on the things that matter: like, spending the “best day ever” with your family at the annual Chubbuck Days Festival in August.

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain
Stat Rexburg Idaho
Population 38,803 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 8
Median Home Value $393,055 $442,087
Median Income $46,286 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 7.8% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0048 0.0133

More on Rexburg: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Rexburg gets Idaho’s 8th best place to live stamp of approval by the youngsters. Rexburg has the youngest median age (21 years-old) in the state, making it a prime spot for singles.

What’s the draw for the state’s youngest population? Well, Rexburg’s cost of living is relatively reasonable compared to the rest of the state, the crime rate here is 80% less than the national average, and there’s a university inside the city’s limits. More importantly, if you love being outside, you will never be bored in Rexburg as it’s also super close to Yellowstone and Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

However, we recommend that you have a job in place before you move your life to Rexburg because the unemployment rate in this city of 38,803 residents is the 3highest in Idaho at 7.8%. We also suggest that you start your search at Brigham Young University-Idaho and Madison Memorial Hospital if you can swing it as they are two of the top companies to work for in Rexburg.

Moscow, ID

Source: Wikipedia User cheryl.reed | CC BY 2.0
Stat Moscow Idaho
Population 25,616 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 10
Median Home Value $432,402 $442,087
Median Income $53,679 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 6.4% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0141 0.0133

More on Moscow: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

If you’re looking for a classic northern Idaho small town, your journey should start and stop in the state’s 9th best place to live, Moscow.

Moscow’s cost of living is slightly higher than the state and national average, but can you really put a price on low crime, great schools, and serenity? If you answered “no” to any of those three, this is what your average cost of living will look like if you choose to buy your forever home in Moscow: your household will need to make the city’s median income, $53,679/year to afford the median home price of $432,402. Your main living expenses like–but not limited to–groceries, healthcare, transportation, and utilities are going to put a slightly bigger dent in your budget more so than if you lived in one of Idaho’s cheapest places to live. But, the crime rate here is 37% below the national average and your kids will have access to some of Idaho’s best schools. In fact, Moscow not only holds some of Idaho’s best private schools, it has one of the state’s nationally acclaimed blue ribbon schools, J. Russell Elementary School.

Sandpoint, ID

Source: Wikipedia User Mitchazenia | CC BY-SA 4.0
Stat Sandpoint Idaho
Population 8,899 1,854,109
Rank Last Year 13
Median Home Value $593,858 $442,087
Median Income $60,208 $70,214
Unemployment Rate 2.7% 3.8%
Crime Per Capita 0.0119 0.0133

More on Sandpoint: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Sandpoint ranks #10 among the best places to live in the state. As the principal city in Bonner County, Sandpoint serves as a commercial center for the region. Its economy features sectors like forestry, manufacturing, and tourism, which provide residents with diverse job opportunities. Housing is desirable with a median home value of $593,858, and the economic health is evident from its median income of 60,208.

The city’s prime location on Lake Pend Oreille’s shores, surrounded by mountains, offers year-round recreational activities like water sports and skiing at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Idaho’s largest ski area.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Idaho

Best Places To Live In Idaho Size Requirement

Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in Idaho, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit cities with populations over 100,000 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So, to create our ranking, we broke the best places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This filter left 32 cities, 60 towns, and 113 small towns.

We then decided no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Idaho have more of everything, and therefore, you need over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best.’

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Idaho

Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them using Saturday Night Science.

We ranked each place in Idaho across a number of criteria from one to 32, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, crowning the city posting the lowest overall score, the “Best Place To Live In Idaho.”

The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data, FBI Crime Data, and Zillow. We updated this article for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking Idaho’s best places to live.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Idaho. Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Meridian at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places In Idaho

If you’re looking at areas in Idaho with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

The best places to live in Idaho are Meridian, Eagle, Coeur d’Alene, Star, Hailey, Kuna, Chubbuck, Rexburg, Moscow, and Sandpoint.

Meridian made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Idaho for 2024.

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Idaho according to the data:

  1. Pocatello (Pop. 56,582)
  2. Jerome (Pop. 12,482)
  3. Caldwell (Pop. 61,212)

For more Idaho reading, check out:

Best Places To Live In Idaho Table

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value Median Income Rent Crime Per Capita
1 Meridian 119,872 2.7% $510,137 $93,296 $1,548 0.0085
2 Eagle 30,635 1.5% $798,612 $114,271 $1,754 0.0085
3 Coeur d’Alene 54,599 2.0% $548,397 $65,786 $1,212 0.0138
4 Star 11,971 7.3% $556,806 $88,625 $1,246 0.0085
5 Hailey 9,238 3.2% $776,233 $77,035 $1,095 0.0068
6 Kuna 24,845 2.1% $423,480 $83,960 $1,630 0.0085
7 Chubbuck 15,638 3.9% $364,541 $69,992 $931 0.0285
8 Rexburg 38,803 7.8% $393,055 $46,286 $900 0.0048
9 Moscow 25,616 6.4% $432,402 $53,679 $868 0.0141
10 Sandpoint 8,899 2.7% $593,858 $60,208 $1,039 0.0119
11 Hayden 15,703 3.7% $573,102 $72,227 $1,398 0.0144
12 Fruitland 6,169 3.0% $393,238 $64,167 $939 0.0091
13 Middleton 9,614 2.5% $468,505 $68,947 $1,060 0.0113
14 Rathdrum 9,556 4.6% $525,955 $80,934 $1,189 0.0073
15 Rigby 5,097 2.2% $450,677 $73,807 $915 0.0102
16 Ammon 17,921 3.1% $391,748 $76,471 $1,113 0.0178
17 Post Falls 40,002 3.3% $489,488 $71,042 $1,186 0.0144
18 Lewiston 34,270 3.2% $356,242 $63,109 $890 0.0286
19 Preston 5,668 0.6% $395,648 $51,914 $764 0.0076
20 Idaho Falls 65,685 4.8% $366,971 $66,463 $931 0.0178
21 Nampa 102,598 3.0% $396,042 $67,346 $1,201 0.0176
22 Twin Falls 52,315 3.1% $348,378 $58,024 $952 0.0198
23 Mountain Home 16,026 6.0% $339,060 $53,108 $997 0.0126
24 Weiser 5,678 5.8% $319,644 $41,491 $852 0.0044
25 Emmett 7,694 0.3% $428,806 $54,575 $804 0.0156
26 Rupert 6,066 2.9% $295,733 $53,348 $756 0.0143
27 Blackfoot 12,349 8.9% $331,966 $57,951 $767 0.0258
28 Burley 11,506 3.7% $315,637 $58,889 $871 0.0143
29 Payette 8,182 7.2% $340,535 $51,477 $792 0.0117
30 Pocatello 56,582 5.4% $313,922 $56,115 $790 0.0180
31 Jerome 12,482 3.6% $366,237 $59,656 $862 0.0145
32 Caldwell 61,212 5.1% $379,133 $65,259 $1,012 0.0191

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.