The 10 Best Places To Live In Idaho For 2022

Check out how science determined which Boise suburbs made the top of the list.

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

Well you’ve come to the right place as we’ve been ranking the best places in Idaho for the better part of a decade now.

We all see the stories come through our Facebook feed where people talk about how awesome it is where they live in their little corner of Idaho, and people have a hard time determining who, actually, lives in the best place. So, HomeSnacks set out to determine where the best places to live in Idaho might be.

You might be surprised by the results. Boise is an awesome place to live, but its suburbs actually rank slightly higher. While Idaho as a state is a pretty darn great place to live, we wanted to find the pockets of greatness. So, in order to determine where the best possible place to live in Idaho might be, we had to crunch some numbers that fall into the awesome category, weigh all of the categories against one another, and get an answer.

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.

The 10 Best Places To Live In Idaho For 2022

  1. Meridian
  2. Eagle
  3. Star
  4. Chubbuck
  5. Kuna
  6. Rexburg
  7. Moscow
  8. Hailey
  9. Post Falls
  10. Hayden

What’s the best place to live in Idaho for 2022? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Meridian ranks as the best place to live in Idaho for 2022 amongst the 31 places above 5,000 people. Sorry small towns in Idaho, you have your own list.

Read to learn more about the top ten places to live in Idaho, a detailed explanation of how we ranked the places, a map of the best places, and a full table of all the places in the state.

It’s our ninth time ranking the cream of the crop in Idaho, so we have a ton of data to help you find the right place to call home.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Idaho reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Idaho For 2022

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 107,787 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 4th most expensive in the state, so your household median income needs to be at least $76,403/year to afford Meridian’s median home price, $304,500.

You shouldn’t have trouble finding a job in the city “Built for business…designed for living” as the unemployment rate here is the 10th lowest in the state at 3.0%. 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 107,787
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $304,500
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
More on Meridian: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Meridian, ID

Source: Public domain

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 $91,414/year. Yes, you have to have the big bucks if you want to play in Eagle–probably why there are only 28,145 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 6th 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.)

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 28,145
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $455,800
Unemployment Rate: 1.5%
More on Eagle: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Eagle, ID

A star on an old school house led 19th Century travelers to and from this destination and now Star, Idaho is the 3rd best place to live. Today, only 9,819 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 $71,759/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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,819
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $306,000
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
More on Star: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Star, ID

The closest city on our list to the Potato Capital of the World, Blackfoot, Chubbuck rounds out our list as the 4th best place to live in Idaho. Chubbuck’s bold energy and outdoor culture has transformed this town of 15,301 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 $61,442 to median home price ratio is the 17th best in the state. An average priced home in Chubbuck will run you $189,600. 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,301
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $189,600
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
More on Chubbuck: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Chubbuck, ID

Blink and you’ll miss Idaho’s 5th 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: $69,940/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 6th lowest in the state at 2.4%.

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,985
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $226,200
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
More on Kuna: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Kuna, ID

Rexburg gets Idaho’s 6th best place to live stamp of approval by the youngsters. Rexburg has the youngest median age (23 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 29,064 residents is the 3highest in Idaho at 8.3%. 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 29,064
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $221,700
Unemployment Rate: 8.3%
More on Rexburg: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain

If you’re looking for a classic northern Idaho small town, your journey should start and stop in the state’s 7th 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, $42,262/year to afford the median home price of $240,500. 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,652
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $240,500
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
More on Moscow: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Moscow, ID

Located in south central Idaho is Hailey, our 8th best place to live. At 8,575, “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 1st for property crime and 7th 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,575
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $398,400
Unemployment Rate: 0.7%
More on Hailey: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Hailey, ID

Source: Public domain

Up two spots from last year Post Falls has a new look and title to unveil, and it starts with the title “Idaho’s 9th best place to live”.

The third Idaho-Washington border town to make our list, you’d be lucky to call this Spokane River city home for many reasons. For one, it’s super safe. Simply put, it ranked the 18th safest as there were only 709 crimes recorded here at the time of this report and the city’s overall crime rate is 26% below the national average. Secondly, you only need to make $62,033/year to afford the 8th best home price in the state at $246,400. And third, if you are a parent of a soon to be high school student, the high school dropout rate in Post Falls is not only one of the lowest in the state, it’s one of the lowest in the country.

And it wouldn’t be doing Post Falls justice if we didn’t mention that it scored a 9/10 for amenities on our SnackAbility scale. There’s a ton of fun to be had in Post Falls and it starts with a bike ride through the city’s Black Bay Park.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,971
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $246,400
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
More on Post Falls: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Post Falls, ID

Access to Hayden Lake via the shores of Honeysuckle Beach is reason enough for some to want to call Hayden home. Making the other benefits this city has to offer the cherry on top for an area that already has plenty for water-recreation lovers to enjoy and is conveniently close to Coeur d’Alene. Hayden is the 10th best place to live in Idaho for 2022.

Hayden’s 3rd lowest rates of poverty in the state speaks volumes about the quality of life in town. However, if you want to get in on that action, it could cost more than in other cities. Homes here have the 6th highest median value in the state, coming in at $280,000. But that figure is to be expected when your community lands a spot on this list and has schools like Hayden Elementary, which earn an 8/10 rating from GreatSchools.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,049
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $280,000
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
More on Hayden: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Hayden, ID

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Idaho

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, 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 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 left us with 31 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 to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

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

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Idaho across a number of criteria from one to 31, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Idaho”.

The criteria we looked at were:

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

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Idaho? That would be Meridian.

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 When It Comes To Living 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.

Meridian made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Idaho for 2022.

Best Towns To Live In Idaho

  1. Tyhee (Pop. 1,066)
  2. Ketchum (Pop. 2,719)
  3. Dalton Gardens (Pop. 2,356)
  4. Iona (Pop. 2,266)
  5. Hidden Springs (Pop. 2,474)
  6. Lincoln (Pop. 2,808)
  7. Grangeville (Pop. 3,153)
  8. Sun Valley (Pop. 1,398)
  9. Soda Springs (Pop. 2,963)
  10. Robie Creek (Pop. 1,570)

Best Small Towns To Live In Idaho

  1. Hayden Lake (Pop. 731)
  2. Fernan Lake Village (Pop. 152)
  3. Blanchard (Pop. 233)
  4. Bennington (Pop. 283)
  5. Genesee (Pop. 951)
  6. Conkling Park (Pop. 74)
  7. Bloomington (Pop. 220)
  8. Troy (Pop. 888)
  9. Dover (Pop. 709)
  10. Wardner (Pop. 155)

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

  1. Emmett (Pop. 6,942)
  2. Weiser (Pop. 5,358)
  3. Jerome (Pop. 11,824)

For more Idaho reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Idaho?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Meridian 107,787 3.0% $304,500
2 Eagle 28,145 1.5% $455,800
3 Star 9,819 3.2% $306,000
4 Chubbuck 15,301 3.4% $189,600
5 Kuna 20,985 2.4% $226,200
6 Rexburg 29,064 8.3% $221,700
7 Moscow 25,652 6.2% $240,500
8 Hailey 8,575 0.7% $398,400
9 Post Falls 34,971 3.0% $246,400
10 Hayden 15,049 3.4% $280,000
11 Ammon 16,403 2.9% $220,400
12 Middleton 8,005 3.8% $224,100
13 Lewiston 32,853 3.3% $204,600
14 Coeur D’alene 51,491 3.7% $276,600
15 Idaho Falls 62,417 3.7% $179,600
16 Sandpoint 8,692 3.6% $282,600
17 Preston 5,477 0.0% $188,200
18 Fruitland 5,390 3.4% $146,100
19 Twin Falls 49,819 2.9% $175,900
20 Burley 10,476 3.6% $135,900
21 Rathdrum 8,672 6.0% $233,800
22 Mountain Home 14,308 6.0% $153,800
23 Nampa 96,825 5.1% $191,800
24 Blackfoot 11,936 5.3% $152,200
25 Rupert 5,820 2.1% $123,300
26 Pocatello 56,016 6.3% $154,000
27 Caldwell 56,734 6.2% $188,300
28 Payette 7,655 6.6% $134,300
29 Emmett 6,942 2.0% $153,700
30 Weiser 5,358 6.9% $122,100
31 Jerome 11,824 3.8% $146,800

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to live in Idaho.

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.