Who is Moving to Idaho?

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Californians only make up about 27% of the total number of people moving to Idaho, still the highest single-source of newcomers next to the 11% coming in from Washington. These numbers change significantly, however, when the number of Idahoans moving out of Idaho and into these other states is considered in a net total. A net total, demonstrating the changing demographics of the region, shows that about 60% of those entering the Gem State are from California.

 California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office reported that those leaving California from 2007 to 2016 typically made less than $110,000 a year, were families with children, or individuals with only a high school education. About 50% of Californians in Idaho reported moving from Los Angeles and its surrounding counties, with 17% coming from the San Francisco area. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau for LA County and San Francisco County as references, we can get a snapshot of the average data for those leaving these counties and perhaps settling in Idaho. Analysis shows averages for these areas are 2.68 persons per household, 43.5% of individuals with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and a median household income of $78,640, to cite just a few statistics.

With Boise continuing to top many ‘Best Cities to Live In’ or ‘Most Livable’ lists, the draw of the Treasure Valley only increases; even the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live mentioned Boise’s status as the top place to live! Demographics will continue to shift as the financial and political landscapes of nearby states change and Idaho presents a haven, but for now we can at least look to data from the largest contributor of Idaho’s population growth for indicators as to who is seeking a home here.

The Major Sources of Idaho Migration

Many individuals moving to Idaho from California are coming from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Counties. Outside of California, the other major sources of Idaho migration are, in order: Washington, Utah, and foreign countries, though all of these represent significantly smaller percentages.