Poorest Cities In Idaho For 2021


We analyzed the cities and towns in Idaho to determine which ones are at the bottom of the income ladder.

Join RoadSnacks
Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in Idaho.

Idaho brings to mind images of Boise, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you'll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Idaho has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Idaho that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 33 places in Idaho with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Idaho for 2021:

  1. Rexburg
  2. Moscow
  3. Pocatello
  4. Emmett
  5. Caldwell
  6. Mountain Home
  7. Weiser
  8. Sandpoint
  9. Nampa
  10. Fruitland

Again, this isn't a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it's just a look at the facts.

What's the poorst city in Idaho? According to the facts, Rexburg is the poorest place in Idaho for 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best places in Idaho or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Idaho reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Idaho For 2021

1. Rexburg

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,414
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,128 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 39.3% (highest)
More on Rexburg:  Data | Photos

Rexburg, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Idaho thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 28,414 people averages the lowest median household income in Idaho and the highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

2. Moscow

Moscow, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 25,319
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $41,896 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.3% (5th highest)
More on Moscow:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Idaho is Moscow.

The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 5th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 10th highest in the Gem State.

3. Pocatello

Pocatello, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 55,525
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $46,617 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.5% (8th highest)
More on Pocatello:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Pocatello's median income ranks as the 8th lowest.

And that's a sign that there's a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 18.508595668676048% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Gem State.

4. Emmett

Emmett, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,770
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $35,970 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.2% (4th highest)
More on Emmett:  Data | Photos

Emmett ranks as the fourth poorest place in Idaho.

The town ranks as having the 2nd lowest median household income and the 4th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there's still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

5. Caldwell

Caldwell, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 54,887
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $49,046 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 16.5% (9th highest)
More on Caldwell:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Idaho is Caldwell.

The city ranks as having the 15th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 9th highest in Idaho.

Still not the best news for Caldwell.

6. Mountain Home

Mountain Home, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,166
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Income: $49,404 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 16.4% (10th highest)
More on Mountain Home:  Data | Photos

Mountain Home ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Gem State.

It ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty and the 3rd highest unemployment rate.

7. Weiser

Weiser, ID

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,323
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $36,610 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (17th highest)
Poverty Rate: 15.8% (12th highest)
More on Weiser:  Data | Photos

Weiser places as the seventh poorest city in Idaho.

The city of over 5,323 ranks as having the 12th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Sandpoint

Sandpoint, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,386
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $43,938 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (2highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.4% (6th highest)
More on Sandpoint:  Data | Photos

Sandpoint ranks as the eighth poorest city in Idaho.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 2highest in the state.

9. Nampa

Nampa, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 93,952
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $48,846 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 15.0% (13th highest)
More on Nampa:  Data | Photos

Nampa couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in Idaho; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 14th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Nampa ranks as having the 13th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Idaho.

10. Fruitland

Fruitland, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,264
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Income: $47,446 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 14.1% (17th highest)
More on Fruitland:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Idaho is Fruitland.

The city of 5,264 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Gem State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Idaho for 2021

The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don't think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "poorest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2015-2019 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The "median household income adjusted for the cost of living" attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they'd still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 33 places with more than 5,000 people in Idaho, we ranked each place from 1 to 33 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Poor Score" with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Rexburg, crowned the "Poorest Place In Idaho For 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Idaho For 2021

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Idaho, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Idaho.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the richest cities in Idaho, according to data:

    Richest: Eagle
    2nd Richest: Star
    3rd Richest: Ammon

For more Idaho reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Idaho

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Rexburg 28,414 39.3%
2 Moscow 25,319 24.3%
3 Pocatello 55,525 18.5%
4 Emmett 6,770 25.2%
5 Caldwell 54,887 16.5%
6 Mountain Home 14,166 16.4%
7 Weiser 5,323 15.8%
8 Sandpoint 8,386 21.4%
9 Nampa 93,952 15.0%
10 Fruitland 5,264 14.1%
11 Rupert 5,796 26.4%
12 Blackfoot 11,907 13.8%
13 Payette 7,487 12.7%
14 Jerome 11,653 26.1%
15 Burley 10,313 19.2%
16 Coeur D'alene 50,540 14.8%
17 Garden City 11,819 13.8%
18 Preston 5,376 16.4%
19 Rathdrum 8,284 8.6%
20 Twin Falls 48,951 14.8%
21 Middleton 7,556 11.0%
22 Boise City 226,115 13.7%
23 Idaho Falls 61,459 13.4%
24 Chubbuck 14,995 13.1%
25 Post Falls 33,225 14.7%
26 Lewiston 32,664 13.1%
27 Hayden 14,698 6.7%
28 Hailey 8,408 12.2%
29 Meridian 101,905 8.6%
30 Kuna 19,580 8.0%
31 Ammon 15,859 6.7%
32 Star 9,115 6.7%
33 Eagle 26,514 5.0%

How Is The Area In ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *