There are lots of people who throw the term ‘ghetto’ around. But which of the largest cities in Idaho are the most ghetto of all?
How do you decide if a place is ghetto or not? You ask the internet. According to the Urban Dictionary, a ghetto is defined as:
“urban; of or relating to (inner) city life” and “poor; of or relating to the poor life.”
Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where ghettos might exist in a state, and then put out a list.
After analyzing the largest cities here, we came up with this list as the most ghetto places to live in Idaho:
- Burley (Photos)
- Rupert (Photos)
- Blackfoot (Photos)
- Caldwell (Photos)
- Nampa (Photos)
- Mountain Home (Photos)
- Weiser (Photos)
In case you’re wondering, the city of Eagle is the least ghetto city of all we measured.
Read on below to see where your hometown ranked and why.
For more Idaho reading, check out:
What ghetto criteria did we use?
In order to rank the most ghetto places in Idaho, we had to determine what criteria defines a ghetto city or neighborhood.
Since a ghetto is defined as a poor area, we used income levels, crime and education levels as a guide to determine where the most broke citizens of a state live.
Additionally, the staples of inner city life include cheap and discounted retail outlets.
We started by making a list of all cities with more than 4,000 people in Idaho that are listed on the 2014 American Community Survey.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Area Vibes, this is the criteria we used:
- Household income levels
- High school graduation rates
- Number of convenience stores
- Number of drug stores
- Number of discount stores
Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.
All of these results are listed in a per capita basis. Meaning number of stores per person in a state. Additionally, high school graduation rates are determined by looking at the total number of people who live in a city, not the current graduation rate of an area’s high schools.
Income: 3rd lowest
Drop out rate: 30%
Crime: 5th worst
When you look at the unbiased data, Payette, north of Boise and right on the Oregon state line, is the most ghetto place in Idaho. Let’s see why.
Residents are the 3rd poorest in the state, where families bring in about $30,000 a year in combined incomes. The government sets the poverty bar at $25,000 for a family of 4, so many folks in Payette are struggling to make ends meet.
3 in 10 residents never got a high school diploma by the age of 25, and crime is one of the worst in the state. There was a murder here in 2014, and you have a 1 in 48 chance of being a victim of a property crime for every year you spend here. That’s high for a state like Idaho.
Drop out rate: 39%
Crime: Above average
A whopping 39% of folks in Jerome never got a high school diploma, and incomes are really low as a result. You’ll only find one other city where there are more uneducated people in the state (Rupert, below).
Jerome is along I-84 near Twin Falls.
Drop out rate: 32%
Crime: 13th worst
Burley is a few exits down from Jerome. The population here is also very uneducated, and families average about $35,000 a year in combined incomes.
There are also a far higher number of convenience and drug stores per capita here than in other cities in Idaho. Sociologists have indicated that discount shopping experiences like these are a staple of inner city life.
Income: 12th lowest
Drop out rate: 39%
This general area of Idaho is the most uneducated of the bunch. Here in Rupert, nearly 4 in 10 residents never got a diploma by the age of 25. That means incomes are going to be low, and crime is going to be a lot higher.
Income: Below average
Drop out rate: 26%
Crime: 3rd highest
Believe it or don’t, but little Blackfoot Idaho is the 3rd most dangerous place in Idaho, statistically. This city along I-15 north of Pocatello is mostly a place for property crimes. If you spent a year there, you’d have about a 1 in 30 chance of being the victim yourself.
Income: Below average
Drop out rate: 29%
Crime: 11th worst
Caldwell, north of Nampa, has a 6.1% unemployment rate, which is the 3rd highest in the state. Additionally, 1 in 10 homes is vacant here. Those numbers may be a reflection of the statistics we cited above.
Drop out rate: 23%
Crime: 9th highest
Nampa is the largest city by far to make this list. Crime is far above the state average, and nearly 1 in 4 residents never finished high school.
Income: 9th lowest
Drop out rate: 31%
Crime isn’t so bad in Buhl, a tiny city in the Twin Falls area. However, 3 in 10 residents are uneducated, and many struggle to make ends meet each month.
9. Mountain Home
Drop out rate: 17%
Crime: 4th highest
A whopping 14% of homes in Mountain Home were vacant last year, which is the highest number in the state of Idaho. While incomes are and education levels are about average, crime is the 4th worst in the state.
Income: 5th lowest
Drop out rate: 36%
Weiser is a relatively safe place to live. However, income levels and education levels are some of the lowest in Idaho. Therefore, it’s technically a bit ghetto.
Other Highlights From The Study
Not ghetto at all: The following are the least ghetto areas in the Gem State: Eagle, Hayden, Meridian, Star and Preston. Three are Boise suburbs.
How did Boise and Coeur D’Alene fare? Somewhere in the middle. Coeur D’Alene is the most dangerous place in the state, however. And that’s not something to be proud of.
There You Have It
If you’re measuring the locations in Idaho where there are a high number of poor and uneducated residents, and where there are a high number of discounted shopping stores, this is an accurate list.
Now that you read that, you might want to watch a hilarious ‘Visit Idaho’ commercial spoof. Click here to watch it.
We also wrote about the 10 Drunkest Cities in Idaho if you didn’t happen to see it.
Desktop users, below is a chart of top cities in Idaho, along with their crime numbers.