These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Idaho For 2018

We used science and data to determine which Idaho cities are really ghetto.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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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:

  1. Payette
  2. Jerome
  3. Burley (Photos)
  4. Rupert (Photos)
  5. Blackfoot (Photos)
  6. Caldwell (Photos)
  7. Nampa (Photos)
  8. Buhl
  9. Mountain Home (Photos)
  10. 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:


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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
  • Crime

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.


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1. Payette

Source: wikipedia

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.

2. Jerome

Source: wikipedia

Income:6th lowest
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.

3. Burley

Source: wikipedia

Income:7th lowest
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.

4. Rupert

Source: wikipedia

Income: 12th lowest
Drop out rate: 39%
Crime: Average

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.

5. Blackfoot

Source: wikipedia

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.

6. Caldwell

Source: wikipedia

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.

7. Nampa

Source: wikipedia

Income: Average
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.

8. Buhl

Source: wikipedia

Income: 9th lowest
Drop out rate: 31%
Crime: Average

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

Source: wikipedia

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.

10. Weiser

Source: wikipedia

Income: 5th lowest
Drop out rate: 36%
Crime: Low

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.

The Most Ghetto Cities in Idaho, with detailed information


Desktop users, below is a chart of top cities in Idaho, along with their crime numbers.

City Overall Rank Dropout Rate Crime Rate Incomes
Payette 1 30.00% 106 $30,040
Jerome 2 39.00% 91.9 $32,672
Burley 3 32.00% 96 $34,814
Rupert 4 39.00% 89.7 $38,847
Blackfoot 5 26.00% 108.5 $39,656
Caldwell 6 29.00% 96.6 $39,302
Nampa 7 23.00% 97.7 $40,835
Buhl 8 31.00% 79.5 $35,618
Mountain Home 9 17.00% 107 $45,648
Weiser 10 36.00% 53.1 $31,051
Twin Falls 11 20.00% 102.3 $41,589
Emmett 12 26.00% 64.1 $27,853
Fruitland 13 23.00% 78.3 $40,769
Garden City 14 18.00% 98.5 $34,931
Middleton 15 22.00% 87.8 $41,556
American Falls 16 31.00% 82.9 $38,720
Idaho Falls 17 15.00% 98.9 $46,291
Coeur D’Alene 18 16.00% 115.4 $41,064
Pocatello 19 13.00% 96.3 $41,978
Lewiston 20 15.00% 97.3 $44,817
Boise City 21 10.00% 94.1 $49,182
Moscow 22 7.00% 68.9 $30,790
Chubbuck 23 9.00% 109.9 $47,108
Sandpoint 24 16.00% 82.1 $38,519
Hailey 25 10.00% 81.5 $57,634
Rathdrum 26 19.00% 86.4 $47,845
Shelley 27 23.00% 75.1 $46,682
Ammon 27 11.00% 70.2 $56,808
Rexburg 29 4.00% 36.5 $26,441
Post Falls 30 14.00% 78.3 $49,524
Kuna 31 13.00% 63.8 $52,542
Preston 32 14.00% 35.6 $45,781
Star 33 8.00% 74.4 $63,790
Meridian 34 9.00% 69.2 $64,107
Hayden 35 12.00% 68.2 $51,304
Eagle 36 6.00% 54.7 $80,324
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.