These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Idaho

We used science and data to determine which places in Idaho are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Idaho?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Idaho – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Idaho cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Gem State:

  1. Emmett (Photos)
  2. Weiser (Photos)
  3. Payette
  4. Caldwell (Photos)
  5. Jerome
  6. Coeur D’Alene
  7. Nampa (Photos)
  8. Buhl
  9. Shelley
  10. Garden City (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Eagle is the happiest place in Idaho.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

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


How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Idaho

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Idaho, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Idaho with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 41 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Idaho’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.


1. Emmett

Emmett, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,546
People Who Own Their Home: 49.64%
Married Adults: 45.96%

2. Weiser

Weiser, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,407
People Who Own Their Home: 56.69%
Married Adults: 48.19%

3. Payette

Payette, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,447
People Who Own Their Home: 55.27%
Married Adults: 46.17%

4. Caldwell

Caldwell, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 48,114
People Who Own Their Home: 60.27%
Married Adults: 48.17%

5. Jerome

Jerome, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,046
People Who Own Their Home: 55.41%
Married Adults: 54.97%

6. Coeur D’Alene

Coeur D

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 45,848
People Who Own Their Home: 51.91%
Married Adults: 46.68%

7. Nampa

Nampa, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 84,660
People Who Own Their Home: 58.35%
Married Adults: 52.29%

8. Buhl

Buhl, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,166
People Who Own Their Home: 54.94%
Married Adults: 59.45%

9. Shelley

Shelley, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,428
People Who Own Their Home: 64.86%
Married Adults: 52.7%

10. Garden City

Garden City, Idaho

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,223
People Who Own Their Home: 56.36%
Married Adults: 52.28%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Idaho reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Idaho

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Emmett 1 49.64%
Weiser 2 56.69%
Payette 3 55.27%
Caldwell 4 60.27%
Jerome 5 55.41%
Coeur D’Alene 6 51.91%
Nampa 7 58.35%
Buhl 8 54.94%
Shelley 9 64.86%
Garden City 10 56.36%
Rexburg 11 27.67%
Moscow 12 37.7%
Rathdrum 13 68.47%
Bellevue 14 53.62%
Sandpoint 15 41.32%
Twin Falls 16 54.59%
Rupert 17 54.97%
Pocatello 18 58.13%
Aberdeen 19 50.72%
Blackfoot 20 54.58%
Wendell 21 61.36%
Middleton 22 67.11%
American Falls 23 55.35%
Post Falls 24 63.14%
Kimberly 25 67.74%
Fruitland 26 81.03%
Burley 27 61.94%
Mountain Home 28 52.94%
Idaho Falls 29 60.49%
Lincoln 30 65.92%
Montpelier 31 63.32%
Hayden 32 70.92%
Kuna 33 81.88%
Hailey 34 59.68%
Lewiston 35 64.35%
Preston 36 70.72%
Chubbuck 37 68.62%
Star 38 72.06%
Meridian 39 72.74%
Ammon 40 73.13%
Eagle 41 78.34%

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.