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Most Americans have never been to Idaho. However, as the people who live there know, Idaho is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Idaho has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Gem State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 57 of Idaho's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Idaho where you'd never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in idaho for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Fort Hall is the worst small town to live in Idaho.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Idaho has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Idaho For 2020
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $82,800 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (41st worst)
More on Homedale: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $112,500 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (30th worst)
More on Marsing: Data
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $88,300 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (25th worst)
More on Glenns Ferry: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $104,500 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (10th worst)
More on Plummer: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $98,100 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (4th worst)
More on Parma: Data
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 19)
Median Home Value: $100,700 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (40th worst)
More on Teton: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $87,900 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (42nd worst)
More on Wilder: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $93,600 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.7% (2nd worst)
More on Lapwai: Data
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Idaho, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in Idaho for 2020
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 57 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Idaho
If you're analyzing teeny places in the Gem State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Idaho, according to science:
- Dalton Gardens (Pop. 2,765)
- Ketchum (Pop. 2,761)
- Iona (Pop. 2,451)
For more Idaho reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Idaho