Idaho (i//) is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. Idaho is the 14th most expansive, the 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state.
Idaho is a mountainous state with an area larger than that of all of New England. It is landlocked, surrounded by the states of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and the Canadian province of British Columbia. However, the network of dams and locks on the Columbia River and Snake River make the city of Lewiston the farthest inland seaport on the Pacific coast of the contiguous United States.
Idaho's nickname is the "Gem State", because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found here.7 In addition, Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets can be found in any significant quantities, the other being India.89 Additionally Idaho is sometimes called the "Potato State" owing to its popular crop. The state motto is Esto Perpetua (Latin for "Let it be forever").
The exact origin of the name remains a mystery.10 In the early 1860s, when the United States Congress was considering organizing a new territory in the Rocky Mountains, eccentric lobbyist George M. Willing suggested the name "Idaho," which he claimed was derived from a Shoshone language term meaning "the sun comes from the mountains" or "gem of the mountains". Willing later claimed that he had made up the name himself.1112 Congress ultimately decided to name the area Colorado Territory when it was created in February 1861. Thinking they would get a jump on the name, locals named a community in Colorado "Idaho Springs".
However, the name "Idaho" did not go away. The same year Congress created Colorado Territory, a county called Idaho County was created in eastern Washington Territory. The county was named after a steamship named Idaho, which was launched on the Columbia River in 1860. It is unclear whether the steamship was named before or after Willing's claim was revealed. Regardless, a portion of Washington Territory, including Idaho County, was used to create Idaho Territory in 1863.13
Despite this lack of evidence for the origin of the name, many textbooks well into the 20th century repeated as fact Willing's account that the name "Idaho" derived from the Shoshone term "ee-da-how".
An excerpt from a 1956 Idaho history textbook:
- "Idaho" is a Shoshoni Indian exclamation. The word consists of three parts. The first is "Ee", which in English conveys the idea of "coming down". The second is "dah" which is the Shoshoni stem or root for both "sun" and "mountain". The third syllable, "how", denotes the exclamation and stands for the same thing in Shoshoni that the exclamation mark (!) does in the English language. The Shoshoni word is "Ee-dah-how", and the Indian thought thus conveyed when translated into English means, "Behold! the sun coming down the mountain".15
According to local knowledge the name Idaho originated from the Nez Perce language and stands for "the Land of many Waters", a kidney shaped drainage area in North Central Idaho in which a multitude of rivers come together. These rivers include the Snake, the Salmon, the Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, the Selway, and more. The famed steamboat was probably named Idaho because it voyaged along the Columbia river to "the Land of many Waters".
Idaho borders six states and one Canadian province. The states of Washington and Oregon are to the west, Nevada and Utah are to the south, and Montana and Wyoming are to the east. Idaho also shares a short border with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. The landscape is rugged with some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the United States. For example, at 2.3 million acres (9,300 km2), the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is the largest contiguous area of protected wilderness in the continental United States. Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state with abundant natural resources and scenic areas. The state has snow-capped mountain ranges, rapids, vast lakes and steep canyons. The waters of the Snake River rush through Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in the United States. Shoshone Falls plunges down rugged cliffs from a height greater than that of Niagara Falls. The major rivers in Idaho are the Snake River, the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille River, the Clearwater River, the Salmon River. Other significant rivers include the Coeur d'Alene River, the Spokane River, the Boise River, and the Payette River. The Salmon River empties into the Snake in Hells Canyon and forms the southern boundary of Nez Perce County on its north shore, of which Lewiston is the county seat. The Port of Lewiston, at the confluence of the Clearwater and the Snake Rivers is the farthest inland seaport on the West Coast at 465 river miles from the Pacific at Astoria, Oregon.16
Idaho's highest point is Borah Peak, 12,662 ft (3,859 m), in the Lost River Range north of Mackay. Idaho's lowest point, 710 ft (216 m), is in Lewiston, where the Clearwater River joins the Snake River and continues into Washington. The Sawtooth Range is often considered Idaho's most famous mountain range.17 Other mountain ranges in Idaho include the Bitterroot Range, the White Cloud Mountains, the Lost River Range, the Clearwater Mountains, and the Salmon River Mountains.
Southern Idaho, including the Boise metropolitan area, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Twin Falls are in the Mountain Time Zone. (A legislative oddity (15 U.S.C. ch. 6 §264) theoretically placed this region in the Central Time Zone, but this error was corrected with a 2007 Amendment.)18 Areas north of the Salmon River, including Coeur d'Alene, Moscow, Lewiston, and Sandpoint are in the Pacific Time Zone.
Idaho has much variation in its climate. Although the state's western border is located about 350 miles (560 km) from the Pacific Ocean, the maritime influence is still felt in Idaho, especially in the winter when cloud cover, humidity, and precipitation are at their maximum extent. This influence has a moderating effect in the winter where temperatures are not as low as would otherwise be expected for a northern state with predominantly high elevations.19 The maritime influence is least prominent in the eastern part of the state where the precipitation patterns are often reversed, with wetter summers and drier winters, and seasonal temperature differences more extreme, showing a more semi-arid continental climate.
Climate in Idaho can be hot, although extended periods over 98 °F (37 °C) for the maximum temperature are rare, except for the lowest point in elevation, Lewiston, which correspondingly sees very little snow. Hot summer days are tempered by the low relative humidity and cooler evenings during summer months since, for most of the state, the highest diurnal difference in temperature is often in the summer. Winters can be cold, although extended periods of bitter cold weather below zero are unusual. This is what led the railroad tycoon Harriman family to develop the most famous ski resort, Sun Valley. Idaho's all-time highest temperature of 118 °F (48 °C) was recorded at Orofino on July 28, 1934; the all time lowest temperature of −60 °F (−51 °C) was recorded at Island Park Dam on January 18, 1943.
|Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various Idaho cities. (°F)|
- Alturas Lake
- Bear Lake (Idaho-Utah)
- Dierkes Lake
- Hayden Lake
- Henry's Lake
- Hidden Lake
- Lake Cascade
- Lake Coeur d'Alene
- Lake Lowell
- Lake Ruvet
- Lake Walcott
- Payette Lake, (McCall)
- Pend Oreille
- Little Redfish Lake
- Lucky Peak Lake
- Pettit Lake
- Priest Lake
- Redfish Lake
- Sawtooth Lake
- Stanley Lake
- Warm Lake
- Williams Lake (Salmon)
Humans may have been present in the Idaho area as long as 14,500 years ago. Excavations at Wilson Butte Cave near Twin Falls in 1959 revealed evidence of human activity, including arrowheads, that rank among the oldest dated artifacts in North America. American Indian peoples predominant in the area included the Nez Perce in the north and the Northern and Western Shoshone in the south.
An early presence of French-Canadian trappers is visible in names and toponyms that have survived to this day: Nez Percé, Coeur d'Alène, Boisé, Payette, some preexisting the Lewis and Clark and Astorian expeditions which themselves included significant numbers of French and Metis guides recruited for their familiarity with the terrain.
Idaho, as part of the Oregon Country, was claimed by both the United States and Great Britain until the United States gained undisputed jurisdiction in 1846. From 1843 to 1849 present-day Idaho was under the de facto jurisdiction of the Provisional Government of Oregon. When Oregon became a state, what is now Idaho was in what was left of the original Oregon Territory not part of the new state, and designated as the Washington Territory.
Between then and the creation of the Idaho Territory on July 4, 1863, at Lewiston, parts of the present-day state were included in the Oregon, Washington, and Dakota Territories. The new territory included present-day Idaho, Montana, and most of Wyoming. The Lewis and Clark expedition crossed Idaho in 1805 on the way to the Pacific and in 1806 on the return, largely following the Clearwater River both directions. The first non-indigenous settlement was Kullyspell House, established on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille for fur trading in 1809 by David Thompson of the North West Company.2021 In 1812 Donald Mackenzie, working for the Pacific Fur Company at the time, established a post on the lower Clearwater River near present-day Lewiston. This post, known as "MacKenzie's Post" or "Clearwater", operated until the Pacific Fur Company was bought out by the North West Company in 1813, after which it was abandoned.2223 The first attempts at organized communities, within the present borders of Idaho, were established in 1860.2425 The first permanent, substantial incorporated community was Lewiston in 1861.
After some tribulation as a territory, including the illegal and chaotic transfer of the territorial capital from Lewiston in December 1864 to Boise in January 1865,26 disenfranchisement of Mormon polygamists upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1877,27 and a federal attempt to split the territory between Washington Territory which gained statehood in 1889, a year before Idaho, and the state of Nevada which had been a state since 1863, Idaho achieved statehood in 1890. The economy of the state, which had been primarily supported by metal mining, shifted towards agriculture, forest products and tourism.
In recent years, Idaho has expanded its commercial base as a tourism and agricultural state to include science and technology industries. Science and technology have become the largest single economic center (over 25% of the state's total revenue) within the state and are greater than agriculture, forestry and mining combined.28
At the 2010 Census, 89.1% of the population was White (84.0% non-Hispanic white), 0.6% Black or African American, 1.4% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 2.5% of two or more races. 11.2% of Idaho's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race).30
As of 2011, 27.2% of Idaho's children under the age of 1 belonged to minority groups.31
Idaho had an estimated population of 1,429,096 in 2005, which was an increase of 33,956, or 2.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 135,140, or 10.4%, since 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 58,884 people (that is 111,131 births minus 52,247 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 75,795 people into the state. There are large numbers of Americans of English and German ancestry in Idaho. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 14,522 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 61,273 people.
Nampa, the state's second largest city, has experienced particularly strong growth in recent years. According to census estimates Nampa has grown 22.1% to nearly 65,000 residents between 2000 and 2003. As of 2007, the population in Nampa was estimated at 84,000. Growth of 5% or more over the same period has also been observed in Caldwell, Coeur d'Alene, Meridian, Post Falls and Twin Falls.32
From 1990 to 2010, Idaho's population increased by over 560,000 (55%).
The Boise Metropolitan Area (officially known as the Boise City-Nampa, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area) is Idaho's largest metropolitan area. Other metropolitan areas in order of size are Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Lewiston.
As of 2006, six official micropolitan statistical areas are based in Idaho. Twin Falls is the largest of these.
According to a report produced by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life the self-identified religious affiliations of Idahoans over the age of 18 as of 2008 are:34
|Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints||23|
|Eastern Orthodox||< 0.5|
|Other Christian||< 0.5|
|Other World||< 0.5|
|Don't know/refused||< 0.5|
The largest denominations by number of members in 2000 were The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 311,425; (2008: 406,764) the Catholic Church with 130,847; the Assemblies of God with 18,745; and the United Methodist Church with 17,683.35
Gross state product for 2004 was $43.6 billion. The per capita income for 2004 was $26,881. Idaho is an important agricultural state, producing nearly one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States. All three varieties of wheat, Dark Northern Spring, Hard Red, and Soft White are grown in the state. Nez Perce County is considered a premier Soft White growing locale.
Important industries in Idaho are food processing, lumber and wood products, machinery, chemical products, paper products, electronics manufacturing, silver and other mining, and tourism. The world's largest factory for barrel cheese, the raw product for processed cheese is located in Gooding, Idaho. It has a capacity of 120,000 metric tons per year of barrel cheese and belongs to the Glanbia group.36 The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), a government lab for nuclear energy research, is also an important part of the eastern Idaho economy. Idaho also is home to three facilities of Anheuser-Busch which provide a large part of the malt for breweries located across the nation.
Locally, a variety of industries are important. Outdoor recreation is a common example ranging from numerous snowmobile and downhill and cross-country ski areas in winter to the evolution of Lewiston as a retirement community based on mild winters, dry, year-round climate and one of the lowest median wind velocities anywhere, combined with the rivers for a wide variety of activities. Other examples would be ATK Corporation, which operates three ammunition and ammunition components plants in Lewiston. Two are sporting and one is defense contract. The Lewis-Clark valley has an additional independent ammunition components manufacturer and the Chipmunk rifle factory until it was purchased in 2007 by Keystone Sporting Arms and production was moved to Milton, Pennsylvania. Four of the world's six welded aluminum jet boat (for running river rapids) manufacturers are in the Lewiston-Clarkston, WAvalley. Wine grapes were grown between Kendrick and Juliaetta in the Idaho Panhandle by the French Rothschilds until Prohibition. In keeping with this, while there are no large wineries or breweries in Idaho, there are numerous and growing numbers of award winning boutique wineries and microbreweries in the northern part of the state.
Today, the largest industry in Idaho is the science and technology sector. It accounts for over 25% of the state's total revenue and over 70% of the state's exports. Idaho's industrial economy is growing, with high-tech products leading the way. Since the late 1970s, Boise has emerged as a center for semiconductor manufacturing. Boise is the home of Micron Technology, the only U.S. manufacturer of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. Micron at one time manufactured desktop computers, but with very limited success. Hewlett-Packard has operated a large plant in Boise since the 1970s, which is devoted primarily to LaserJet printers production.37 ON Semiconductor, whose worldwide headquarters in Pocatello, is a widely recognized innovator in modern integrated mixed-signal semiconductor products, mixed-signal foundry services, and structured digital products. Coldwater Creek, a women's clothing retailer, is headquartered in Sandpoint. Sun Microsystems (now a part of Oracle Corporation) has two offices in Boise and a parts depot in Pocatello. Sun brings $4 million in annual salaries and over $300 million of revenue to the state each year.
A number of Fortune 500 companies started in or trace their roots to Idaho, including JC Penney (as The Golden Rule) in Twin Falls, Safeway in American Falls, Albertsons in Boise, JR Simplot across southern Idaho, and Potlatch Corp. in Lewiston. Zimmerly Air Transport in Lewiston-Clarkston was one of the five companies in the merger centered around Varney Air Lines of Pasco, Washington, which became United Airlines and subsequently Varney Air Group that became Continental Airlines.
The state personal income tax ranges from 1.6% to 7.8% in eight income brackets. Idahoans may apply for state tax credits for taxes paid to other states, as well as for donations to Idaho state educational entities and some nonprofit youth and rehabilitation facilities.
The state sales tax is 6% with a very limited, selective local option up to 6.5%. Sales tax applies to the sale, rental or lease of tangible personal property and some services. Food is taxed, but prescription drugs are not. Hotel, motel, and campground accommodations are taxed at a higher rate (7% to 11%). Some jurisdictions impose local option sales tax.
The energy landscape of Idaho is favorable to the development of renewable energy systems. The state is rich in renewable energy resources but has limited fossil fuel resources. The Snake River Plain and smaller river basins provide Idaho with some of the best hydroelectric power resources in the nation and its geologically active mountain areas have significant geothermal power and wind power potential. These realities have shaped much of the state’s current energy landscape.
Most of the energy consumed in Idaho is imported from other states. Imports account for more than 80% of total energy consumption, including all of Idaho's natural gas and petroleum supplies and more than half of its electricity. Of the electricity consumed in Idaho in 2005, 48% came from hydroelectricity, 42% was generated by burning coal and 9% was generated by burning natural gas. The remainder came from other renewable sources such as wind.39
The state’s numerous river basins allow hydroelectric power plants to provide 556,000 MWh, which amounts to about three-fourths of Idaho’s electricity generated in the state. Washington State provides most of the natural gas used in Idaho through one of the two major pipeline systems supplying the state. Although the state relies on out-of-state sources for its entire natural gas supply, it uses natural gas-fired plants to generate 127,000 MWh, or about ten percent of its output. Coal-fired generation and the state’s small array of wind turbines supplies the remainder of the state’s electricity output. The state produces 739,000 MWh but still needs to import half of its electricity from out-of-state to meet demand.40
While Idaho’s 515 trillion BTU total energy consumption is low compared with other states and represents just 0.5% of United States consumption, the state also has the nation’s 11th smallest population, 1.5 million, so its per capita energy consumption of 352 million Btu is currently just above the national average of 333 million Btu.40 As the 13th‑largest state in terms of land area, distance creates the additional problem of "line loss". When the length of an electrical transmission line is doubled, the resistance to an electric current passing through it is also doubled.
In addition, Idaho also has the 6th fastest growing population in the United States with the population expected to increase by 31% from 2008 to 2030.41 This projected increase in population will contribute to a 42% increase in demand by 2030, further straining Idaho’s finite hydroelectric resources.42
Idaho has the potential to generate 44,320 GWh/year from 18,076 MW of wind power, and 7,467,000 GWh/year from solar power using 2,061,000 MW of photovoltaics (PV), including 3,224 MW of rooftop photovoltaics, and 1,267,000 MW of concentrated solar power.43
The Idaho Transportation Department is the government agency responsible for Idaho's transportation infrastructure, including operations and maintenance as well as planning for future needs. The agency is also responsible for overseeing the disbursement of federal, state, and grant funding for the transportation programs of the state.49
Idaho is among the few states in the nation without a major freeway linking the two largest metropolitan areas of Boise in the south and Coeur d'Alene in the north. U.S. 95 links the two ends of the state, but like many other highways in Idaho, it is badly in need of repair and upgrade. In 2007 the Idaho Transportation Department stated that the state's highway infrastructure faces a $200 million per year shortfall in maintenance and upgrades. Interstate 84 is the main highway linking the southeast and southwest portions of the state, along with Interstate 86 and Interstate 15.
Major federal aid highways in Idaho:
Major airports include the Boise Airport serving the southwest region of Idaho, and the Spokane International Airport (located in Spokane, Washington), which serves northern Idaho. Other airports with scheduled service are the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport serving the Palouse; the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, serving the Lewis-Clark Valley and north central and west central Idaho; The Magic Valley Regional Airport in Twin Falls; the Idaho Falls Regional Airport; and the Pocatello Regional Airport.
Idaho is served by three transcontinental railroads. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) connects the Idaho Panhandle with Seattle, Portland, and Spokane to the west, and Minneapolis and Chicago to the east. The BNSF travels through Kootenai, Bonner, and Boundary counties. The Union Pacific Railroad crosses North Idaho entering from Canada through Boundary and Bonner, and proceeding to Spokane. Canadian Pacific Railway uses Union Pacific Railroad tracks in North Idaho carrying products from Alberta to Spokane and Portland, Oregon. Amtrak's Empire Builder crosses northern Idaho, with its only stop being in Sandpoint. Montana Rail Link also operates between Billings, Montana and Sandpoint, Idaho. The Idaho Panhandle remains the railway center of the Northwest.
The Union Pacific Railroad also crosses southern Idaho traveling between Portland, Oregon, Green River, Wyoming, and Ogden, Utah and serves Boise, Nampa, Twin Falls, and Pocatello. There has been a recent call to return Amtrak service to southern Idaho.
The Port of Lewiston is the farthest inland Pacific port on the west coast. A series of dams and locks on the Snake River and Columbia River facilitate barge travel from Lewiston to Portland, where goods are loaded on ocean-going vessels.
The Constitution of Idaho is roughly modeled on the national constitution with several additions. The constitution defines the form and functions of the state government, and may be amended through plebiscite. Notably, the state constitution presently requires the state government to maintain a balanced budget. As result, Idaho has limited debt (construction bonds, etc.).
All of Idaho's state laws are contained in the Idaho Code. The code is amended through the Legislature with the approval of the Governor. Idaho still operates under its original (1889) state constitution.
The constitution of Idaho provides for three branches of government: the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Idaho has a bicameral legislature, elected from 35 legislative districts, each represented by one senator and two representatives.
Since 1946, statewide elected constitutional officers have been elected to four-year terms. They include: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller (Auditor before 1994), Treasurer, Attorney General, and Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Last contested in 1966, Inspector of Mines was an original elected constitutional office. Afterward it was an appointed position and ultimately done away with entirely in 1974.
Idaho's government has an alcohol monopoly.
The governor of Idaho serves a four-year term, and is elected during what is nationally referred to as midterm elections. As such, the governor is not elected in the same election year as the president of the United States. The current governor is Republican C. L. "Butch" Otter, who was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.
Idaho's legislature is part-time. However, the session may be extended if necessary, and often is. Because of this, Idaho's legislators are considered "citizen legislators", meaning that their position as a legislator is not their main occupation.
The Idaho Legislature has been continuously controlled by the Republican Party since the late 1950s, although Democratic legislators are routinely elected from Boise, Pocatello, Blaine County and the northern Panhandle.
The highest court in Idaho is the Idaho Supreme Court. There is also an intermediate appellate court, the Idaho Court of Appeals, which hears cases assigned to it from the Supreme Court. The state's District Courts serve seven judicial districts.50
Idaho is divided into political jurisdictions designated as counties. Since 1919 there are 44 counties in the state, ranging in size from 410 to 8,502 square miles (1,062 to 22,020 square kilometers).
|Ada||Boise||1864||380,920||25.00 %||1,060||1.21 %|
|Adams||Council||1911||3,499||00.23 %||1,370||1.57 %|
|Bannock||Pocatello||1893||80,812||05.30 %||1,147||1.31 %|
|Bear Lake||Paris||1893||5,798||00.38 %||1,049||1.20 %|
|Benewah||St. Maries||1915||9,352||00.61 %||784||0.90 %|
|Bingham||Blackfoot||1885||43,903||02.88 %||2,120||2.42 %|
|Blaine||Hailey||1895||21,731||01.43 %||2,661||3.04 %|
|Boise||Idaho City||1864||7,504||00.49 %||1,907||2.18 %|
|Bonner||Sandpoint||1907||41,168||02.70 %||1,920||2.19 %|
|Bonneville||Idaho Falls||1911||99,135||06.51 %||1,901||2.17 %|
|Boundary||Bonners Ferry||1915||10,962||00.72 %||1,278||1.46 %|
|Butte||Arco||1917||2,751||00.18 %||2,234||2.55 %|
|Camas||Fairfield||1917||1,126||00.07 %||1,079||1.23 %|
|Canyon||Caldwell||1891||183,939||12.07 %||604||0.69 %|
|Caribou||Soda Springs||1919||6,826||00.45 %||1,799||2.06 %|
|Cassia||Burley||1879||21,348||01.40 %||2,580||2.95 %|
|Clark||Dubois||1919||910||00.06 %||1,765||2.02 %|
|Clearwater||Orofino||1911||8,176||00.54 %||2,488||2.84 %|
|Custer||Challis||1881||4,254||00.28 %||4,937||5.64 %|
|Elmore||Mountain Home||1889||28,997||01.90 %||3,101||3.54 %|
|Franklin||Preston||1913||12,454||00.82 %||668||0.76 %|
|Fremont||St. Anthony||1893||12,551||00.82 %||1,896||2.17 %|
|Gem||Emmett||1915||16,513||01.08 %||566||0.65 %|
|Gooding||Gooding||1913||14,295||00.94 %||734||0.84 %|
|Idaho||Grangeville||1861/1864||15,448||01.01 %||8,502||9.71 %|
|Jefferson||Rigby||1913||23,860||01.57 %||1,106||1.26 %|
|Jerome||Jerome||1919||20,468||01.34 %||602||0.69 %|
|Kootenai||Coeur d'Alene||1864||137,475||09.02 %||1,316||1.50 %|
|Latah||Moscow||1888||35,906||02.36 %||1,077||1.23 %|
|Lemhi||Salmon||1869||7,808||00.51 %||4,570||5.22 %|
|Lewis||Nezperce||1911||3,594||00.24 %||480||0.55 %|
|Lincoln||Shoshone||1895||4,503||00.30 %||1,206||1.38 %|
|Madison||Rexburg||1914||37,456||02.46 %||473||0.54 %|
|Minidoka||Rupert||1913||18,645||01.22 %||763||0.87 %|
|Nez Perce||Lewiston||1861/1864||38,975||02.56 %||856||0.98 %|
|Oneida||Malad City||1864||4,130||00.27 %||1,202||1.37 %|
|Owyhee||Murphy||1863||10,877||00.71 %||7,697||8.79 %|
|Payette||Payette||1917||22,966||01.51 %||410||0.47 %|
|Power||American Falls||1913||7,683||00.50 %||1,443||1.65 %|
|Shoshone||Wallace||1861/1864||12,913||00.85 %||2,636||3.01 %|
|Teton||Driggs||1915||8,833||00.58 %||451||0.52 %|
|Twin Falls||Twin Falls||1907||74,284||04.87 %||1,928||2.20 %|
|Valley||Cascade||1917||8,862||00.58 %||3,734||4.27 %|
|Washington||Weiser||1879||10,206||00.67 %||1,474||1.68 %|
Total Counties: 44. Total 2008 Population Est.: 1,523,816. Total Area: 87,530 square miles (226,700 km2).
Three counties were first designated as such by the Washington Territorial Legislature in 1861;51 they were subsequently redesignated as Idaho counties in 1864. The 1861 Nez Perce county has since been broken up into Nez Perce, Lewis, Boundary, Benewah, Latah, Kootenai, and Clearwater counties.
Idaho license plates begin with a county designation based on the first letter of the county's name. Where a letter is at the beginning of more than one name, a number accompanies precedingly in alphabetical order. This reflects an anomalous coincidental situation wherein 10 counties begin with B, seven with C and four with L, which is 21 of the 44 counties.
|2012||64.5% 420,390||32.6% 212,699|
|2008||61.5% 403,012||36.1% 236,440|
|2004||68.38% 409,235||30.26% 181,098|
|2000||67.17% 336,937||27.64% 138,637|
|1996||52.18% 256,595||33.65% 165,443|
|1992||42.03% 202,645||28.42% 137,013|
|1988||62.08% 253,881||36.01% 147,272|
|1984||72.36% 297,523||26.39% 108,510|
|1980||66.46% 290,699||25.19% 110,192|
|1976||59.88% 204,151||37.12% 126,549|
|1972||64.24% 199,384||26.04% 80,826|
|1968||56.79% 165,369||30.66% 89,273|
|1964||49.08% 143,557||50.92% 148,920|
|1960||53.78% 161,597||46.22% 138,853|
After the Civil War, many Midwestern and Southern Democrats moved to the Idaho Territory. As a result, the early territorial legislatures were solidly Democrat-controlled. In contrast, most of the territorial governors were appointed by Republican presidents and were Republicans themselves. This led to sometimes-bitter clashes between the two parties, including a range war with the Democrats backing the sheepherders and the Republicans the cattlemen. That ended with the "Diamondfield" Jack Davis murder trial. In the 1880s, Republicans became more prominent in local politics.
Since statehood, the Republican Party has usually been the dominant party in Idaho, as there was a polar shift in social and political stance between the two parties, when the Democrats became more liberal and the Republicans more conservative. At one time, Idaho had two Democratic parties, one being the mainstream and the other called the Anti-Mormon Democrats, lasting into the early 20th century. In the 1890s and early 1900s, the Populist Party enjoyed prominence while the Democratic Party maintained a brief dominance in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Since World War II, most statewide elected officials have been Republicans. The last time the Democratic Party held a majority in either house of the state legislature was the House of Representatives in 1958 by one seat. However, Democrats did hold the governorship from 1971 to 1995, despite the state's Republican tilt.
Idaho Congressional delegations have also been generally Republican since statehood. Several Idaho Democrats have had electoral success in the House over the years, but the Senate delegation has been a Republican stronghold for decades. Several Idaho Republicans, including current Senator Mike Crapo, have won reelection to the Senate, but only Frank Church has won reelection as a Democrat. Church was the last Idaho Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race, in 1974. Walt Minnick's 2008 win in the First Congressional District was the state's first Democratic Congressional victory in 16 years.
In modern times, Idaho has been a reliably Republican state in presidential politics as well. It has not supported a Democrat for president since 1964. Even in that election, Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater in the state by fewer than two percentage points, compared to a landslide nationally. In 2004, Republican George W. Bush carried Idaho by a margin of 38 percentage points and with 68.4% of the vote, winning in 43 of 44 counties. Only Blaine County, which contains the Sun Valley ski resort, supported John Kerry, who owns a home in the area. In 2008 Barack Obama's 36.1 percent52 showing was the best for a Democratic presidential candidate in Idaho since 1976. However, Republican margins were narrower in 1992 and 1996.
In the 2006 elections, Republicans, led by gubernatorial candidate C. L. "Butch" Otter, won all the state's constitutional offices and retained both of the state's seats in the United States House of Representatives. However, Democrats picked up several seats in the Idaho Legislature, notably in the Boise area.53
Population > 100,000 (urbanized area)
Population > 50,000 (urbanized area)
Population > 30,000 (urbanized area)
Population > 10,000 (urbanized area)
Smaller Towns and Cities
- California National Historic Trail
- City of Rocks National Reserve
- Craters of the Moon National Monument
- Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
- Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
- Minidoka National Historic Site
- Nez Perce National Historical Park
- Oregon National Historic Trail
- Yellowstone National Park
- Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- Camas National Wildlife Refuge
- Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
- Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge
- Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge
- Bear Lake State Park
- Bruneau Dunes State Park
- Castle Rocks State Park
- City of Rocks National Reserve
- Coeur d'Alene Parkway State Park
- Dworshak State Park
- Eagle Island State Park
- Farragut State Park
- Harriman State Park
- Hells Gate State Park
- Henrys Lake State Park
- Heyburn State Park
- Lake Cascade State Park
- Lake Walcott State Park
- Land of the Yankee Fork State Park
- Lucky Peak State Park
- Massacre Rocks State Park
- McCroskey State Park
- Old Mission State Park
- Ponderosa State Park
- Priest Lake State Park
- Round Lake State Park
- Thousand Springs State Park
- Three Island Crossing State Park
- Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
- Winchester Lake State Park
The Idaho State Board of Education oversees three comprehensive universities. The University of Idaho in Moscow was the first university in the state (founded in 1889). It opened its doors in 1892 and is the land-grant institution and primary research university of the state. Idaho State University in Pocatello opened in 1901 as the Academy of Idaho, attained four-year status in 1947 and university status in 1963. Boise State University is the most recent school to attain university status in Idaho. The school opened in 1932 as Boise Junior College and became Boise State University in 1974. Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston is the only public, non-university 4-year college in Idaho. It opened as a normal school in 1893.
Idaho has three regional community colleges: North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene; College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls; and College of Western Idaho in Nampa, which opened in 2009. A public technical college, Eastern Idaho Technical College, operates in Idaho Falls.
Private institutions in Idaho are Boise Bible College, affiliated with congregations of the Christian churches and churches of Christ; Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, which is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; The College of Idaho in Caldwell, which still maintains a loose affiliation with the Presbyterian Church; Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa; and New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, of reformed Christian theological background.
Central Idaho is home to one of North America's oldest ski resorts, Sun Valley, where the world's first chairlift was installed in 1936. Other noted outdoor sites include Hell's Canyon, the Salmon River, and its embarkation point of Riggins.
|Boise Hawks||Baseball||Northwest - (Class A)|
|Boise State Broncos||NCAA||Div I FBS – MWC|
|Idaho Vandals||NCAA||Div I FBS – WAC|
|Idaho State Bengals||NCAA||Div I FCS – Big Sky|
|Idaho Falls Chukars||Baseball||Pioneer - (Rookie)|
|Idaho Stampede||Basketball||NBA D-League|
|Idaho Steelheads||Ice hockey||ECHL|
Boise is the host to the largest 5 km run for women, the St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration.
|Amphibian||Eastern Tiger Salamander|
|Tree||Western White Pine|
|Slogan(s)||Great Potatoes. Tasty Destinations.|
|Song(s)||Here We Have Idaho|
|Released in 2007|
|Lists of United States state insignia|
- State Amphibian: Eastern Tiger Salamander
- State Bird: Mountain Bluebird55
- State Dance: Square Dance
- State Fish: Cutthroat trout
- State Flower: Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii)
- State Fossil: Hagerman Horse (Equus simplicidens)
- State Fruit: Huckleberry
- State Gem: Idaho star garnet
- State Horse: Appaloosa
- State Motto: Esto perpetua ("Let it be perpetual")56
- State Insect: Monarch butterfly
- State Raptor: Peregrine falcon
- State Song: Here We Have Idaho
- State Tree: Western White Pine
- State Vegetable: Potato
- "Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- "Beauty Reset". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
- "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
- "Western States Data Public Land Acreage". Wildlandfire.com. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "USDA Forest Service – Comment Form". Fs.fed.us. 2005-04-01. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- Just, Rick. "Star Garnet." Idaho Snapshots. Meridian, Idaho: Radio Idaho, 1990. 9.
- "Garnet Digging at the Emerald Creek Garnet Area". United States Forest Service. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Star Garnet: The Gem of Life". StarGemstones.com. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Idaho-its meaning, origin and application : Rees, John E., 1868–1928 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Idaho – MSN Encarta". Archived from the original on 2009-11-01.
- "Did Idaho Get Its Name As a Result of a Hoax?". Museumofhoaxes.com. 2006-04-25. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- http://imnh.isu.edu/digitalatlas/geog/explore/essay.pdf |title=Origins of the Name "Idaho" and How Idaho Became a Territory in 1863 |Idaho Museum of Natural History
-  etymonline.com
- Barber & Martin (1956). Idaho in the Pacific Northwest. Caxton Printers Ltd. Library of Congress 55-5192.
- "Port of Lewiston". u-s-history.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Sawtooth Range". Idahoaclimbingguide.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "264, Part of Idaho in fourth zone".
- "Climate of Idaho". Wrcc.dri.edu. 1954-02-20. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "David Thompson's Trading Post, Idaho Forts, American Forts Network".
- Meinig, D. W. (1995) . The Great Columbia Plain (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classic ed.). University of Washington Press. pp. 36, 55. ISBN 0-295-97485-0.
- "Fur Trade Posts In Idaho, Idaho State Historical Society.".
- "Donald MacKenzie's Post, Idaho Forts, American Forts Network".
- Bennett, Eldon T. "An Early History of Franklin". Franklin, Idaho. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- "Elias Davidson Pierce and the Founding of Pierce" (PDF). Idaho State Historical Society. August 1966. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- ""Mormon" Entry for The Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States, David S. Tanenhaus" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "The Power of Idaho". Idaho Economic Development Association. 2004. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
- Resident Population Data. "Resident Population Data – 2010 Census". 2010.census.gov. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- Exner, Rich (June 3, 2012). "Americans under age 1 now mostly minorities, but not in Ohio: Statistical Snapshot". The Plain Dealer.
- "Idaho QuickFacts from the U.S. Census Bureau". Quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Population and Population Centers by State". United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
- "RLS report 2-22.indd" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "State Membership Report – Idaho". Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
- "Zuivelzicht" April 25, 2007
- "Today in History: March 4". Memory.loc.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Facts At a Glance". Idaho Lottery. 2007. Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "2007 Idaho Energy Plan". Idaho Legislative Council Interim Committee on Energy, Environment and Technology. 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- "Idaho Energy Profile". Energy Information Administration. 2009. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance Frequently Asked Questions". Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance. 2009. Retrieved 2007-06-02.dead link
- "Idaho Energy Complex". Idaho Energy Complex. 2009. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- Renewable Energy Technical Potential
- U.S. Installed Wind Capacity
- EIA (July 27, 2012). "Electric Power Monthly Table 1.17.A.". United States Department of Energy. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- EIA (July 27, 2012). "Electric Power Monthly Table 1.17.B.". United States Department of Energy. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2012-08-16.
- FAQ. ITD. 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-22. "The transportation department also oversees federal grants to 15 rural and urban public transportation systems, provides state rail planning and rail-project development and supports bicycle and pedestrian projects."
- "Idaho District Court Websites". Isc.idaho.gov. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
- "IdahoHistory.net". IdahoHistory.net. 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- Idaho Secretary of State Election Division, "November 4, 2008, General Election Results"
- dead link
- 2008 statewide totalsdead link
- "Idaho Secretary of State: State Symbols". Idaho Secretary of State. State of Idaho. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- "Idaho history homepage". Idahohistory.net. 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
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|News stories from Wikinews|
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|Travel information from Wikivoyage|
- State of Idaho government website
- Idaho at the Open Directory Project
- Energy Profile for Idaho
- Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
- Idaho Newspapers
- Idaho State Databases – Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Idaho state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.
- Idaho State Facts
- Log Cabins in America: The Finnish Experience, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan
- The History of Idaho
- U.S. Census Bureau
- USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Idaho
- Visit Idaho site – The official state tourism website
- Geographic data related to Idaho at OpenStreetMap
|Nevada • Utah|
|List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on July 3, 1890 (43rd)
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