30 Safest Places To Live In Idaho – 2016

Was your city named one of the Safest Places to Live in Idaho? Continue reading below to find out which cities made the 2016 list.

About the State of Idaho

Many of us know Idaho for their state vegetable, the potato. But there’s a lot more to Idaho than this staple of the dinner plate. Bordered by Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Canada, Idaho is also known as the Gem state because nearly every known gemstone has been found there and it’s home to Hell’s Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America and Borah Peak which ranks among the 200 highest peaks in North America.

Despite ranking as the sixth fastest-growing state just a few years ago, Idaho is only the 44th most densely populated state in the nation likely since it’s also 14th in terms of land. Does the sparse and spread out population account for why Idaho made it to #10 on our rankings of the Safest Places To Live In the United States for 2016? We decided to dive a bit deeper into the numbers and find out about the different towns, cities and communities found in the state of Idaho to better understand which ones contributed to the overall safety of the state.

These are the thirty safest places to live in Idaho.


How We Pick the Safest Places to Live

We compared and analyzed data from several national sources, including the latest annual Uniform Crime Report from the FBI to determine what towns and cities rank as the safest in the state of Idaho. Our research was limited to those communities with a minimum population of 2,500 residents.

Overall crime rate for each location was calculated by looking at the total number of both violent and property crimes compared to the total reported population to determine the crime rate per 1,000 residents. This overall crime rate was used to stack rank communities based on their overall crime rate to determine the safest places to live in Idaho.

Towns and cities not found in the FBI Uniform Crime Report or with less than 2,500 residents were excluded from our research and rankings.


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Idaho’s Safest Cities

Filer, Idaho’s Safest City

Located in Twin Falls County, the small city of Filer is named after the former general manager of the Twin Falls Water and Land Company. Established in 1906, Filer has hosted the Twin Falls County Fair and Rodeo since 1916, an event for which it is best known.

Population: 2,622
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.0
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 4.6

Rexburg

Part of Madison County, the city of Rexburg was founded in 1883 by a small group of Mormon pioneers from Salt Lake City who settled along the Teton River banks. In 1890, when Idaho became the 43rd state in the union, Rexburg was recognized as the second largest city in Idaho.

Population: 26,733
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.3
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 8.2

Kimberly

Kimberly is located in north Twin Falls County thanks to the Carey Act of 1901 which lead to the development of more than a million acres of arid land. The town is named after Peter L. Kimberly, who helped found the Twin Falls Land and Water Company and the subsequent land and irrigation project which included the development of the Milner Dam which made commercial irrigation possible in the area.

Population: 3,472
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.9
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 7.8

Soda Springs

Known to pioneers and travelers to the West, Soda Springs was known as the “Oregon Trail Oasis”. Years later in 1937, the city of Soda Springs became famous when a drill project to reach hot water for a bath house and unleashed a geyser. Today, it is the only captive geyser in the world.

Population: 2,954
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000):0.3
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 8.8

Hailey

The county seat of Blain County and found in the Wood River Valley in the central area of Idaho, the city is named after John Hailey, a Congressional delegate from the Idaho Territory. Found near Hailey is the Sawtooth National Forest. Until 1999, Hailey was home to the Sun Valley Polo Club.

Population: 8,034
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 7.2

Wendell

Wendell is small town of less than 3,000 residents in Gooding County, Idaho. Wendell was a stop on the Rupert -Bliss cutoff, which was a branch of the Oregon Short line Railroad. The town is surrounded by a rich and productive farming district.

Population: 2,691
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.5
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 10.0

Fruitland

Fruitland is a small rural community located by the Oregon border in southwest Idaho. Originally just 160 acres of apple and prune orchards, the small town is surrounded by some of the best orchards in the valley, earning it the name Fruitland.

Population: 4,786
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.4
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 11.5

Shelley

Located in Bingham County, the town of Shelley has played host to the Idaho Annual Spud Day”, celebrated every third Saturday in September since 1927. The town was founded in 1904 and named after John F. Shelley who owned a small supply store and was able to convince the railroad company to create a special stop for his ordered supplies.

Population: 4,389
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000):0.2
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 11.8

Preston

The seat of Franklin County, the city of Preston was settled by Mormon pioneers who arrived in the northern part of the Cache Valley in 1866. Three years earlier, just north and west of where the town was settled, the Bear River Massacre occurred when the U.S. Army raided a Shoshone Indian camp. The site is now listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Population: 5,161
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 12.4

Emmett

Part of the Boise-Nampa Metropolitan Statistical Area, Emmett is the county seat and only city in Gem County. Permanent settlement of the area that would become Emmett began in the 1860s after gold was discovered in the Boise Basin. The town was named after Emmett Cahalan, son of an early settler of the area.

Population: 6,513
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.3
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 11.2

St. Anthony

The county seat of Fremont County, St. Anthony is part of the Rexburg Micropolitan Statistical Area. The town was established in 1888. The areas is known for long cold and snowy winters and hot summers. Erik Estrada, former TV star of “CHiPS” is an actual full-fledged police officer in St. Anthony as of July 1, 2016.

Population: 3,446
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.7
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 12.8

Meridian

Founded with a homestead grant filed in 1893, the original site of Meridian was a plot of land belonging to Eliza Ann Senger. It was incorporated as a village a decade later with a population of roughly 200 residents and a small but active business center. In 1897, the town added a creamery to support a growing dairy industry and later fruit orchards which ended in the mid-1940s.

Population: 85,733
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.8
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 13.8

Heyburn

Named after Idaho U.S. Senator Weldon B. Heyburn, the city of Heyburn is located in Minidoka County. Activity in the area of Magic Valley began with gold mining operations on Snake River and shortly thereafter as the O.S.L. Railroad Company started bringing material from Minidoka to the river to build a bridge for the railroad.

Population: 3,189
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.9
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 13.8

Salmon

Found along the Salmon River (known as “The River of No Return”, the city of Salmon is a small rural community tucked in the mountains of Central Idaho. During their crossing of the Continental Divide, Lewis and Clark received essential supplies from Shoshone Indians of the Salmon Valley as they continued their expedition to the Pacific.

Population: 3,006
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.7
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 11.3

Grangeville 

Found along the edge of the Camas Prairie and Nez Perce National Forest, the city of Grangeville was settled on a large meadow on the Camas Prairie crossed by prospectors and gold seekers during the 1860s and seventies. The meadow was incorporate in 1897 and became the County Seat of Idaho County in 1902.

Population: 3,117
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 14.8

American Falls 

Tucked along the edge of the Snake River and American Falls Reservoir, the town of American Falls serves as the main hub for Power County in southeastern Idaho. Major crops for this agricultural community include potatoes, grains and sugar beets. While farming is the primary industry of the area, tourism and recreation are becoming increasing aspects of the local economy.

Population: 4,351
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.4
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 17.2

Rigby

The County Seat of Jefferson County, Rigby is considered part of the Idaho Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area and is directly between the larger cities of Rexburg and Idaho Falls. Many of the local residents commute to jobs in Rexburg with a large group working for the Idaho National Laboratory, which is referred to locally as “The Site”.

Population: 4,061
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.2
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 18.5

Weiser

Located in southwest Idaho where the Weiser and Snake Rivers meet, the small rural community of Weiser is the county seat of Washington County. The town was named after Peter Weiser, and American soldier and part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The town may be best known as host to the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest and Festival.

Population: 5,292
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 14.8

Rathdrum

Named after a town of the same name in Ireland, Rathdrum is found in Kootenai County. Located in the Idaho Panhandle on the edge of the Rathdrum Prairie and surrounded by beautiful mountains, Rathdrum, like many of the small towns and cities of Idaho offers residents and visitors unspoiled natural beauty and quiet rural living.

Population: 7,147
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.3
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 19.6

Buhl

Founded by Frank Buhl after he traveled to Salt Lake City to inspect a mining property available for purchase. Learning it had already been sold, he headed to Idaho to view the proposed irrigation project in southern Idaho headed by Peter Kimberly and Stanley Milner. In 1905, the town-site of Buhl was platted. Today, it is the second largest town in Twin Falls County.

Population: 4,235
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.1
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 18.9

Mountain Home

Originally a stop along the Overland Stage Road, the first site of Mountain Home was located on Rattlesnake Creek. The county seat of Elmore County, Mountain Home was incorporated in 1896 after the Oregon Short Line Railroad was added.

Population: 13,695
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.4
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 18.1

Montpelier

The largest community in Bear Lake Valley, Montpelier is part of the farming region north of Bear Lake along the Utah Border. Settled by Mormon pioneers in 1863 headed to the Oregon Trail, Montpelier is also close to Idaho’s border with Wyoming. Part of the town’s rich history includes the 1896 bank heist by Butch Cassidy and members of his Wild Bunch.

Population: 2,532
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 19.0

Boise

The capital and most populated city in Idaho, Boise is also the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, the city is the 99th largest in the U.S. based on the 2010 Census. The city of Boise was incorporated in 1863. Most of the urban area is located on a broad, flat plain with Mountains rising to the northeast.

Population: 216,260
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.0
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 20.9

Jerome

The county seat of Jerome County, Jerome is part of the Twin Falls Micropolitan Statistical Area. The town and county name is believed to come from Jerome Kuhn, the son of W.S. Kuhn who had purchased property from Frank Buhl. Nearby Jerome, the small community of Hunt still holds remnants of the Minidoka Relocation Camp which was one of ten Japanese American internment camps used during World War II.

Population: 11,064
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.4
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 20.7

Homedale

Located in southwestern Idaho along the banks of the Snake River, Homedale is a city in Owyhee County. The name of the town was chosen at random from a hat during a community picnic. Part of the Boise City-Nampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area, Homedale is 2,231 feet above sea level.

Population: 2,608
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.9
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 22.2

Orofino

Found along the banks of the Orofino Creek and the north bank of the Clearwater River, Orofino is a small city in Clearwater County. The name means “fine gold” in Spanish and is a major city within the Nez Perce Indian Reservation having been established by Clifford Fuller as a trading post on his homestead.

Population: 3,096
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 22.6

Payette

Originally named “Boomerang”, the settlement was a construction camp for the Oregon Short Line at the mouth of the Payette River beginning in 1882 that later moved upstream after the railroad was completed. It is the county seat of Payette County and is part of the Ontario, OR-ID Micrpolitan Statistical Area.

Population: 7,417
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.8
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 20.6

Ketchum

Named after fur trapper and guide David Ketchum, the town was one of the richest mining districts in the Northwest in the 1880s until the value of silver dropped, ending the mining boon. Found in Blaine County, Ketchum is adjacent to Sun Valley beneath Bald Mountain. Tourists flock to the area for world-famous skiing and other outdoor recreation.

Population: 2,705
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.2
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 22.4

Idaho Falls

The county seat of Bonneville County, Idaho Falls is the largest city in Easter Idaho and the principal city of the Idaho Falls, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area. Frequently listed in lists of best places to live, the area serves as a hub to all eastern Idaho and western Wyoming and is noted for its economic success, quality of life and world-class outdoor recreation.

Population: 58,606
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.1
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 25.6

Blackfoot

Blackfoot is the county seat of Bingham County and is known as the “Potato Capital of the World” and site of the Idaho Potato Museum, which houses the world’s largest baked potato and potato chip. In the late 1800s thanks to an irrigation effort that brought water to the town, residents were able to plant trees and the town was nicknamed “Grove City”.

Population: 11,833
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.9
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 26.5

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Don’t See Your City?

Your city or town may not have been included in our list of safest places to live in Idaho because we were unable to find complete data in the latest annual FBI Uniform Crime Report or the reported population was below our minimum threshold of 2,500 residents.

1. Filer
2. Rexburg
3. Kimberly
4. Soda Springs
5. Hailey
6. Wendell
7. Fruitland
8. Shelley
9. Preston
10. Emmett
11. St. Anthony
12. Meridian
13. Heyburn
14. Salmon
15. Grangeville
16. American Falls
17. Rigby
18. Weiser
19. Rathdrum
20. Buhl
21. Mountain Home
22. Montpelier
23. Boise
24. Jerome
25. Homedale
26. Orofino
27. Payette
28. Ketchum
29. Idaho Falls
30. Blackfoot
31. Gooding
32. Rupert
33. Moscow
34. Post Falls
35. Nampa
36. Caldwell
37. Twin Falls
38. Sandpoint
39. McCall
40. Lewiston
41. Coeur d’Alene
42. Garden City
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