Bringing the Economy Home

Mapping Migration: Who Moves To Idaho

Chances are you’re more likely to meet a Floridian than a North Dakotan in Idaho. From 2009 to 2010, Idaho’s seen more than 1,000 people come from the Sunshine State.

In the last decade, Idaho’s population has grown by more than 20 percent.  U.S. Census Bureau data show nearly 275,000 people moved to the Gem State from 2000 to 2010.  Idaho’s rate of growth outpaced the national average which saw its population go up by about 10 percent in the last decade.

So, where are people moving to Idaho from? We downloaded data collected by the Internal Revenue Service that tracks state-to-state movement based on where tax returns are filed each year.  The data isn’t conclusive, but it does give us clues as to where people are moving from. 

Click around the map to see the data:

Source: IRS | Download Data

It’s no surprise most of the people coming to Idaho are from nearby states.  It’s also important to note while not all of these states share a border with Idaho, some have huge populations (37 million in California, 25 million in Texas). So the big states simply have more people to move around.

Top 10 States Sending People To Idaho

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Utah
  4. Oregon
  5. Nevada
  6. Arizona
  7. Texas
  8. Montana
  9. Colorado
  10. Wyoming

The IRS data also shows something perhaps unexpected, and that we can’t easily illustrate on this map of the United States — more than 1,100 foreigners filed their tax returns in Idaho in 2009/2010.


  • I moved from Florida: it’s over-populated, over-rated and over-inflated. Having grown up in PA, the weather here has the familiar 4 seasons, almost no humidity and very little snow — it’s the best.

    • ersaunders

      KL InIdaho, did you move here recently? Was it for a new job? I was surprised to see the number of Floridians who moved to Idaho…

  • Tom von alten

    Your “downloaded data” link to an URL is 404.

    • ersaunders

      Tom — thanks for catching that, the link has been fixed.

  • Bob Baker

    Surprised there aren’t any negatives. So many going to the ND area. Perhaps still filing in Idaho?

  • David Lopez

    In your map legend you have ” 6500″ or “greater than 6,500″.

  • Geordie

    If you add in refugees who’ve come to Idaho from other countries it would represent more than most states.

    • Geordie — I have the the data that shows how many people move from foreign countries (which would include not just refugees), and that number was 1,132 from 2009-2010.

  • Sandy

    Just moved to Idaho we are from Chicago Illinois..

  • Joe D.

    Left California for the Coeur d Alene area a year ago with my family, and it was the best thing we ever did. People are good hearted, housing is more affordable, schools are great, no traffic, and it feels like I’ve gone back in time at least 30 years. What a wonderful place. Idaho a debt for taking my family in and being someplace I never want to leave.

  • SustainableMe

    i grew up in Texas , moved to Idaho in 1986. Went back to Texas for 2 years , 2009 and 2010. I was in Houston and realized that there will be big problems soon . So back to Boise. 2 years in Boise and now I am in the Orofino area. I am a country guy. Boise is to big even.

  • John

    Are you aware of the “American Redoubt” project? It might be relevant…

    Idaho is one of the top areas recommended for survivalist/prepper types looking for a place to move. I’m considering making the move myself from Florida some day in the next few years.

  • And if you are a law abiding citizen, you can shoot back.

  • We moved here from Southern Calif over 1 yr. ago. The single best thing we could ever have done to improve the quality of our lives. Luckily, we have a business we can run from anywhere so we didn’t have to worry about finding a lower paying job. We figured we would easily save a minimum of 20K a yr., factoring in cost of living, utility bills, insurance and registrations, and fees and taxes. So. Cal is a stressful place to live, and filled with negativity due to the crime, filth, unions, dealing with the govt. if you have a business, the amount of illegal immigrants and people who are lazy and don’t want to work. People know how to work the system and milk it to support themselves and do whatever hey can get away with. The quality of medical care most people receive is not as good as here, it’s medical care for the masses, at the lowest cost possible. While I personally left a wonderful community and great neighbors, there is a greater percent of people with twisted, superficial and materialistic values. I have been impressed with the overall Christian spirit here, the generosity, hospitality, and courteousness of people of all ages here. As for schools and education, I feel children will learn and be successful as long the parents remain committed to their children and involved in their education, at home and school. Children must know parents have high expectations for them, and must also communicate with the teachers. When teachers know you are on top of things and know what’s going on, you will get the best education for your child.

    • Ted

      You should realize that Idaho education and medical are consistently rated near the bottom nationally. You did leave a lot of over crowding and crime, but you certainly didn’t land in a better education and medical environment.

    • IdahoMan

      Welcome Karen.

      Please keep Idaho pro-freedom and pro-gun. It’s good for newcomers to understand the principles that make for a great state. Sometimes people move from more oppressive states seeking a better life and inadvertently bring the very policies that they fled from with them and they don’t even realize it.

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