Cost of Living in Idaho

cost of living in Idaho 2021

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    (Last Updated – 03/2023)

    People can’t seem to get enough of those Idaho potatoes. Why do we say that? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2022 Idaho was the second-fastest growing state in the nation, after Florida.

    In 2018 alone, almost 18,000 new residents moved to Idaho from California, followed by thousands more newcomers from Arizona, Colorado, and Montana.

    The moderate Idaho cost of living is likely contributing to the migration, so let’s take a closer look at what it costs to build a life in the Gem State.

    What’s the Average Cost of Living in Idaho?

    Average Cost of Living in Idaho: $39,739 per year

    If you move to Idaho, you won’t be looking at a particularly expensive or particularly affordable lifestyle. According to MERIC data gathered in the third quarter of 2022, Idaho has the 28th-lowest cost of living in the United States, putting it in the middle of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    For a lower cost of living, you might want to head directly east to Wyoming, which has the 16th lowest cost of living.

    While these rankings give a general idea of how expensive a state is to live in, you may still wonder: What is the average cost of living in Idaho?

    You can expect to spend about $39,739 a year on total personal consumption, according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis . This is how that lump sum breaks down.


    Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Idaho

    Housing and Utilities


    Health Care


    Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)


    Gas and Energy Goods


    All Other Personal Expenditures


    That’s $3,312 in average monthly expenses for each Idahoan.

    Housing Costs in Idaho

    Average Housing Costs in Idaho: $762 to $1,776 per month

    Housing is likely your biggest ongoing expense, no matter what state you live in. The typical Idaho home value was about $429,606 in February 2023, compared with a typical U.S. home value of $359,000 nationwide, according to Zillow.

    Whether you own or rent, as well as how large your rental is, can affect how much you’ll spend monthly. Here’s what that spending might look like, per 2021 census data:

    •  Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,395

    •  Median studio rent: $762

    •  Median one-bedroom rent: $819

    •  Median two-bedroom rent: $936

    •  Median three-bedroom rent: $1,554

    •  Median four-bedroom rent: $1,309

    •  Median five-bedroom (or more) rent: $1,776

    •  Median gross rent: $1,035

    The specific area of Idaho you live in can also affect how much you’ll spend. These are the typical home values for some of Idaho’s major cities, according to Zillow, in January 2023.

    Idaho City

    Typical Home Price

    Boise(Boise Housing Market Trends)


    Coeur d’Alene


    Idaho Falls


    Twin Falls
















    Mountain Home




    Utility Costs in Idaho

    Average Utility Costs in Idaho: $297 per month

    Another ongoing expense you need to budget for is utilities. This is what that spending may look like in an average month in Idaho.


    Average Idaho Bill





    Cable & Internet




    Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021;; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2022; and, What Is the Average Water Bill?

    Groceries & Food

    Average Grocery & Food Costs in Idaho: $275 per person, per month

    How much should you anticipate spending on food in Idaho?

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Idaho’s average annual (non-restaurant) food cost is $3,296 per person, so that’s about $275 a month.

    The Council for Community and Economic Research ranks the food costs in major American cities. The only Idaho cities researchers examined were Boise and Twin Falls. These are their respective grocery costs rankings for the second quarter of 2022.

    Idaho City

    Grocery Items Index



    Twin Falls



    Average Transportation Costs in Idaho: $5,316 to $15,073 per year

    How much you’ll spend getting around each year is affected by where you live and what you or your family’s transportation needs are.

    Here’s a glimpse at what it may cost to get from place to place in Idaho, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator for 2023.

    Family Makeup

    Average Annual Transportation Cost

    One adult, no children


    Two working adults, no children


    Two working adults, three children


    Health Care

    Average Health Care Costs in Idaho: $6,714 per person, per year

    Health care is a major expense in every state in the country. In Idaho, the average annual cost of health care is $6,714 per person, according to the 2021 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report.

    How much you would actually spend depends on location, medical needs, and coverage.

    Child Care

    Average Child Care Costs in Idaho: $728 to $1,002 or more per child, per month

    Funding child care is a challenge for many parents, which isn’t surprising when you can spend around $1,000 a month on child care in states like Idaho.

    Residents who need help financing child care in Idaho can look into the Idaho Child Care Program , which pays part of child care costs for eligible working families.

    This is what the average child care costs are in Idaho, according to 2021 data from .

    Type of Child Care

    Average Cost Per Month, Per Child

    Infant Classroom


    Toddler Classroom


    Preschooler Classroom


    Home-based Family Child Care



    Highest Marginal Tax Rate in Idaho: 6.925%

    Starting in 2023, Idaho will assess a flat rate of 5.8% on taxable income, according to the Tax Foundation’s State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2023 .

    Idaho’s flat rate of 5.8% will be the highest among the current flat tax states, of which there are 11 states, including Idaho.

    Miscellaneous Costs

    Now that we know what it costs to live in Idaho, let’s dive into what it costs to have some fun in this state.

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis says personal expenditures for the average Idahoan are $21,227 per year. Here’s where some of that spending may be going (costs are accurate as of March 2023).

    •  A family visit to Yellowstone National Park as part of the park stretches into Idaho: $35 a day, for seven consecutive days, for a group entering in a single private vehicle.

    •  An adventurous boat tour of the Snake River: $112 for children and $205 for adults.

    •  A trip to Zoo Boise to get up close with the animals: $0 to $12, depending on age.

    How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Idaho?

    What it means to live “comfortably” in Idaho will depend on your lifestyle, income, family size, and more. That said, you can get a general idea of how accessible living comfortably is in each state.

    Idaho ranks 30th on U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings , which measure the average cost of living in each state against the average amount of money most households have there.

    MERIC viewed the affordability in Idaho more favorably, ranking the state as having the 28th lowest cost of living in the United States.

    What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Idaho?

    The Council for Community and Economic Research pinpointed Twin Falls and Boise as major Idaho cities considered most affordable.

    Twin Falls

    Located about a two-hour drive south of Boise, the small city of Twin Falls has just over 53,000 residents and a cost-of-living index of only 91.3. It is known for its vicinity to the Snake River Canyon and beautiful Shoshone Falls. With its low cost of living and relatively close proximity to a big city, Twin Falls might be a good option for those looking for scenic views and local farm town vibes.


    The housing market here has been red-hot, but Boise’s cost-of-living index of 107.7 could be considered tame for a big city. For comparison’s sake, the cost-of-living index in the Los Angeles metro area is 150.7. Boise, the capital, is a beautiful and outdoorsy city with almost a quarter-million residents, and downtown abounds with coffee shops, craft breweries, and trendy eateries.

    SoFi Home Loans

    The Idaho cost of living is neither super high nor ultra low. Folks have been flocking to the rugged, scenic Gem State. Maybe you’re next.

    Although there are many home loans on the market to choose from, SoFi offers a range of mortgage loans at competitive interest rates and with as little as 5% down.

    You can check your rate in just two minutes.

    Learn More

    Photo credit: iStock/Mike Worley

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