Cost of Living in Idaho

cost of living in Idaho 2021

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    (Last Updated – 12/2021)

    People can’t seem to get enough of those Idaho potatoes. Why do we say that? In recent years Idaho has been the fourth-most popular state to move to, according to U.S. News & Report.

    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: $35,459 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 2021, Idaho has the 25th-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 18th 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 $35,459 a year on total personal consumption, according to 2020 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 $2,955 in average monthly expenses for each Idahoan.

    Housing Costs in Idaho

    Average Housing Costs in Idaho: $625 to $1,309 per month

    Housing is likely your biggest ongoing expense, no matter what state you live in. The typical Idaho home value was about $446,000 in late 2021, compared with a typical value of $313,000 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 2019 census data:

    •  Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,270

    •  Median studio rent: $625

    •  Median one-bedroom rent: $681

    •  Median two-bedroom rent: $843

    •  Median three-bedroom rent: $1,081

    •  Median four-bedroom rent: $1,309

    •  Median gross rent: $880

    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 late 2021.

    Idaho City

    Typical Home Price



    Mountain Home








    Idaho Falls


    Twin Falls








    Boise(Boise Housing Market Trends)


    Coeur d’Alene




    Utility Costs in Idaho

    Average Utility Costs in Idaho: $279 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 2021; and, What Is the Average Water Bill?

    Groceries & Food

    Average Grocery & Food Costs in Idaho: $270 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 $3,243 per person, so that’s about $270 a month.

    The Council for Community and Economic Research ranks the food costs in major American cities. The only Idaho city researchers examined was Boise. This is Boise’s grocery costs ranking for the second quarter of 2021.

    Idaho City

    Grocery Items Index




    Average Transportation Costs in Idaho: $4,900 to $13,317 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 .

    Family Makeup

    Average Annual Transportation Cost

    One adult, no children


    Two working adults, no children


    Two working adults, two children


    Health Care

    Average Health Care Costs in Idaho: $6,169 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 $6,169 per person, according to the 2020 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: $865 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


    Home-based Family Child Care



    Highest Marginal Tax Rate in Idaho: 6.925%

    Idaho assesses a state income tax in graduated brackets that are dictated by income level.

    According to the Tax Foundation’s State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2021 , residents pay a state income tax rate ranging from 1.125% to 6.925%.

    If the highest marginal tax rate of 6.925% seems high, just know that California has a top rate of 13.3%.

    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 $18,197 per year. Here’s where some of that spending may be going (costs are accurate as of Nov. 24, 2021).

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

    •  An adventurous boat tour of the Snake River: $112 for children and $190 for adults.

    •  A trip to Zoo Boise to get up close with the animals: $0 to $8, 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 25th 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 Boise as the major Idaho city considered most affordable.


    The housing market here has been red-hot, but Boise’s cost-of-living index of 102.7 could be considered tame for a big city. For comparison’s sake, the cost-of-living index in the Los Angeles metro area is 148.9. 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

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