Capital city Boise
Population 1.839.106 (2020)
Surface 216.632 km²
Governor Brad Little (R)
Member of the US since 1890

A map of Idaho

Idaho (pronounced Aai-daa-hoo) is one of the fifty states of the United States. The state is located in the northwest of the country. Idaho is bordered to the east by Montana and Wyoming, to the south by Utah and Nevada, to the west by Oregon and Washington, and to the north by neighboring Canada. Idaho’s abbreviation is ID. Its nicknames are ‘The Gem State’ (the gem state) and ‘The Potatoe State’ (the potato state). In Idaho, many gems are found and many potatoes are grown. The license plates of the cars even sayFamous Potatoes! . About 1.8 million people live in Idaho. The capital of Idaho is Boise. Originally, Idaho was part of the Oregon Territory. Many indigenous peoples lived in this area, but more and more Americans settled during the 19th century. Northern Idaho was originally part of Washington Territory, but it was later added to Idaho. This gives Idaho its elongated shape and borders Canada. Idaho officially became a state in 1890, joining as the 43rd state. Most residents live in the north and south of the state, as the central part is very mountainous. Idaho is known as the “red state,” meaning the Republican Party has a large following. Also, Idaho is one of the more conservative states.


Indigenous History

Idaho was originally inhabited by several indigenous tribes, including the Nez Percé. In Idaho, there are still many reservations for native tribes. Idaho was one of the last areas in the Americas to be explored. French fur hunters came to Idaho in the 18th century, but the area was not properly mapped until 1805-1806 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Idaho was part of the greater Oregon Territory, which included everything between Oregon, Wyoming, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.contained. The area was jointly controlled by the British and Americans and both countries were allowed to hunt, live and trade there. In 1809, Idaho’s first trading posts were established, and after 1820, many Americans began settling in the state. In 1846, President James Knox Polk succeeded in dividing the Oregon Territory, in which the Americans were given the southern part (including Idaho).

US territory

Four peasant women in 1918

This part was then redesigned and divided into smaller territories. Northern Idaho originally belonged to the Washington Territory, while the south belonged to the Oregon Territory. Meanwhile, Idaho’s population continued to rise, but for many settlers, Idaho was just a stopping point. She wanted to move on to the west coast. In 1860, Idaho’s first city was founded by the Mormons. The Mormons are a Christian faith community living in Utah. They thought they were in Utah when they founded the city. In the years since, many cities in Idaho have been founded by the Mormons. In 1863, the Idahot Territory was established by President Abraham Lincoln. Incidentally, Idaho territory included not only Idaho itself, but also Wyoming and Montana. The gold rush caused the population of the territory to increase enormously. This was also because the state was easily accessible by means of a railway from 1869. After 1880 the growth in the number of inhabitants decreased enormously, as little gold was found. Nevertheless, many people continued to live in the territory and the population continued to grow slightly.

Idaho as a state

On July 3, 1890, Idaho officially became a state when President Benjamin Harrison signed the law making Idaho the 43rd state in the United States. In the years that followed, the population plummeted, especially during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Idaho began to grow again, and as of the 1990s, Idaho was home to more than 1 million people.



The Bear Lake

The landscape of Idaho has a diverse landscape with many large untouched natural areas. Idaho is located in the Rocky Mountains, making the state quite hilly to mountainous. In these mountains are several valleys, such as the valley of the Snake which flows in the south. Most of the state’s population lives here. This is also where the Shoshone Falls are located, large waterfalls. In the east of the state is a part of Yellowstone National Park. Other rivers flowing through the state include the Salmon River, the Clearwater River, and the Payette River. The highest point in the state is Borah Peak with an elevation of 3,859 meters.

Largest Cities in Idaho

Name Residents County
1. Boise 235.684 Ada County
2. Meridian 117.635 Ada County
3. Nampa 100.200 Canyon County
4. Idaho Falls 64.818 Bonneville County
5. Caldwell 59.996 Canyon County
6. Pocatello 56.320 Bannock County
7. Coeur d’Alene 54.628 Kootenai County
8. Twin Falls 51.807 Twin Falls County
9. Rexburg 25.484 Madison County
10. Post Falls 27.574 Kootenai County


Idaho faces different climates. In general, Idaho has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. In certain parts of the state there is a Mediterranean to a steppe climate. Here one has to deal with warm summers, but with mild winters. Idaho mainly experiences winter precipitation, which often falls in the form of snow. In summer there is less rainfall and there may be drought. Extreme weather in Idaho is rare in the state.

The Mountains of Idaho



De Idaho Falls Temple

Idaho has a population of about 1.8 million and the population of the state is still growing. Idaho is one of the fastest growing states in the United States, mainly due to people moving to Idaho from other states. Immigration also plays an important role. Most residents of the state are white (about 91%). 0.7% are African American, 1.3% are Native American, and 1.4% Asian American. 12.2% of the residents are Latino, who are often included in all kinds of groups. The main ancestry is German, Irish, English, Scottish, Mexican and Puerto Rican.


The official language of Idaho is English. This is also enshrined in the constitution of the state. Most residents of the state speak (only) English. Smaller languages ​​include Spanish and a variety of indigenous languages.


67% of Idaho’s population is Christian and the number of Christians is declining. The major Christian denominations are the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, and Protestantism. 27% of the population has no religion or is non-believer.


The Idaho House of Representatives

State politics

The day-to-day administration of Idaho is done by a governor. The current governor of Idaho is Brad Little of the Republican Party. The governor is elected along with the rest of the government through direct elections every four years. The governor is aided by a governor lieutenant; the governor’s deputy. The Idaho Legislature is called the Idaho Legislature and consists of two chambers:

  • The House of Representatives, consisting of 70 members.
  • The Senate, consisting of 35 members.

Both chambers are elected every two years. The Republican Party has an absolute majority in both chambers. The rest of the seats are taken by the Democratic Party.

Administrative division

How many counties in Idaho? Idaho has a total of 44 counties. These are:

A map of the counties of Idaho.

  • Ada County
  • Adams County
  • Bannock County
  • Bear Lake County
  • Benewah County
  • Bingham County
  • Blaine County
  • Boise County
  • Bonner County
  • Bonneville County
  • Boundary County
  • Butte County
  • Camas County
  • Canyon County
  • Caribou County
  • Cassia County
  • Clark County
  • Clearwater County
  • Custer County
  • Elmore County
  • Franklin County
  • Fremont County
  • Gem County
  • Gooding County
  • Idaho County
  • Jefferson County
  • Jerome County
  • Kootenai County
  • Latah County
  • Lemhi County
  • Lewis County
  • Lincoln County
  • Madison County
  • Minidoka County
  • Nez Perce County
  • Oneida County
  • Owyhee County
  • Payette County
  • Power County
  • Shoshone County
  • Teton County
  • Twin Falls County
  • Valley County
  • Washington County

Federal Politics

Idaho is a “red state,” meaning the Republican Party has a large following. Idaho is seen as a safe red state, as it almost always goes to the Republicans during elections. The last time Idaho voted for a Democratic presidential candidate was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Since then, Idaho has always voted for the Republicans. 53% of the state’s residents are registered Republicans, while only 13% are registered Democrats.

The Corn Fields in Idaho

In the United States Congress, Idaho is represented by two representatives and two senators. These all come from the Republican Party. The two senators for Idaho are Jim Risch and Mike Crapo.


Idaho is best known for its potatoes. The state produces about a third of all potatoes in the United States. In addition, a grain is an important product. Because of this, there are also many breweries in Idaho. In terms of industry, the state has a large industry for wooden products, machines, machine parts and vehicles.

Idaho - The Gem State

Idaho – The Gem State
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