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A+ Boise Amenities Lots of amenities close to this location
C+ Boise Cost of Living Cost of living is 2% higher than Idaho
Boise
964% less expensive than the US average
Idaho
946% less expensive than the US average
United States
100National cost of living index
Boise cost of living
C+ Boise Crime Total crime is 46% higher than Idaho
Total crime
2,7241% lower than the US average
Chance of being a victim
1 in 371% lower than the US average
Year-over-year crime
5%Year over year crime is up
Boise crime
C- Boise Employment Household income is 6% higher than Idaho
Median household income
$52,2496% lower than the US average
Income per capita
$30,7983% higher than the US average
Unemployment rate
4%12% lower than the US average
Boise employment
B Boise Housing Home value is 14% higher than Idaho
Median home value
$191,0003% higher than the US average
Median rent price
$83412% lower than the US average
Home ownership
60%6% lower than the US average
Boise real estate or Boise rentals
C Boise Schools HS graduation rate is 7% higher than Idaho
High school grad. rates
91%9% higher than the US average
School test scores
50%2% higher than the US average
Student teacher ratio
n/aequal to the US average
Boise K-12 schools or Boise colleges

Living in Boise, ID

Located in the state of Idaho, Boise is a big city with a population of 218,677 inhabitants. At 89%, the majority of the Boise population is White; this is followed by 3% Asian and 2% Black. If you are looking for a family friendly city, Boise might be a good fit as 76% of the population over 15 years old are married, and 60% have kids who are 18 years old or younger.

Living in Boise can be a fulfilling experience for anyone moving to the area. Having said that, in the state of Idaho, there are many desirable places to live, so choose wisely! The best areas in Boise and in surrounding cities are easier to find when you are able to make informed decisions. Using data from crime, cost of living, weather, employment, housing, you will see a detailed breakdown of the most important information as well as comparisons to the Idaho and national averages.

Boise has a livability score of 80/100 and is ranked #5 in Idaho and #1,709 in the USA. Pack your bags! This is a very high score in comparison to other US cities. Living in Boise could be a great choice! The cherry on top is that Boise also ranks in the top 10 percent of all cities. If we probe a little deeper into each category within the livability score, we see that Boise has higher than average rankings for the following: amenities (A+) and housing (B).

Location, location, location - possibly the three most important words in your search for a new place to live. Fortunately, in Boise, there is no shortage of amazing local amenities and interesting things to do. Here are some of the more popular things to do in Boise: Boise River Greenbelt, Old Idaho Penitentiary, and Zoo Boise.

The Boise unemployment rate (1.26%) has continued to decrease over the years and is now well below the national average. Finding a new job in the area might just be easier than you thought!

Based on multiple factors including: median home and rental prices, appreciation rates and home affordability, Boise has received high marks in the housing category. Based on these calculations, the apartment rental and real estate market appears to be very healthy.

Boise real estate prices and overall affordability will play a huge role in determining if the area is the right fit for you. Of course there are probably some other items on your “wish list”, but even before they are considered, let’s take a look at the home prices and affordability in Boise. The median home price for Boise homes is $191,000, which is 13.8% higher than the Idaho average. If we take a closer look at the affordability of homes in Boise, we’ll see that the home price to income ratio is 3.7, which is 8.8% higher than the Idaho average. For most people, purchasing a new home is the biggest investment they will make in their lifetime. Taking a look at overall real estate appreciation rates in Boise will offer some insight into determining if your home purchase will be a solid investment for years to come. In Boise, the year-over-year appreciation rates were 14.3%, and the 5 year appreciation rates came in at 9.9%.

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Compare Boise, ID Livability To Other Cities

Best Neighborhoods In & Around Boise, ID

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Central Rim, Boise871.11,024
Maple Grove-Franklin, Boise853.32,166
Collister, Boise845.18,465
South Boise Village, Boise841.61,988
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
West Valley, Boise845.127,612
North End, Boise822.69,280
Central Bench, Boise820.74,634
Southeast Boise, Boise814.631,220

Best Cities Near Boise, ID

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Meridian, ID828.588,247
Eagle, ID819.122,711
Boise, ID800218,677
Placerville, ID8027.719
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Fruitland, ID7645.54,967
Garden City, ID761.611,423
Robie Creek, ID7411.71,570
Kuna, ID7411.617,015
See all Idaho cities

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Boise Reviews

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Review Boise
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Attractions0/10
Community0/10
Nightlife0/10
Dining0/10
Shopping0/10
Loved Time Here

Attractions9/10
Community9/10
Nightlife5/10
Dining8/10
Shopping7/10
Born here, left at the age of 5 with my family and moved back when I was around 27. In all honesty, the biggest cons of Boise are the huge influx of people recently that the city and its economy weren't prepared for and the nightlife for young adults, say late 20s, is lacking a bit. This city and the surrounding area are great for families and outdoor people. The summers can get pretty hot, but its a pretty dry area so shade can really make a difference. The winters are pretty mild. There is alot to do in the area all times of the year, from camping, white-water rafting, floating the river, boating and hiking in the summer to skiing, ice skating, sledding and ice tubing in the winter. Since so many people are moving to Boise the locals are a little nervous about the types of change that could come with it. If you meet a local that is worried about this type of thing just reassure them that you moved to Boise because you like how it is and they will almost always be at ease, Boise has been a very tight community for a long time and its just a bit of growing pains as people move in. Housing prices are pretty high because of this but they will stabilize as the economy catches up with the growth. Overall I loved my time here and will try to find my way back in the future after the opportunity taking me out of state dries up.
  • 2 0
Moving here will be the biggest mistake of your life

Attractions1/10
Community1/10
Nightlife1/10
Dining1/10
Shopping1/10
I’m a white conservative republican and I’ve lived all over the U.S.A. I lived in Idaho for four years and it is the worst placed to live. Idaho ranks dead last in education, which is obvious if you spend anytime talking to people. Idaho has a F grade for corruption and I have seen evidence of this in the Ada county court as a paralegal. The court does not abide by the law, the judges make their own rules and If one wants to complain, you will be labeled as a vexatious litigant. The male mediators love to degrade women on a regular basis. Dan, one of of the mediators made this statement to a women ” I’m officer of the court and i’m in charge. you need to sit pretty and keep your mouth shut.” I worked in two other states with job title and never seen anything like this before. Property management companies pay $100.00 for a license and they have a business, no other requirements necessary. I don’t know if i can name the property management on this site but a very popular property management in Boise has a registered sex offender working for them and this maintenance worker went into a tenant’s home while she was at work. She caught him going though her bra’s and panties. She called the cops but he still works for them. Idahoans take a lot of pride in their crap state and for good reason. you can be among other people that are also passive aggressive, you can check the new and hottest place in the valley which is Albertsons Market Street. you can take a short drive to Oregon and get a bunch of weed or stay home and cook meth.
  • 8 -9
Out of state invasion !

Attractions7/10
Community1/10
Nightlife2/10
Dining7/10
Shopping7/10
First off the avg home is NOT 199,999. It hasn’t been that way for 3-4 years. And with all these Californians and Texans moving here the cost of homes have keep going up, now a normal started house will start at 250k+ And anything in a good area will run 400-600k.
Rent was sitting at 500-800 in 2011 for 2 bed 1 bath NOW it’s 1200+

The state released new registration data saying on average 100 NEW PEOPLE ( mainly Californian) are moving here every day !

Everything that made meridian and Boise a top place to live is being lost! And we hate it! If you move here don’t expect a warm welcome, people are mad and fed up!
  • 6 -12
Nice mid sized city

Attractions7/10
Community9/10
Nightlife3/10
Dining3/10
Shopping7/10
I'll try to remain impartial on certain things, because I know different people want different things in a city. Boise by itself has around 218,000 people. But if you include the nearby towns/suburbs it is approximately 435,000 people. It is growing quickly and there are a lot of people moving here, especially coming from California and Texas. Traffic is getting worse, I don't think the city planned for so many people to move here so quickly. As far as weather, summers are very hot. You can expect about two weeks of 100+ degrees, and the rest to be in the nineties. Sometimes the smoke from wildfires gets stuck in the valley and makes the air quality terrible. But usually it doesn't last too long. Fall is short and cool. Winters are mild. We get snow, just not a huge amount. Except this last winter, we broke the record for the amount of snowfall. Normally we get less than 2 feet on the valley floor. It's a 45 -60 minute drive up the hill to bogus basin ski resort where there's a lot more snow. Most people here can't drive in the snow. There are a ton of car accidents whenever it snows more than a couple inches. There are inversions in the winter so the air quality isn't great. Spring is nice but by June it's already hot. It's very dry here. We live in a desert. Boise is considered the "city of trees" because as early settlers were crossing the desert, they came across the tree lined Boise River. Everything here is irrigated, otherwise everything not directly next to the river would die. Around town there are trees, but once you get outside the city limits everything is desert like. Sagebrush everywhere. Until you get up to the higher elevations anyway. Crime here is low compared to similar sized cities, however there has been an increase in home robberies in certain areas. Idaho is a "red" state. Very Republican. And lots of people who are LDS/Mormon. Lots of churches, and two temples in the area. Because of this, a number of stores and restaurants are closed on Sundays, and good luck finding a liquor store that's open after 9 (6 on Sundays). There is very minimal "night life" here. There's some bars and clubs, and a growing brewery scene. No casinos here, but you can still play the lottery and try your luck at scratch tickets. Most of the people here are either White or Hispanic. Very few people of other races. Idaho as a whole isn't very LGBTQ friendly, but Boise is a little better. There's been a few gay pride events, but not a lot. Schools here aren't great. Although the sports and music programs at some of them are really good. But there was a kid who graduated this year from one of the high schools that I wouldn't consider good, but he got accepted to all of the Ivy League schools. If you are into doing things outdoors, you'll enjoy it here. There's lots of hiking and biking trails, the Greenbelt is especially nice as it goes along the river. Camping, (scenic)horseback riding, white water rafting, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and tubing are all within a hour and a half drive. Boise also has many themed 5k runs. Bubble run, inflatable run, and wine run are some examples. There's a lot for families with kids to do here. There are a lot of different parks to take them to. We have a zoo, an aquarium(it's small), ice rink, sledding hills, skate parks, a really nice water park, arcades, mini golf, bumper cars, batting cages, lazer tag, and bowling. There's a nice music and art scene here. There's a number of different concert venues in the area. There are a few different art sculptures around town in addition to the art museum. One of the alleys in downtown is all graphitied and is kind of cool to take pictures at. Downtown Boise is safe to walk through, even at night. If you want a different feel than downtown, you can head over to the Village at Meridian. It's very nice, has a theater, gorgeous fountain, several nice restaurants and higher end stores, as well as small outdoor concerts during the summer, a mini ice rink in the winter. It's a popular place to go.
  • 7 0
Just made to look good

Attractions2/10
Community1/10
Nightlife1/10
Dining1/10
Shopping1/10
I have lived here since August 2016, and the amount of b.s. here is mind blowing. I came here from Las Vegas, to make a better life for my family. I have a child who has a disability, and I am a veteran. That being said this sh!! Hole treats refugees better than they do me or my child. The wages are a joke. I made on average between 19 to 30 dollars an hour driving construction trucks and equipment in Vegas.. they only pay 12 to 14 here. And they think they own you, you are to be at there beckon call. When they say jump, you start jumping and then ask how high.... makes me laugh. .. I've almost beat the cap out of two separate employers for this. I don't tolerate disrespect from anyone. If I'm in the wrong I'll take the but chewing and punishment, but no one owns me, except GOD almighty himself. It's now December 2016, and my wife and I are already discussing moving to another state. She has suggested Michigan. She. Grew up there, has family and connections. As for Boise Idaho, it's a joke. Th email only way to survive here is to be debt free... literally. ... and work your tail off... it's not worth it. .. if you haven't moved here yet and are just checking things out...STAY AWAY.... SERIOUSLY. .. that is unless you think it's OK to pay 1300 a month for a crappie 2 bedroom townhouse. And have subpar wages, and drivers that should not have a license around you. There's nothing here. All the reviews are accurate. Gas prices suck, education sucks, cost of living compared to wagesome suck, this state sucks. Except for Dutch Bros.... Crack house in a coffee cup. So yummy. Hope this helps.. best of luck in your decision. . YOU'VE BEEN WARNED....
  • 9 -6
Southwest Ada neighborhood Rocks for families!

Attractions7/10
Community10/10
Nightlife8/10
Dining8/10
Shopping10/10
Our family of 5 live in an older SW Ada neighborhood (Countryman estates) located at Overland road and 5 mile road. We couldn't ask for a better location in terms of walkability to retail, dining, general business, and proximity to elementary, junior high and high schools. Entertainment is a short 5 minute bicycle ride or car drive on Overland road. Boise City is completing a beautiful new City Park on south maple grove road which is a short walk or ride from our neighborhood for the kids. AO Our older neighborhood is filled with mature trees to climb with plenty of room for neighborhood football or wiffleball games. My wife and I both work downtown and we have a short 15 minute drive to downtown. Our neighbors are great, reinvestment is occurring in both the residential neighborhoods and business communities, and the views of the foothills are amazing. We love southwest ada neighborhood.
  • 3 -2
Too many Mormons

Attractions1/10
Community1/10
Nightlife1/10
Dining1/10
Shopping2/10
Way too many Mormons. They rule the government therefore rule the state. We don't have gambling but we have a temple on every corner. Bibles in school, no wonder the education here is second to the last; it's an embarrassment. The Drs here, well the majority of them I'm pretty sure didn't complete medical school & honestly I'm surprised more people haven't died in their care. Low wages, long hours, rude bosses but then again this is a Mormon, right-to-work state so that says something. Cost of living is NOT that much cheaper than other places, in fact food & rent is being raised while our wages are still slave wages. Unemployment benefits is a joke, they work for the corporations. & like the poster before said the drivers here are awful. The corporations are so unprofessional it's almost funny; if you're being laid off, they don't tell you until almost a few days before they do it & schools never bother giving you a call back. Super conservative state; well looky where it's gotten us.
  • 6 -3
Sprawling Suburban Blandness

Attractions5/10
Community4/10
Nightlife5/10
Dining5/10
Shopping5/10
Low wages, increasing cost of living, no trees, unnecessarily complicated and congested housing developments, no originality, bad drivers, bad traffic, and nature activities are a drive away!

Boise, Idaho has to be the most disappointing of all my travels. There is a huge difference between what you read on the internet and what you get. It is concrete homogenized housing and corporate chains as far as the eye can see. And once you drive just beyond this suburban nightmare you realize the whole thing is a desert. Think Vegas but without casinos, shows, lights, and character. Any green you see is over-priced, over-fertilized landscaping. The sprinklers here are on all of the time. Not sure who can afford the water bills.

Most people live in Meridian or Nampa and commute to Boise. Meridian and Nampa are not even towns, they are over-lapping subdivisions with a few conveniences placed in between. Your 25 mile commute is an hour in the morning because everyone is doing the same thing. Idaho drivers are the rudest. This is no longer my opinion but national fact. Unlike other states where rude drivers are just inconsiderate and living in their own world, Idaho drivers make it their personal job to piss you off. They often look back to enjoy your reaction when they do something incredibly rude and equally dangerous. They enjoy it and I am sure most of them are proud of their driving title. The best way to really get the full Idaho driver treatment is to drive around the state with an out-of-state license plate. They will come to you!

I hear Boise is a town for families. I feel bad for any single people or childless couples living here. I feel bad for the college kids too because I'm pretty sure most of them drive home; CA, UT... on the weekends in order to have things to do. Most of the families I see have 3 or more children and are shuttled around in giant SUVs or minivans. There are a few outdoor fields (over-watered, over-fertilized) that I see families take their kids to. No trees.

Everything is basic here. All the usual corporate staples have driven small business into non-existence. The parking lot lay-outs are some of the worst I have come across. You can't turn directly into any business. This is a problem everywhere thanks to new urban planing designs. Subdivision streets curve and wind for no reason. If you live at the back of one of these monstrosities, it could take you half a day to drive out of it. (I once had a urban planning major tell me they do this so it looks interesting from the sky!)

Gas stations are randomly placed and mostly located at the highway. SO if you try to stay around your neighborhood and avoid the highway, gas stations are scarce with higher prices.

Smoking is popular out here. If you're a smoker, you will appreciate how it is promoted, encouraged and prevalent. If you are not a smoker or have a lung disease, good luck enjoying the fresh air.

Boise is not dog friendly. They charge ridiculous non-refundable pet deposits and additional monthly charges added to rent regardless of your pet's size or breed. Hotels that normally don't have pet fees charge pet fees. There is one hotel chain that requires you to crate your pet at night..when you're in the room otherwise you are fined.

Good things: Job opportunities if you are in the medical field. Relatively affordable housing, minimum 25 miles away. If you are willing to drive 40 minutes to 2 hours, there are some great outdoor activities to do; whitewater rafting, desert mountain hiking, desert mountain biking etc. Boise has an international airport. So when you realize how horrible it is, you can fly out.
  • 8 -3
Low wage state with not a lot to offer

Attractions5/10
Community6/10
Nightlife5/10
Dining5/10
Shopping5/10
I have lived in Boise most of my life, and can tell you a lot.

If you are very outdoorsy, you will be happy. Hunting, fishing, camping and skiing are big here.
There is nothing to do, if you are into city attractions. A lot of restaurants, but nothing that stands out.
Not a lot to do for kids/teens, therefor they get into trouble.
Wages are really bad here. REALLY bad. We are known as a " Slave wage state. " * Right to work state *
A lot of LDS people live here. Think mini Utah.
Education is pretty bad here. We are rated 2nd worst in the nation.
Cost of living is high for the wages. Professionals even complain about the cost of living/home prices.
There are a lot of poor people here. ( Back to the low wages )
There are not 4 seasons. You are either cold or hot. Very little in between. End of Sep to May you are cold.
There are not great shopping stores. Just basic stuff.
Gas prices are always high here.
Rude drivers. We just rated #1 rudest drivers in the nation. That is truly no joke.
I would say, lack of a community feeling.

We are leaving as soon as my husband finishes school. There is not a lot to offer anybody here. Low wages and a pretty miserable existence, unless you want to be a poor mountain man.
  • 6 0
Boise, ID - Microbreweries, Culture and More!

Attractions8/10
Community9/10
Nightlife8/10
Dining8/10
Shopping7/10
I traveled to Boise, Idaho for a week in the fall of 2009 and really enjoyed my visit. For such a small city, Boise has a lot of interesting things to do, attractions to see and a really relaxed and inviting vibe. Downtown Boise, near the Idaho State Capitol, is the best part of the city for travelers and tourists. Many of the Boise restaurants and bars in downtown, particularly along Eighth Street, are exceptional, and microbrew enthusiasts will find many distinctive Pacific Northwest beers on tap throughout the city. The shopping in downtown Boise, though, could be better.

There are many other things to do and other attractions to see in Boise besides eating and drinking downtown, of course. The Basque Museum and Cultural Center, which details the history of one of Idaho's most important ethnic groups, is one of the best small museums I've ever been to. Boise is also a fantastic place for birding. Both the Idaho Center for Birds of Prey and the Boise River greenbelt are great places to see many native and introduced bird species.
  • 1 0
Reason for reporting
Source: The Boise, ID data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).
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