The cost of living in Idaho will surprise you


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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: $6,683
  • Health Care: $6,545
  • Food and Beverages: $3,261
  • Gas and Energy Goods: $1,215
  • All Other Personal Expenditures: $21,954

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

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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.

Typical Home Price by Idaho City:

  • Boise: $453,480
  • Coeur d’Alene: $524,220
  • Idaho Falls:$373,041
  • Twin Falls: $343,184
  • Pocatello: $309,101
  • Lewiston: $323,043
  • Rexburg: $394,785
  • Blackfoot: $328,928
  • Sandpoint: $550,545
  • Burley: $287,875
  • Moscow: $406,425
  • Mountain Home: $322,058
  • Hailey: $811,777

(Learn more at Home Affordability Calculator).

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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.

  • Electricity: $98
  • Gas: $53
  • Cable and Internet: $97
  • Water: $49

Image Credit: Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto.

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.

Grocery Items Index:

  • Boise: 96.0
  • Twin Falls: 96.4

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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.

Average Annual Transportation Cost by Family Makeup:

  • One adult, no children: $5,316
  • Two working adults, no children: $9,561
  • Two working adults, three children: $15,073

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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.

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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 Childcare by Average Cost Per Month, Per Child:

  • Infant Classroom: $1,002
  • Toddler Classroom: $865
  • Preschooler Classroom: $728
  • Home-based Family Child Care: $892

Image Credit: Caiaimage/Robert Daly/istockphoto.


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.

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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.

Image Credit: Manel Vinuesa/istockphoto.

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.

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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.

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