What’s the cost of living in Idaho?

1 min readLast updated January 18, 2024by Charlie Barton

Wondering about the cost of living in Idaho? This article summarizes everything you need to know, from tax rates to healthcare costs.

When considering a move to a new state, understanding the cost of living is vital for effective budgeting and financial planning. Here are some current statistics related to the cost of living in Idaho.    

The average cost of living in Idaho 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2022, Idaho was the second-fastest growing state in the nation after Florida. 

According to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, it has a relatively average cost of living—ranking 29th from the lowest to the highest states.  

Housing costs in Idaho 

As of March 2023, the average home value in Idaho is estimated to be around $435,374, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023.  

It’s important to note that housing prices can significantly differ across various regions within the state. Here are some examples of typical home prices based on Zillow's data: 

CityAverage Home Value
Boise $474,456
Meridian $511,064
Nampa $388,751
Idaho Falls $364,894
Pocatello $305,868

For those considering renting in Idaho, monthly rental prices for a two-bedroom apartment range between $750 and $6,369, depending on where you choose to live. In Idaho Falls, for example, a two bedroom apartment average rent is $1,050. 

Utility costs in Idaho 

Utility costs play a significant role in Idaho's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $367.87. However, this is on the lower end of the scale compared to other states nationwide.

UtilityAverage cost in Idaho
Energy bill $97.62
Monthly water bill $38
Internet $30
Natural gas $40
Phone bill $114
Streaming $48.25

Grocery and food costs in Idaho 

When it comes to groceries and food costs, Idaho generally aligns with prices found elsewhere in the United States.    

According to Zippia, those in Boise pay over $281 on average each month. This is one of the lowest amounts in the country, coming in just above Kansas and New Hampshire.  

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for US households.   

Transportation costs in Idaho 

Transportation costs, including gas prices and vehicle maintenance, impact Idaho's overall cost of living.  

According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $5,300. 

Gas prices in Idaho are typically in and around the national average. At the time of writing, Idaho was slightly above the national average. These prices fluctuate over time.   

It is also worth noting that prices can vary across different regions within the state.  

Healthcare costs in Idaho 

Understanding healthcare expenses is crucial when considering the cost of living.  

The specific healthcare costs in Idaho can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to research and consult with healthcare providers and insurance companies to obtain accurate cost estimates. 

MIT estimates:

ScenarioAnnual healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $2,631
One adult, one child $9,134
One adult, two children $9,144
Two adults (one working), no children $6,436
Two adults (one working), one child $9,144
Two adults (one working), two children $9,070
Two adults (two working), no children $6,436
Two adults (two working), one child $9,144
Two adults (two working), two children $9,070

Childcare costs in Idaho 

Families in Idaho currently pay around $6,879 per year for childcare for one child. This figure doubles for two children.   

However, it's important to note that this figure can vary across the state.  

Taxation in Idaho 

Idaho’s state income tax rates range from 1.125% and 6.925%.    

Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some neighboring states:  

StateIncome Tax Rates (2021)
Idaho 1.125% - 6.925% (six tax brackets)
Montana 1% - 6.9% (seven tax brackets)
Nevada No state income tax
Oregon 4.75% - 9.9% (nine tax brackets)
Utah 4.95% flat rate
Washington No state income tax

In Idaho, the state sales tax rate is 6%. However, it's important to note that local jurisdictions may impose additional sales taxes on top of the state rate. Depending on the specific location, these local sales tax rates can vary from 0% to 3%. Therefore, Idaho's total sales tax rate can be higher than the state rate of 6% when considering both state and local taxes. 

The bottom line

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in Idaho can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. However, as the most expensive state in the US, you may need more than you first think. 

It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in Idaho. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning. 

Whether you’re retirement planning or considering relocating to chase a new career, Unbiased can assist you with your move's financial ins and outs. Find the right advisor for your needs today. 

Writer

Charlie Barton

Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.