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Moving from California to Idaho

It is a widely known fact that the American population is subjected to migration, and it often happens that native US residents leave the states where they were born and move to other ones. California, despite its brilliant coast, liberal views, and good employment opportunities is also a rather expensive state for a living. That is why many Californians prefer to move, using professional movers and one of the most appealing destinations for them is Idaho state. However, there are many myths connected with state-to-state moving to Idaho, so it is better to pay attention to the facts and data to learn the truth. So let's find out more why are Californians moving to Idaho?
Though it seems unbelievable, Idaho was the fastest-growing state in 2023 in percentage growth. Within the period between 2022 and 2023, the population has grown by 149,293 people that are 9.5% of the total state population. Experts predict that this growth will continue next 10 years and the biggest part of the people who arrive here settle in big cities increasing urban areas significantly.


Who is moving to Idaho

Most of the migrants leave Washington and California states to become residents of Idaho. According to the 2023 American Community Survey 1-year estimates, over 17,000 people have left California forever and arrived in Idaho in search of a happy life. It makes the political views of the local population, which is focused on conservatives, more liberal and makes a significant impact on other spheres of life in the state.
Of course, migration to Texas is much higher than to Idaho, however, the flow of new residents is much bigger than in California, for example. That is why it is important to understand the reasons for such significant changes.

Moving to Idaho from California

Californians moving to Idaho always have doubts before they make a final decision in favor of relocation. It is most often caused by myths connected with long-distance moving to this state from coastal areas. However, not all the ‘horrors’ that exist among Californians regarding Idaho are real.

  • Idaho is an absolute desert
    It is natural that flora in this state is not that various as in California, but in addition to desert parts, you will enjoy the magnificence of thick forests and an eye-catching mountainous scenery.

  • Idaho residents have a deep concern about Californians
    Unfortunately, Idaho residents used to have a negative attitude to people from California. It is difficult to determine certain reasons for this, but now the situation has changed significantly. With the arrival of many Californians in Idaho, locals made conclusions that they are tolerant and positive people. They respect local culture and traditions and never impose their viewpoint. The evidence of this fact is numerous positive Yelp reviews.

  • Idaho is located in the Midwest
    Many people think that Idaho is located in the midwest. They mistakenly think that it is located on the territory of Iowa or Ohio State. In fact, the state lies at the Pacific Northwest and is neighboring Washington and Oregon states.

why should i move to idaho

Despite any myths and challenges faced by people who moving to Idaho from California, there are reasons that encourage them to make this tough decision. In comparison with California, Idaho has a number of benefits that seem very appealing to newcomers.

  • Affordable cost of living
    Idaho offers the cheapest cost of living among 11 states located in the western part of the USA. According to, in comparison with the average cost of living around the US, the index in Idaho is 5% lower. That means that everything including groceries, rent or utilities is lower in this state. Even a rent of 1-bedroom apartment around the state is about $570, in Boise – about $800, while an average monthly salary in the capital is over $2,300.

  • Unbelievable natural beauty
    Idaho is a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts with a variety of breathtaking landscapes and diverse nature. You can see here everything starting from winding rivers and thick forests and finishing with fertile farmland and high peaks. As a result, it is the state where the highest percentage of people is involved in outdoor recreation activities, according to the report. People enjoy rafting, kayaking, hiking in Treasure Valley in summer and go in for skiing and snowboarding in winter. One more unforgettable activity to take up in Idaho is fishing.

  • Putting emphasis on education and unique attractions
    Idaho is one of three states in the USA with the college graduation rate of almost 85%. It means that only 15% of high school graduates do not enter higher educational establishments. It has been achieved due to the initiation of the direct enrollment program in 2023 and the fact that every city and town in the state with the population over 20,000 people have at least one higher educational institution.The uniqueness of the state is characterized by the presence of rare museums devoted to birds and aviation, old penitentiary and the entry to a famous Yellowstone Park.

  • Excellent job opportunities
    Idaho has been chosen as one of the most favorable states for employment in several surveys already. The U.S. News report has ranked the state 13th in the overall rate, though it takes the 8th place in job growth and 10th place in the unemployment rate. CNBC has given Idaho the 4th place in the list of the best states to find a job in 2023 too.

  • Land of music
    Idaho has been chosen as a location for many music festivals, so you can enjoy any genre of music here all year round. Music fans can visit such famous festivals as The Treefort Music Festival, the Mountain Home Music Festival, Braun Brothers Reunion, the Festival at Sandpoint etc.

If you still wonder ‘why are people moving to Idaho?’, it is enough to summarize that this state is affordable both in the cost of living and real estate. It offers wonderful recreation and job opportunities, as well as will encourage your kids to grow educated people.

things to know before moving to idaho

Relocation is a stressful process that must be a thought-out decision. It will help you to avoid mistakes and make moving smooth and less nervous. For Californians moving to Idaho, it's better to know in advance 4 life hacks that may help you to get accustomed to the new place of living faster and easier.

  • Get a local driver’s license faster submitting a Certificate of Idaho Residency
    Every person can become a resident of Idaho state if his or her domicile has lasted for at least 90 days. But you can change your out-of-state valid license without waiting for this time period. It is enough to submit a Certificate of Idaho Residency provided with necessary documentation to the DMV.

  • Schedule your moving for morning or evening in summer
    Summer temperatures in Idaho are very high, so if you plan to move to this state, it is better to order mover services for morning or evening. In another case, you may feel bad loading or unloading your belongings.

  • Plan your moving in advance
    Many cities of Idaho host different events and festivals, but if you plan to move across the central mountainous area, there are narrow roads with a few service areas, so it is better to plan relocation when roads are free. Moreover, fill your tank well each time on this road as there is a lack of such service stations there.

  • Change your USPS address before you start moving
    If you want to confirm your residence in Idaho faster, it is better to change the USPS address online when you are on the point of relocation. It will prevent you from wasting time on site and you will have more time for getting used to the new place of living.

Reasons not to move to Idaho

Most of the people who move to Idaho choose this state for its beauty of nature. However, only some of them think about challenges who are waiting for them when moving from California to Idaho. Only locals can fully realize why it can be difficult to live in Idaho. There are some of the reasons why you should think twice before choosing Idaho as a new place of living.

  • This state is not suitable for singles
    According to Brobible data, the biggest cities of Idaho Boise and Nampa took the 37th and 138th place respectively in the rating of the worst cities for singles.

  • It is too hot in summer and too cold in winter here
    Unfortunately, seasonal temperatures often go extreme in this state, so in summer you will feel the smell of melting asphalt and suffer from chilly winters too.

  • Dangerous animals can be spotted rather often
    As Idaho is covered with fields and desserts predominantly, it resulted in the development of flora and fauna similar to the Australian one. You need to be cautious when you leave urban areas as you can come across poisonous snakes, spiders and bats.

  • Problems with cross-country transportation and commuting
    Boise is the only place where you can find an international airport. If to speak about other cities and towns, roads are rather winding so it will be a challenge to commute on a daily basis, especially if there is nasty weather outside. It is not surprising to see steep grades, switchback, and sheer mountain roads as well.

  • Being associated with potatoes and other ‘laugh off’ things
    Idaho is a state of potatoes, so be ready to consume it regularly and be associated with this veggie. One more thing is a sense of humor: without this trait of character, it will be difficult to speak with locals and understand local names.

Is it all about Boise?

When a person starts thinking where he or she should live in Idaho, the first city that crosses their minds is, of course, Boise. It is the largest cultural, educational and technological center of the state that has been included into the Smart Assest’s 2023 list of the best cities to live in 2023. In addition to many different jobs offered in the market and great outdoor recreation activities, the city features rather a low crime rate and an affordable cost of living. It is a green city with numerous parks, wonderful artistic and theatrical life, and sports. However, if you think that it is the only city in Idaho where you will feel comfortable and happy, you are mistaken. The second largest city in Idaho is Idaho Falls famous for its extensive river walk, focus on agriculture and such industries as retail, entertainment, and medicine. It has been ranked one of the 100 best cities to live in the US and raise kids.
Twin Fall is the 7th largest city in the state known for its college, several large food producing companies and agriculture. It is great for families with kids as there is an extensive range of public schools and recreation.
The other cities of Idaho that can be chosen for relocation are Moscow, Nampa or Standpoint located in Northern Idaho. Being not large in area and population they still offer a silent and measured life for everyone.


Relocation costs

Having evaluated all the pros and cons of moving from California to Idaho, it is also important to consider how much your relocation will cost to you. You should think not only about money but also the responsibilities and services you need. In this case, the most suitable variant is to turn to a full-service state-to-state moving company. Even if you have a driver’s license and a car, it will be impossible to deliver all your belongings safely and quickly to Idaho. The most reasonable and cost-effective way is to order premium relocation services from California Movers company. Look at Table 1 to see the final cost of moving services offered and you will appreciate the services provided.

From To Moving Average Price, $
Sacramento Boise 4000
San Francisco Boise 5000
Los Angeles Boise 5000
San Diego Boise 5500

Table 1: Moving costs for 1bdrm apartment. Includes: Truck + gas, mileage, etc. 2 professional movers + tools. Blankets. Wardrobe Boxes. Assembly/Reassembly. Tax&Insurance.


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