moving to Boise
Simple Living

Moving to Boise? Here Are 9 Things to Know

According to a 2019 report in the website Livability.com, Boise, Idaho is the Best Place to Live in in America and also the best place to work in. 

The factors that make a place “livable” are cost of living, community amenities, education, transportation, economy, housing, quality of life, healthcare and facilities for sports, entertainment and leisure. 

Moving to Boise ticks all the right boxes. 

In 2018, more than 40,000 people moved to the Boise Metro area. Of these, 20% were from California, representing the largest influx from a single outside state. 

22% of people from across Idaho also made moving to Boise Metro a reality.

Nearly 60% of people moving to Boise are under the age of 50, while 1 in 3 residents is between 20-49 years. 

If you plan on moving to Boise, here are some interesting things to know:

1. Etymology

Boise (pronounced Boy-see) is the capital of Idaho. It is also the county seat of Ada County. Nineteenth century French Canadian fur-trappers are thought to have christened the area “La riviere boisee” (the wooded river) in honor of the beautiful landscape. The word Idaho is derived from the Native American word “Idahe” which means Land of Many Waters.

The state’s waterways and rivers stretch for more than 100,000 miles, but it remains a dry state in the summers. Idaho is known as the Gem State because almost every known variety of gemstone has been found here. More than 70 different precious and semi-precious stones have been mined here. 

2. Location and Population

Located on the Boise River in the southwest part of the state, Boise is also the state’s most populous city, with a combined population of around 620,000 people in the Boise-Nampa Metropolitan area. The population density is relatively low in Boise City, with just 2.59 people per square mile. Nearly 2/3rds of this population are well-educated seeking a better quality of life, affordable lifestyle, healthy atmosphere to bring up children and a safe and peaceful ambiance. 

3. Climate

Known as the City of Trees, Boise is blessed with four distinct seasons to enjoy. The climate is classified as semi-arid continental, with hot and dry summers, moderately cold winters, and mild spring and fall seasons. Rains are light but not very frequent and tornado events are rare enough to be almost unknown. The city has 200 days of sunshine on average. This makes it a great place for those who love the outdoors.

4. Great Lifestyle Options

The city offers a good work-life balance. It has easy access to leisure and sports activities, a growing employment sector and a thriving cultural ambiance. New residents report that they are excited to be in the midst of some of the most beautiful terrain in the world. Leisure options include skiing in winter, river rafting, kayaking, camping, whitewater rafting, biking, hiking, mountain trail walking and cycling, fishing, hunting, and more.

The city is located just north of the Great Basin Desert and west of the Rockies. With the Boise River wending its way through the city, there are numerous waterfront residences and entertainment hubs. Healthy food, fresh from the surrounding farms and farmers’ markets is a great attraction here. 

5. Low Crime Rate

Though Idaho has the 6th highest gun ownership rates in the country, Boise is ranked the 7th safest city in the world. Property crimes are on par with the national average. But the level of violent crime is very low. The city ranks at 82.29 on the city safety index making it one of the more secure cities to live in. The communities and neighborhoods are relatively tight-knit, but welcoming and friendly. Crime across Idaho has dropped by more than half since 1994.

The sex-offender laws here are relatively stricter, with a lower tolerance threshold for such crimes. According to a survey, Idaho teens are less likely to start smoking and tend to quit more quickly if they do. They’re also more unlikely to drink, smoke pot, and would avoid getting in a car with someone under the influence.

6. Educational Opportunities

The school district of Boise encompasses 31 elementary, 8 junior high, 5 high and 2 special needs schools. There are several private and public schools, and the city is famous for hosting the only student-led school in the country. Boise State University is a well-established and highly-reputed hub of college level education, while the University of Idaho and the Idaho State U maintain campuses in the city.

There are excellent opportunities for vocational, technical and professional education as well.  Nearly 40% of Boise residents have a bachelor’s degree, and there are a good percentage of college graduates as well, making the city one of the best-educated in the country.

7. Employment and Industry

Several big-name corporations and industries are headquartered in Boise. The state government is one of the largest employers here, with numerous large manufacturing and service industries also having a significant presence. The tech industry is a big player in Boise, along with some of the biggest technology firms in the world. What makes the city attractive is the combination of huge community support for growing business, access to world-class talent, and thriving entrepreneurial spirit.

Students emerging from the local colleges continue to stay on to explore the plentifully available career options. Boise State U’s computer science degree program sees an 88% retention of graduates within the state. The major industries also include food-processing, agriculture, tourism and healthcare.

8. Leisure and Entertainment

Boise is famous for being a hub of jazz and indie music. There is a thriving theater and concert scene, notably, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise Contemporary Theater, etc. With the largest Basque community in the country, there are numerous festivals and events related to the people of this ethnic group. Boise also hosts a number of great museums such as the Art Museum, the Idaho Historical, Black History Museum, the Discovery Center and more.

The Boise Philharmonic Orchestra has been around for nearly 50 years. The Department of Art & History supports a wide variety of music, theatre, art and local events. Boise also has great culinary and cuisine options, both local and international, fine dining and fast-food.

9. Healthcare

Boise was ranked as the healthiest city in the country recently by Men’s Health Magazine. There are several world-class hospitals located in the city. All provide state-of-the-art medical care. Big name pharmacies, diagnostics centers, primary healthcare centers, wellness centers, spas and emergency care facilities are located in most of the neighborhoods.

You can fill prescriptions, get your nutraceuticals and medications and buy health-food at the specialty stores. Not to mention alternate medicine products, supplements, vitamins, homeopathic medicines, health/protein/body-building foods, natural food stores, etc. 

These are all the reasons why moving to Boise makes sense!