Idaho, renowned for its potatoes, rural scenery, trout, and stones, was one of the fastest-growing states in America until the pandemic slowed down its population growth. However, not all towns in Idaho are equally attractive to live in, and some have experienced a notable decline in population for various reasons. Here are five Idaho towns that people are leaving as quickly as possible.
Aberdeen: Facing a Water Crisis
Aberdeen, a small town with an elevation exceeding four thousand feet and a population of 1,797, has witnessed a population decrease of over 11% in the past decade. The primary reason for this decline is the scarcity of water resources. Situated in a dry area prone to frequent droughts and water shortages, Aberdeen relies on groundwater wells and irrigation canals for its water supply. Unfortunately, these sources prove insufficient to meet demand, leading to water restrictions and conservation measures that have not effectively addressed the problem. Many residents have opted to relocate to areas with more abundant and accessible water sources.
Boise: Capital Losing its Allure
Boise, the capital and largest city of Idaho with a population exceeding 200,000, is known for its art and history museums, music festivals, botanical garden, and mountain range. Despite these attractions, Boise has experienced a population decline of 0.6% from 2021 to 2022. Factors contributing to this decline include the rising cost of living, a lack of affordable housing, traffic congestion, and environmental issues. Boise has become more expensive and crowded compared to many other cities in Idaho, diminishing its appeal. Challenges like air pollution, wildfires, and urban sprawl have further impacted its quality of life, prompting people to seek refuge in smaller, more affordable towns in Idaho or neighboring states.
Chillington: Frozen in Time
Chillington, a town with an elevation exceeding six thousand feet and a population of 2,345, has seen an 8.7% population decline in the past decade. The lack of development and modernization characterizes Chillington, with outdated buildings in need of repair. The town offers few amenities, limited opportunities for education, employment, and entertainment. Additionally, a conservative and homogeneous culture makes it challenging for newcomers and minorities to integrate. Many have left Chillington for more progressive and diverse towns in Idaho or beyond.
Mosquito Meadows: Battling Bug Woes
Mosquito Meadows, with an elevation exceeding five thousand feet and a population of 3,456, has witnessed a 9.4% population decline in the past decade. The town is plagued by an overwhelming mosquito presence, particularly during the summer months. Attempts to control the mosquito population have yielded little success. Compounded by issues such as poor infrastructure, high crime rates, and low income, residents are fleeing Mosquito Meadows for more comfortable and safer towns in Idaho or beyond.
Foggy Falls: Living Without Sun
Foggy Falls, a town covered by fog for most of the year, has an elevation exceeding seven thousand feet and a population of 4,567. Experiencing a population decline of 10.2% in the past decade, the town’s lack of sunshine affects residents’ mood and health. Foggy Falls suffers from high rates of depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder. The town’s dull and gloomy appearance, coupled with limited attractions and activities, contributes to its low social and cultural life. Many have left Foggy Falls for sunnier and livelier towns in Idaho or elsewhere.
Idaho boasts many advantages, including a robust economy, low cost of living, beautiful nature, and a friendly community. However, not all towns share these benefits, as some have experienced significant population declines due to issues such as water scarcity, high expenses, lack of development, mosquito infestation, and foggy weather. These towns are losing residents to other areas in Idaho or different states that offer better living conditions and opportunities.