On the surface, Idaho and Wyoming seem to have a lot in common. They’re neighbors, share a birth month, and were even part of the short-lived “Idaho Territory” in 1863. However, Idaho is the fastest growing state. Wyoming is dead last.
Idaho and Wyoming may seem similar on the surface, however they couldn’t be more different economically. For one thing, Wyoming has long been a coal state. In fact, mining represents over 20% of the state’s overall GDP. Idaho’s mining share of GDP is less than 1%.
While this gives Wyoming a bustling mining sector and higher median incomes than Idaho, it also makes it subject to the boom and bust of the resource economy. This is also why other mining states such as West Virginia also find themselves at the bottom of the list.
Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation precisely because they have taken a different approach to their economy. As industrialization came about, Idaho invested heavily in infrastructure.
The state’s major cities are booming. In fact, the Boise metro area alone boasts a higher population that the entirety of Wyoming. What’s driving this? A bustling urban center that is ripe for development is part of it. Whereas Wyoming is heavily dependent on coal, Idaho’s fastest growing sectors include healthcare, science and professional services, and technology.
The other part? One of the lowest costs of living in the United States. Idaho ranks 4th for overall cheapest cost of living while Wyoming is 29th.
Moving to Idaho?
With one of the lowest costs of living in the nation and a booming economy, Idaho would be a good choice for anyone looking to make a move. However, don’t go anywhere until you grab City vs City first.
City vs City is a powerful cost of living calculator that lets you compare your current city with one you’d like to move to. Is Akron, Ohio cheaper to live in than Boise Idaho? Only one way to find out.
Calculate your income, expenses, and savings to see how each city compares. Factor in state and local taxes for a deeper look. With City vs City, you’ll have a detailed picture of where you can get the most bang for your buck.