Boise Statistics

Economic Development Data for Boise

Downtown Boise Association’s “Big Ideas Grow Here” Brochure

Boise Facts

Area: 64.0 sq. mi

Elevation: 2,840 ft above sea level

Sunny Days: 234

Average summer high temp: 90.2 F

Average winter low temp: 21.6 F

Annual precipitation: 12.1in

Mean Snowfall: 21.3 in

Boise Population

217,730 people live within the city limits (COMPASS)

Approximately 421,920 employees reside within 45-minute drive (COMPASS)

Median Age, 2010 Census: 34.1

Average household income, 2012: $48,807 (Forbes)

Median household income, 2008-2012: $49,182 (US Census)

Average home price in Ada County, Q1 2014: $233,019 (Intermountain MLS)

Per capita income, 2008-2012: $27,897 (US Census)

Cost of living index, 2012: 96.1% of the national average (BVEP)

Educated Workforce

Boise School District

  • 94.9% high school graduation rate

Boise State University

  • In 2012-2013 Boise State conferred 3,757 degrees, including 168 associate, 171 certificate, 2,716 baccalaureate, 691 master’s and 11 doctorate degrees
  • Boise State is the largest university in Idaho with 22,003 students
  • 210 academic programs are offered in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences and Public Affairs
  • Total undergraduate enrollment for 2012-2013: 9,086 students
  • Total graduate enrollment for 2012-2013: 1,135 students


University of Idaho – Boise

The University of Idaho Boise is a graduate, research, and professional development center and is part of the larger University of Idaho Land Grant system based in Moscow, Idaho.

  • In 2011- 2012 the University of Idaho Boise conferred over 120 academic degrees and certificates, including 1 baccalaureate, 72 master’s, 12 specialist and 8 doctorate degrees, and 27 Juris Doctor degrees
  • The University of Idaho Boise annually serves over 1,200 academic students and over 1,300 professionals in non-credit development programs.
  • The University of Idaho Boise offers over 40 graduate degrees, academic certificates, and professional development programs.
  • In the Boise Center proper, the University of Idaho employs 130 faculty, staff, and researchers with another 17 Extension faculty and staff in the Extension Office in Boise. Under the UI Boise umbrella, there are approximately an additional 40 University of Idaho Extension faculty, staff, and researchers that work in the Southern Idaho region.

College of Western Idaho – Regional Community College

  • Opened January 2008
Labor Market Information
Workforce Trends
Market Access

Freeways – I-84 provides quick access to downtown Boise, surrounding cities and airport facilities

Rail – Boise City owns 18.2 miles of the Boise Cut-off, extending rail access into industrially-zoned
areas near the airport and south of the city

BOI – Boise Airport

  • Less than 10 minutes from downtown Boise
  • Less than 1 hr. 30 minutes by air to Seattle, Portland, Bay Area, Reno, Salt Lake City
  • Less than 2 hr. 30 minutes by air to Denver, Los Angles, Phoenix
  • Five major airlines, with direct flights to several major cities
Low Cost of Business


  • Second lowest in energy costs in the western states
  • Hydropower is dominant source of electricity in the region
  • Much of downtown Boise is heated by geothermal energy


  • Corporate income tax rate 7.6
  • Individual income tax is graduated from 1.6 to 7.8%
  • Average property tax rate is 1.9% (one of the lowest in the US)
  • Retail sales are taxed at 6%
  • Unemployment taxes

Development Project Permitting

  • On average, less than five days for small- and medium-sized projects
  • On average, under four weeks for major projects

Project Management

  • The city has implemented a project management program for certain qualifying projects in which a specialist is assigned to the project to help the company smoothly navigate the permitting process.
Commitment to the Environment
  • The new City Hall West will likely attain LEED-silver certification, the third newly opened branch library is LEED-gold
  • The City substantially improved its residential curb side recycling program to increase number of participants and decrease the amount of waste going to the county landfill
  • The City sponsors the Idaho Green Expo, a two-day exposition that provides attendees with valuable information about reducing their carbon footprint
  • The City owns farmland on which it grows switchgrass that is sold for biomass fuels
  • Boise has the largest municipal geothermal system in the country, and is expanding it across the Boise River to heat most of the Boise State Campus


  • 137 parks
  • 22.5 miles of greenbelt pathways


  • 140 miles of trail in the foothills are available for mountain biking and hiking

Open Space

  • 2400 acres of open space


  • Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation is only 16.5 miles from downtown Boise, featuring 2600 acres of downhill skiing and 35 km of Nordic trails in the winter, and a disc golf course and hiking and biking trails in the spring, summer and fall


  • First Hour Free in the Central Parking District
  • Six covered parking garage locations near shopping and restaurants
  • 800,000 annual parking visits
  • Monthly parking rates $100
  • Surface lot parking available
  • All Available parking

Business Climate

  • Largest dynamic, prosperous, vibrant urban center within a 300-mile radius
  • Center of government, business, culture and entertainment for over 460,000 people
  • Employs 29,959 people
  • Home to more than 700 businesses that range from major employers to the entrepreneur
  • Business incubators focus on entrepreneurship and innovation in high-tech
  • Home to over 300 retail and service businesses – 81% locally owned
  • The technology sector contributes more to Idaho’s gross economy than agriculture, timber and mining combined

Pedestrian & Bicycle Counts

Recent Development

  • 265 new residential units completed since 2007
  • 356,235 of new office square footage since 2005
  • 183,869 of new retail square footage since 2005
  • Idaho’s first LEED Platinum office building – Banner Bank Building
  • Renovated 112-room luxury boutique hotel and an ultra-modern remodeled 1960s motel
  • Mercy Housing’s 52 one-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors 2011
  • River Park Place – Whole Foods and Walgreens 2012
  • Concordia Law School 2012
  • The 18-story Zions Bank Building in 2014


  • 3,974 residents live in downtown Boise
  • 2,761 housing units
  • 2,251 multi-family units

Office and Retail

  • Downtown in 2013 has approximately 4,177,362 building square footage, with 330,501 direct vacant square footage (Colliers Boise)
  • Class A vacancy is 10% with 383,891 SF inventory
  • Average of Asking Rate in Q1 2014 were: $17.05
  • Current retail vacancy rate downtown is 8.3%
National Retailers
  • Loft
  • Anthropologie
  • Chico’s
  • Jos A Bank
  • Office Depot
  • The North Face
  • Title Nine
  • Urban Outfitters
  • White House – Black Market
  • lululemon athletica
  • Tom James Co

National or Regional Restaurants

  • Old Chicago
  • Bonefish Grill
  • PF Changs China Bistro
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Costa Vida
  • Jimmy Johns Gourmet Sandwiches
  • Pita Pit
  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
  • Blimpies
  • Thomas Hammer
  • Proto’s Pizza
  • Lucky Fins
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries
  • Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria
  • Caffe Capri
  • Caffe D’Arte
  • The Melting Pot
  • The Matador
  • Wiseguy Pizza Pie
  • Subway
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Visitors & Tourism