The Ethnic Composition Of Idaho

The city of Boise, Idaho.
The city of Boise, Idaho.

Idaho is an 83,797 square mile state located in the northwestern part of the US with a population of 1,716,943 in 2017 according to the US Census Bureau. Idaho is ranked 44th regarding its population density with about 20 people living in each square mile. Idaho joined the US in 1890 as the 43rd state. Humans have lived in the territory of Idaho for close to 14,500 years with evidence being discovered at the Wilson Butte Cave indicating the presence of human settlement. For much of the state's history various Native American communities such as the Shoshoni and the Kutenai lived in Idaho's territory and dominated the population. Idaho's current population is predominantly white.

White Americans

According to 2010 estimates Caucasians made up slightly over 89% of Idaho's population. White Americans have been the most dominant ethnic group in Idaho since 1970 when they made up 98.1% of the population. The proportion of white Americans in Idaho has been gradually declining from their peak in 1970. Wilson Price Hunt led what is believed to be the first expedition into the area consisting of individuals of European descent. Caucasians were attracted to the region primarily by the trade in furs. Fort Henry, established by Andrew Henry, was the first fur post in the area. Individuals of English and German descent make up the largest population of Caucasians in the state. People who claim German descent account for 18.9% of the state's population while those who claim English descent make up 18.1% of the population. People who claim Italian descent make up the smallest percentage of those who claim European descent at 3.5%.

African Americans

The African American population in Idaho has been gradually increasing since 1970 when they made up 0.3% of the population. In 2010, African Americans constituted 0.6% of Idaho's population. During the civil war, Idaho was one of the regions that supported the abolition of slavery. Mountain Home, with a black population of 280 individuals, 2.03% of the city's population, has the largest percentage of African Americans. In the state's capital, Boise, African Americans make up 1.67% of the population.

Asian Americans

According to the 1970 census, Asian Americans constituted 0.5% of Idaho's population. Their percentage has gradually increased to 1.2% according to data collected in 2010 by the US Census Bureau. In the state's capital, Boise, Asians make up 3.6% of the people living there.


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