© 2021 Boise State Public Radio

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact us at boisestatepublicradio@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-3663.
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
What is the single most important question about COVID-19 you think needs to be answered? Submit it for a special Idaho Matters Doctors Roundtable in English and Spanish.
The share of Idaho workers earning minimum wage has grown from 5 percent in 2011 to 7.7 percent in 2012. The growth has put Idaho in the top spot for the largest share of minimum wage workers in the country. How did that happen? And what’s being done to reverse the trend?

It’s More Expensive To ‘Get By’ In Rural Idaho Than Boise

Flickr Creative Commons

It costs more to get by in rural Idaho than it does in Boise, the state's population center. That's according to the Economic Policy Institute's family budget calculator.

A family of four living in Boise needs $56,491 per year. A family of four in rural Idaho needs $58,071.

Here's a comparison of what it costs for a family of four, two parents and two children, to live in four different parts of Idaho.

Data source: Economic Policy Institute's Family Budget Calculator

EPI's calculator measures the cost of housing, food, transportation, health care, child care, taxes and other necessities to determine a "secure and modest" cost of living. This calculator is available for 615 areas and six family types.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau Idaho's median household income in 2011 was $43,341. That means half of Idaho households make less than that each year.

You can read about EPI's methodology here. Here is the interactive calculator.