Only one state has grown more rapidly than Idaho over the past decade, according to 2020 Census data. Idaho’s population expanded by 17.3 percent, not far behind first-place Utah (18.4 percent).
One reason why Idaho may be attractive to people considering relocating from other states is that it has a rate of property crime that’s much lower than the U.S. as a whole.
Let’s explore what FBI data on property crimes like theft and burglary can tell us about how common these incidents are in Idaho and which areas of the state are most (and least) prone to property crime.
At A Glance:
- With #1 being the best, Idaho is ranked #3 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
- You have a 1.22% chance of being a property crime victim in Idaho in the next 12 months.
- Idaho’s property crime rate is 42% lower than the average crime rate in the United States.
- Ponderay has the highest property crime rate in Idaho (44.5 incidents per 1,000 people).
- Ponderay is a small community with just over 1,000 residents. It sits on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille and serves as a gateway to resorts on Schweitzer Mountain. Its state-leading property crime rate is based on just 51 property crime incidents in 2019.
Property Crime in Idaho occurs at a combined rate of about 12 per 1,000 people, which is just over half the overall U.S. rate. Only two states (New Hampshire and Massachusetts) have lower combined property crime rates than Idaho.
Idaho’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)
- Rate of Property Crime
- Idaho average:: 12.2 crimes per 1,000 people
- National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people
Not only is property crime relatively rare in Idaho, it’s gotten less common over the past decade, falling almost 40 percent since 2010. All but two states (Alaska and North Dakota) have seen property crime rates decline since 2010, and Idaho’s decline was the eighth-biggest in the country, beating out every neighboring state.
Idaho’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Average Rate of Property Crime:
- Idaho 10-year average: 17.56 crimes per 1,000 people
- National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
- -39% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
- There was a 39% decrease in property crime in Idaho from 2010 as compared to 2019.
- 2011 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Idaho?:
- The highest rate of property crime in Idaho was 2011 (20.76 crimes per 1,000 people)
- 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Idaho?:
- The lowest rate of property crime in Idaho was 2019 (12.2 crimes per 1,000 people)
What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.
Idaho’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Which type of property crime occurred the most in Idaho over the past decade?
- Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 12.9 crimes per 1,000 people.
- Average property crime rate by category
- Average burglary rate: 3.7 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average larceny rate: 12.9 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average vehicle crime rate: 1 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average arson rate: 0.15 crimes per 1,000 people
- Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Idaho.
- +4% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
- Vehicle theft is the only type of property crime to increase in Idaho between 2010 and 2019, rising by just under 4%.
- -47% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
- Aside from vehicle theft, all types of property crime fell in Idaho over the past decade, with the 47% drop in burglary being the biggest.
What factors help keep property crime rare in Idaho? While the causes of crime are myriad and complex, many researchers connect property crime rates to factors like poverty, unemployment, and urbanization.
Just over three percent of people in Idaho were unemployed in April 2021 (the most recently reported month), while just over 11 percent of people live below the poverty line compared to about 12 percent of Americans overall. And while urbanization has increased over the past few decades, only about 71 percent of residents live in cities, which is 10 percentage points lower than the overall U.S. rate.
While Ponderay’s state-leading property crime rate is based largely on its position as a small resort community, there are several Idaho cities with property crime rates that are a fraction of the state’s overall rate. Grangeville’s rate is the lowest, about 1.6 crimes per 1,000 people, and the rate is based on just five incidents in 2019.
Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data)*:
- Grangeville, Idaho (Idaho County)
- Cottonwood, Idaho (Idaho County)
- Hailey, Idaho (Blaine County)
- Rexburg, Idaho (Madison County)
- Bellevue, Idaho (Blaine County)
Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- Ponderay, Idaho (Bonner County)
- Chubbuck, Idaho (Bannock County)
- Lewiston, Idaho (Nez Perce County)
- Pocatello, Idaho (Bannock County)
- Garden City, Idaho (Ada County)
* Excludes cities with zero property crime reported