Most rural counties in Idaho

Written by:
July 25, 2022
Kristen Taylor // Wikimedia Commons

Most rural counties in Idaho

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Idaho using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2020 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn't an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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Charles Knowles // Shutterstock

#44. Ada County

- Rural area: 86.4% (910 square miles)
- Urban area: 13.6% (143 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,053 square miles
--- #31 largest county in state, #619 nationwide

- Population density: 446.0 people / square mile (469,473 residents)
--- #44 lowest density county in state, #2,855 nationwide

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Tamanoeconomico // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Canyon County

- Rural area: 88.2% (518 square miles)
- Urban area: 11.8% (69 square miles)
- Total land area: 587 square miles
--- #39 largest county in state, #1,671 nationwide

- Population density: 381.2 people / square mile (223,890 residents)
--- #43 lowest density county in state, #2,803 nationwide

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Antony-22 // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Kootenai County

- Rural area: 96.0% (1,194 square miles)
- Urban area: 4.0% (50 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,244 square miles
--- #24 largest county in state, #488 nationwide

- Population density: 130.0 people / square mile (161,676 residents)
--- #42 lowest density county in state, #2,397 nationwide

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Michlaovic // Wikimedia

#41. Bannock County

- Rural area: 97.2% (1,081 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.8% (31 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,112 square miles
--- #27 largest county in state, #567 nationwide

- Population density: 78.0 people / square mile (86,742 residents)
--- #40 lowest density county in state, #2,073 nationwide

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Jcarr29 // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Bonneville County

- Rural area: 97.6% (1,822 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.4% (45 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,866 square miles
--- #15 largest county in state, #310 nationwide

- Population density: 62.7 people / square mile (116,970 residents)
--- #39 lowest density county in state, #1,878 nationwide

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Dsdugan // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Nez Perce County

- Rural area: 98.1% (832 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.9% (16 square miles)
- Total land area: 848 square miles
--- #33 largest county in state, #982 nationwide

- Population density: 47.7 people / square mile (40,468 residents)
--- #37 lowest density county in state, #1,642 nationwide

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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Payette County

- Rural area: 98.4% (400 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.6% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 407 square miles
--- #44 largest county in state, #2,488 nationwide

- Population density: 58.3 people / square mile (23,705 residents)
--- #38 lowest density county in state, #1,820 nationwide

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Madison County

- Rural area: 98.5% (462 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.5% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 469 square miles
--- #42 largest county in state, #2,196 nationwide

- Population density: 84.7 people / square mile (39,725 residents)
--- #41 lowest density county in state, #2,133 nationwide

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Karthikc123 // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Twin Falls County

- Rural area: 98.9% (1,900 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.1% (21 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,921 square miles
--- #13 largest county in state, #297 nationwide

- Population density: 44.9 people / square mile (86,198 residents)
--- #36 lowest density county in state, #1,573 nationwide

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John D // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Gem County

- Rural area: 99.0% (555 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 561 square miles
--- #40 largest county in state, #1,851 nationwide

- Population density: 31.7 people / square mile (17,771 residents)
--- #33 lowest density county in state, #1,262 nationwide

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Minidoka County

- Rural area: 99.1% (751 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.9% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 758 square miles
--- #35 largest county in state, #1,161 nationwide

- Population density: 27.5 people / square mile (20,817 residents)
--- #32 lowest density county in state, #1,134 nationwide

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Bathlander // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Jefferson County

- Rural area: 99.2% (1,085 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.8% (8 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,094 square miles
--- #28 largest county in state, #585 nationwide

- Population density: 26.7 people / square mile (29,238 residents)
--- #31 lowest density county in state, #1,119 nationwide

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Jerome County

- Rural area: 99.3% (593 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 597 square miles
--- #38 largest county in state, #1,638 nationwide

- Population density: 40.3 people / square mile (24,074 residents)
--- #35 lowest density county in state, #1,478 nationwide

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KRRK // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Bingham County

- Rural area: 99.3% (2,080 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (14 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,094 square miles
--- #12 largest county in state, #268 nationwide

- Population density: 22.1 people / square mile (46,246 residents)
--- #28 lowest density county in state, #967 nationwide

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Apstrinka // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Latah County

- Rural area: 99.5% (1,070 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,076 square miles
--- #29 largest county in state, #592 nationwide

- Population density: 37.2 people / square mile (40,052 residents)
--- #34 lowest density county in state, #1,405 nationwide

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Elmore County

- Rural area: 99.5% (3,060 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (15 square miles)
- Total land area: 3,075 square miles
--- #6 largest county in state, #168 nationwide

- Population density: 8.8 people / square mile (27,043 residents)
--- #22 lowest density county in state, #528 nationwide

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L'Aquatique // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Bonner County

- Rural area: 99.5% (1,726 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (8 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,735 square miles
--- #19 largest county in state, #344 nationwide

- Population density: 25.8 people / square mile (44,688 residents)
--- #29 lowest density county in state, #1,091 nationwide

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Franklin County

- Rural area: 99.6% (661 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 664 square miles
--- #37 largest county in state, #1,416 nationwide

- Population density: 20.7 people / square mile (13,736 residents)
--- #26 lowest density county in state, #912 nationwide

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Greg L. Wright // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Blaine County

- Rural area: 99.7% (2,634 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.4% (9 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,644 square miles
--- #7 largest county in state, #198 nationwide

- Population density: 8.6 people / square mile (22,729 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #519 nationwide

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NPS photo // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Gooding County

- Rural area: 99.7% (727 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 729 square miles
--- #36 largest county in state, #1,217 nationwide

- Population density: 21.0 people / square mile (15,280 residents)
--- #27 lowest density county in state, #927 nationwide

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wilson44691 // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Cassia County

- Rural area: 99.8% (2,559 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.2% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,565 square miles
--- #9 largest county in state, #210 nationwide

- Population density: 9.3 people / square mile (23,847 residents)
--- #23 lowest density county in state, #549 nationwide

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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Benewah County

- Rural area: 99.8% (775 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.2% (1 square miles)
- Total land area: 777 square miles
--- #34 largest county in state, #1,117 nationwide

- Population density: 11.9 people / square mile (9,231 residents)
--- #25 lowest density county in state, #633 nationwide

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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Washington County

- Rural area: 99.8% (1,451 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.2% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,453 square miles
--- #20 largest county in state, #412 nationwide

- Population density: 7.0 people / square mile (10,128 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #454 nationwide

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Federal Highway Administration // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Boundary County

- Rural area: 99.8% (1,267 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.2% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,269 square miles
--- #23 largest county in state, #477 nationwide

- Population density: 9.6 people / square mile (12,156 residents)
--- #24 lowest density county in state, #561 nationwide

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Dschwen // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Caribou County

- Rural area: 99.9% (1,762 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,764 square miles
--- #18 largest county in state, #339 nationwide

- Population density: 4.0 people / square mile (7,028 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #310 nationwide

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jfergusonphotos // Shutterstock

#19. Shoshone County

- Rural area: 99.9% (2,626 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,630 square miles
--- #8 largest county in state, #202 nationwide

- Population density: 4.8 people / square mile (12,700 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #361 nationwide

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Aualliso // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Fremont County

- Rural area: 99.9% (1,862 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,864 square miles
--- #16 largest county in state, #312 nationwide

- Population density: 7.0 people / square mile (13,111 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #456 nationwide

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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Power County

- Rural area: 99.9% (1,403 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (1 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,404 square miles
--- #21 largest county in state, #429 nationwide

- Population density: 5.4 people / square mile (7,635 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #389 nationwide

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Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Clearwater County

- Rural area: 99.9% (2,455 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,457 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #222 nationwide

- Population density: 3.6 people / square mile (8,735 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #276 nationwide

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John Stanton // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Lemhi County

- Rural area: 100.0% (4,561 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 4,563 square miles
--- #4 largest county in state, #95 nationwide

- Population density: 1.7 people / square mile (7,929 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #131 nationwide

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Forest Service Northern Region from Missoula, MT, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Idaho County

- Rural area: 100.0% (8,476 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 8,477 square miles
--- #1 largest county in state, #32 nationwide

- Population density: 1.9 people / square mile (16,511 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #149 nationwide

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United States Department of Agriculture // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Owyhee County

- Rural area: 100.0% (7,665 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (1 square miles)
- Total land area: 7,666 square miles
--- #2 largest county in state, #39 nationwide

- Population density: 1.5 people / square mile (11,724 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #113 nationwide

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Lowjumpingfrog // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Teton County

- Rural area: 100.0% (449 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 449 square miles
--- #43 largest county in state, #2,274 nationwide

- Population density: 26.2 people / square mile (11,776 residents)
--- #30 lowest density county in state, #1,104 nationwide

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rustejunk // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Lewis County

- Rural area: 100.0% (479 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 479 square miles
--- #41 largest county in state, #2,159 nationwide

- Population density: 8.0 people / square mile (3,850 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #499 nationwide

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Tricia Simpson // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Bear Lake County

- Rural area: 100.0% (975 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 975 square miles
--- #32 largest county in state, #712 nationwide

- Population density: 6.2 people / square mile (6,054 residents)
--- #17 lowest density county in state, #421 nationwide

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Tom Young // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Lincoln County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,201 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,201 square miles
--- #25 largest county in state, #510 nationwide

- Population density: 4.4 people / square mile (5,342 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #346 nationwide

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PdxCobra // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Boise County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,899 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,899 square miles
--- #14 largest county in state, #302 nationwide

- Population density: 4.0 people / square mile (7,625 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #313 nationwide

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Tricia Simpson // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Oneida County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,200 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,200 square miles
--- #26 largest county in state, #511 nationwide

- Population density: 3.7 people / square mile (4,429 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #288 nationwide

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Adams County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,363 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,363 square miles
--- #22 largest county in state, #440 nationwide

- Population density: 3.1 people / square mile (4,200 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #244 nationwide

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Karthikc123 // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Valley County

- Rural area: 100.0% (3,665 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 3,665 square miles
--- #5 largest county in state, #138 nationwide

- Population density: 3.0 people / square mile (11,085 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #238 nationwide

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Squelle // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Butte County

- Rural area: 100.0% (2,232 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,232 square miles
--- #11 largest county in state, #251 nationwide

- Population density: 1.2 people / square mile (2,603 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #85 nationwide

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Cornellrockey04 // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Camas County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,074 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,074 square miles
--- #30 largest county in state, #596 nationwide

- Population density: 1.0 people / square mile (1,069 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #68 nationwide

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tinosa // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Custer County

- Rural area: 100.0% (4,921 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 4,921 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #81 nationwide

- Population density: 0.9 people / square mile (4,193 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #55 nationwide

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Kristen Taylor // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Clark County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,764 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,764 square miles
--- #17 largest county in state, #338 nationwide

- Population density: 0.5 people / square mile (885 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #29 nationwide

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