Most rural counties in Idaho

Written by:
May 2, 2022
tinosa // 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 2019 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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#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, #618 nationwide

- Population density: 434.0 people / square mile (456,849 residents)
--- #44 lowest density county in state, #2,848 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, #1,670 nationwide

- Population density: 370.5 people / square mile (217,633 residents)
--- #43 lowest density county in state, #2,795 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, #487 nationwide

- Population density: 126.5 people / square mile (157,322 residents)
--- #42 lowest density county in state, #2,392 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, #566 nationwide

- Population density: 77.1 people / square mile (85,765 residents)
--- #40 lowest density county in state, #2,062 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, #309 nationwide

- Population density: 61.3 people / square mile (114,392 residents)
--- #39 lowest density county in state, #1,863 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, #981 nationwide

- Population density: 47.4 people / square mile (40,217 residents)
--- #37 lowest density county in state, #1,637 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, #2,487 nationwide

- Population density: 57.2 people / square mile (23,260 residents)
--- #38 lowest density county in state, #1,807 nationwide

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Ken L. // 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, #2,195 nationwide

- Population density: 83.3 people / square mile (39,100 residents)
--- #41 lowest density county in state, #2,126 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, #296 nationwide

- Population density: 44.2 people / square mile (84,869 residents)
--- #36 lowest density county in state, #1,558 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, #1,850 nationwide

- Population density: 30.9 people / square mile (17,331 residents)
--- #33 lowest density county in state, #1,233 nationwide

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Ken L. // 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, #1,160 nationwide

- Population density: 27.3 people / square mile (20,705 residents)
--- #32 lowest density county in state, #1,132 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, #584 nationwide

- Population density: 26.1 people / square mile (28,534 residents)
--- #31 lowest density county in state, #1,099 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, #1,637 nationwide

- Population density: 39.7 people / square mile (23,730 residents)
--- #35 lowest density county in state, #1,463 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, #267 nationwide

- Population density: 21.9 people / square mile (45,839 residents)
--- #28 lowest density county in state, #952 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, #591 nationwide

- Population density: 36.7 people / square mile (39,505 residents)
--- #34 lowest density county in state, #1,389 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, #167 nationwide

- Population density: 8.7 people / square mile (26,743 residents)
--- #22 lowest density county in state, #522 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, #343 nationwide

- Population density: 25.1 people / square mile (43,611 residents)
--- #29 lowest density county in state, #1,069 nationwide

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Ken L. // 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, #1,415 nationwide

- Population density: 20.3 people / square mile (13,464 residents)
--- #26 lowest density county in state, #905 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, #197 nationwide

- Population density: 8.5 people / square mile (22,373 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #512 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, #1,216 nationwide

- Population density: 20.8 people / square mile (15,148 residents)
--- #27 lowest density county in state, #918 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, #209 nationwide

- Population density: 9.2 people / square mile (23,690 residents)
--- #23 lowest density county in state, #540 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, #1,116 nationwide

- Population density: 11.8 people / square mile (9,138 residents)
--- #25 lowest density county in state, #627 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, #411 nationwide

- Population density: 6.9 people / square mile (10,057 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #447 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, #476 nationwide

- Population density: 9.3 people / square mile (11,845 residents)
--- #24 lowest density county in state, #548 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, #338 nationwide

- Population density: 3.9 people / square mile (6,953 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #304 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, #201 nationwide

- Population density: 4.8 people / square mile (12,609 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #360 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, #311 nationwide

- Population density: 7.0 people / square mile (13,020 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #454 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, #428 nationwide

- Population density: 5.5 people / square mile (7,671 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, #221 nationwide

- Population density: 3.5 people / square mile (8,673 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #273 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, #94 nationwide

- Population density: 1.7 people / square mile (7,847 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #127 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, #31 nationwide

- Population density: 1.9 people / square mile (16,411 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #147 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, #38 nationwide

- Population density: 1.5 people / square mile (11,552 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #108 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, #2,273 nationwide

- Population density: 25.4 people / square mile (11,426 residents)
--- #30 lowest density county in state, #1,083 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, #2,158 nationwide

- Population density: 8.0 people / square mile (3,838 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #491 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, #711 nationwide

- Population density: 6.2 people / square mile (6,000 residents)
--- #17 lowest density county in state, #415 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, #509 nationwide

- Population density: 4.5 people / square mile (5,350 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #343 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, #301 nationwide

- Population density: 3.9 people / square mile (7,378 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #298 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, #510 nationwide

- Population density: 3.7 people / square mile (4,385 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #284 nationwide

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Ken L. // 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, #439 nationwide

- Population density: 3.0 people / square mile (4,097 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #235 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, #137 nationwide

- Population density: 2.9 people / square mile (10,709 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #227 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, #250 nationwide

- Population density: 1.2 people / square mile (2,581 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #84 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, #595 nationwide

- Population density: 1.0 people / square mile (1,048 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #67 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, #80 nationwide

- Population density: 0.8 people / square mile (4,169 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #52 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, #337 nationwide

- Population density: 0.5 people / square mile (913 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #30 nationwide

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