Does anyone remember reading Dr. Suess’s The Sneetches in elementary school? Living in Idaho is starting to feel eerily like the famous children's author’s cautionary tale. 

Not familiar with the story? We’ll try to sum it up as quickly as we can, but feel free to watch the full story on YouTube. The Sneetches are yellow that live on a beach. Some of the Sneetches have stars on their tummies. Others don’t. The star-bellied Sneetches act like they’re better than everyone else and exclude the other Sneetches from their fun. 

A con-artist comes into town with a machine that can give any Sneetch a star…for a price. Desperate to fit-in, the non star-bellied Sneetches hand over the cash. When the original star-bellied Sneetches realized what happened, they were appalled. The con-artist said he could remove their star…for a price. Eventually, the Sneetches ran through those machines so many times that no one could remember who was who. 

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While the man with the machines was purely in it for the cash, he accidentally taught the Sneetches a lesson about judging others over something so shallow. 

Sounds familiar, right? Except the Idaho version of this tale is folks who grew up in Idaho vs those who relocated here for whatever reason. “Go back to Cali, you transplant” is one of the most common insults you’ll see in the comments section of just about any article. Folks use that regardless of where someone came from. 

Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash
Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

We get it. Change is hard. What’s happened to Idaho’s housing market and outdated infrastructure is something to be frustrated with. It’s ok to mourn what once was. But it shouldn’t be commonplace to be ugly to someone because of where their mother chose to give birth to them. They weren’t consulted and likely couldn’t have even considered relocating away from their family until they were 18. 

We share the story of the Sneetches and a gentle reminder that kindness goes a long way, because in many of Idaho’s biggest cities the number of “transplants” actually outweigh  the number of residents that have lived in Idaho their entire lives. 

Which cities? We looked at the most recent American Community Survey data from the United States Census Bureau to find out. Data was collected for Idaho cities with an estimated population of 5,000 or more.

18 Idaho Cities That Are Home to More Transplants Than Natives in 2024

The United States Census Bureau's American Community Survey asks people which state they live in and where they were born. The following numbers reflect estimates based on the number of people who said they live in Idaho AND that they were born in the United States. (Percentages won't add up to 100% because people who moved to Idaho from foreign countries were excluded from the count.)

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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Our sources include Neighborhood Scout, which uses FBI crime data or their safety rankings, the American Census Bureau,, which allows current and former residents to grade their state/city/town and Crime Index means the city is safer than (X)% of cities in America. Home prices reflect the current availability in February 2024.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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