If you’re reading this, you likely live in Idaho and you’re feeling a little bit lonely.
We’ve been there before. About 12 years ago, we moved to Boise fresh out of college for our first full-time radio job. The move took us 2,100 miles away from where we grew up and we didn’t know a soul other than the folks we were going to work with. Heck, we barely knew them. It took a long time before we made genuine connections and had real friends.
Even if you have great friends, something about the cold winter temperatures and short days just breeds some feelings of loneliness. But does living in Boise make it worse?
The Top 30 Loneliest Cities in the Country Revealed
ChamberOfCommerce.org recently put together a list of the 30 Loneliest Cities in America. In order to do so, they analyzed over 170 cities with a population of at least 150,000. The data they pulled was from the American Census Bureau’s 2016-2021 American Community Survey. Using that five-year survey and a cut-off of 150,000, Boise would’ve been the only city in Idaho they could have considered putting on their list.
And being on their list isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This sort of “loneliness” doesn’t have anything to do with feelings. They simply looked at the percentage of households in each city that were one-person households. In other words, the number of people who live alone.
When all the numbers were crunched Washington D.C. was named the “loneliest city in the country,” with 48.2% of householders living alone. With 31.7% of householders living alone in Boise, we didn’t make the list. Boston was the final city on the list with 38.3% of householders living alone.
As for cities that are sort of in our region, Salt Lake City came in #21 at 40.1%, Seattle was #22 at 40% and Denver was #27 at 38.9%.
Idaho’s Top 10 Loneliest Cities
The data Chamber of Commerce pulled isn’t hard to find, so we thought it’d be interesting to look up the same information for cities in Idaho with a population of at least 5,000 people. That left us with 33 cities and we found some interesting takeaways.
Being on this list isn’t a cutdown. If anything, it says you’re financially able to support yourself and live on your own. That’s something to be proud of. And sometimes living with other people, whether it be a spouse, roommate, kids or parents, can be stressful. (We know there are certainly days when we miss being single and having our own space.)
In analyzing the data, we found that in 16 of the cities, there were more women who were single householders than men. Boise, Nampa, Caldwell and Kuna were all among those cities.
Here’s how the data shook out.