Mtn. Home Idaho

All About Mountain Home, Idaho 83647

Last edited on March 26, 2017


Where is Mountain Home, Idaho?
At Lat/Long 43.129722, -115.693527 or southwest Idaho.

About Mountain Home
The City of Mountain Home, Idaho is a community in a slow but steady decline. Recent U.S. Census figures indicate the city's population has decreased by over 3% between the years of 2010 and 2015. Anecdotal evidence in early 2017 shows the local housing market is recovering but at a rate well below surrounding cities and the nationwide average.
"Elmore County's population has shown an ebb and flow over the last decade, and  has ultimately shrunk by almost 2 percent since  2005. "  - Source: Idaho Department of Labor, January 2017 found here


This area is classified as a high desert climate and water is a critical problem for residents, businesses, commerce and at times, tourists and visitors. For example, in 2016 a county permit to build a 53 lot subdivision was denied, in part, because of the lack of available domestic use water. The availability of domestic water is such a critical issue that the United States Air Force had to move forward to secure their own source of domestic water for the nearby military base.

The local business community is said to be "just barely surviving" in spite of an oversized economic development office budget meant to draw in new businesses and corporations. Residents are fond of saying if it wasn't for the Wal-Mart in town, we'd have to do 95% of our shopping 45 miles to the northwest, in Boise, Idaho.

Little sign of economic life has been seen in Elmore County or Mountain Home, Idaho in the last 10 years

There were two stand-out restaurants in Mountain Home that inspired hope for the city's future. One of those stand-outs closed due to a structure fire in 2016. The other restaurant is located at the front gate of the local military installation, about 11 miles south of town.



There are a plethora of bars and drinking establishments in town. But as recently as 2015, bar owners have said they cannot make money in Mountain Home.
"Who ever heard of a bar losing money?"
Mountain Home, Idaho is probably best known as a "gas, fast-food and go" community. Interstate 84 is located on the northern fringes of the city and six fast food establishments are located near one of the freeway exits. In reality, there's very little in the way of retail shopping or entertainment to draw visitors into the small business district. In fact, downtown shops are basically only open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Many of those are closed on weekends.
In 2016,  an internationally known tourism expert said of Mountain Home: "All roads lead out of the city."
City officials like to tout the ethnic diversity of Mountain Home, Idaho. While Mountain Home is much more diverse than almost every other city in Idaho, calling it diverse should really be considered a gross exaggeration.



What does Mountain Home have to offer visitors and residents? A relatively low violent crime rate, a relatively short drive to some good outdoor recreation and very little traffic congestion.

A big economic advantage the city has over other municipalities in Idaho is the close proximity of Mountain Home Air Force Base, located just 12 miles south of town.

The common complaint from the citizens of Mountain Home regarding the personnel stationed at the military installation is about one-third of them live in Boise and the town misses out on a lot of economic benefits of that demographic.  Surveys have shown the local military population believes the local school district isn't up to par and cite the lack of entertainment and dining opportunities in town as the main reasons they decided to live in the Boise, Idaho area.

How many?


There are approximately 4,630 area retired military veterans living in Elmore County, Idaho. The base retail and other facilities provide a safe and friendly place to shop and hang-out. City officials consistently overstate the retired military numbers living in the area. Recent U.S. census data shows the city's military veteran population to be about 40% lower than city/county leaders brag about.

The trend for overestimating the amount of "military" also extends to the population of active duty military at Mountain home Air Force Base. City official insists there are 4,500 active duty personnel stationed at the base. However, the military's own installation guide from 2015 states the follow:
  • 3,173 Active Duty
  • 3,900 Dependents (children and spouses)
  • 406 GS Civilians
In any case, due to security concerns, unless you are military or a retired veteran, there is very little chance of visiting that installation on your own.



In summary, unless you must do business in Mountain Home or are seeking a quiet and very rural existence, traveling the extra 45 miles to Boise or 85 miles to Twin Falls is your best bet.

  Highlights - Mountain Home, Idaho Demographics:
  • 2015 Estimated Population of Mountain Home:  13,730 people or about three percent less than during the official 2010 census.
  • Geographic Size of the City of Mountain Home:  6.07 Square miles
  • Number of Citizens Claiming a Hungarian Ancestry:  9 people
  • Number of Citizens Claiming a Ukrainian Ancestry:  17 people
  • Number of citizens claiming to be a military veteran in 2010-2015: 2,542 residents

Population Trends Mtn. Home, ID U.S.
Population estimates, July 2015 13,730  308,758,105
Population, percent change - 2010 to 2015 -3.4% 4.1%
Population, Census, April 1, 2010 14,206 308,745,538
Race and Hispanic Origin Mtn. Home, ID U.S.
White- 2010 83.2% 72.4%
Black or African American - 2010 3.30% 12.60%
American Indian and Alaska Native 2010 1% 0.90%
Asian alone, percent - 2010 2.90% 4.80%
Hispanic or Latino, percent -2010 11.90% 16.30%
Population Characteristics Elmore Couty
Veterans, 2011-2015 4,630
Population Characteristics Mtn. Home, ID U.S.
Veterans, 2011-2015 2,542 20,108,332
Foreign born persons, percent, 2011-2015 6.5% 13.2%
Education Mtn. Home, ID U.S.
High school graduate or higher, 2011-2015 88.6% 86.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher,  2011-2015 14% 29.8%
Health Mtn. Home, ID U.S.
With a disability percent, 2011-2015 10.2% 8.6%
Persons without health insurance, percent 13.6% 10.5%
Transportation Mtn. Home, ID U.S.
Mean travel time to work (minutes), 2011-2015 17.1 25.9
Income and Poverty Mtn. Home, ID U.S.
Median household income, 2011-2015 $46,739 $53,889
Per capita income in 2015 dollars $22,849 $28,930
Persons in poverty, percent 18% 13.5%
original file located in C:\Users\Tim\Documents\Junk\BondyBlogs-Freelance-Writing-files\Documents\mtn-home-demographics2010-2015.xls

Originally published on February 21, 2017

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Tim Bondy Freelance
Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"

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