Idaho is one of the Rocky Mountain states in the Northwest United States. It is bordered by Montana and Wyoming to the East, Utah and Nevada to the South, Oregon and Washington on the West, and the Canadian province of British Columbia to the North.
Area, 83,557 sq mi (216,413 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 1,293,953, a 28.5% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital and largest city, Boise.
Motto, Esto Perpetua [It Is Perpetual].
State bird, Mountain Bluebird.
State flower, Syringa.
State tree, White Pine.
Much of Idaho has an unspoiled beauty, with rugged slopes and towering peaks, a vast expanse of timberland, scenic lakes, wild rivers, cascades, and spectacular gorges. From the northern Panhandle, where Idaho is about 45 mi (72 km) wide, the state broadens south of the Bitterroot Range to 310 mi (499 km) in width.
Manufacturing has recently supplanted agriculture as the most important sector of Idaho's economy. Cattle and dairy goods are among the leading agricultural products. Idaho's chief crops are potatoes (for which the state, easily the nation's largest producer, is famous), hay, wheat, peas, beans, and sugar beets. Electronic and computer equipment, processed foods, lumber, and chemicals are the major manufactured items.
The unspoiled quality of much of Idaho's land has nourished one of the youngest of Idaho's businesses: the tourist trade. Sun Valley, one of the nation's best-known year-round vacation spots, is an example of the development of resorts in Idaho and Tamarack is one of the newest. Mining, once the major source of income, and still economically important, produces phosphates, gold, silver, molybdenum, antimony, lead, zinc, and other minerals.
The state is especially inviting to campers, anglers, and hunters (Idaho has one of the largest elk herds in the nation). There are also great places for hiking, biking and white water rafting. The state's climate ranges from hot summers in the arid southern basins to cold, snowy winters in the high wilderness areas of central and northern Idaho. The capital and largest city is Boise; other areas of importance are Pocatello and Idaho Falls.