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Blaine County, Idaho facts for kids

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Blaine County
Blaine County Courthouse
Blaine County Courthouse
Official seal of Blaine County
Map of Idaho highlighting Blaine County
Location within the U.S. state of Idaho
Map of the United States highlighting Idaho
Idaho's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Idaho
Founded March 5, 1895
Named for James G. Blaine
Seat Hailey
Largest city Hailey
 • Total 2,661 sq mi (6,890 km2)
 • Land 2,644 sq mi (6,850 km2)
 • Water 17 sq mi (40 km2)  0.6%
 • Total 24,272 Increase
 • Density 9.1/sq mi (3.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Blaine County is a county in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 24,272. The county seat and largest city is Hailey. It is also home to the Sun Valley ski resort, adjacent to Ketchum.

Blaine County was created by the territorial legislature on March 5, 1895, by combining Alturas and Logan counties; it was named for former congressman and 1884 Republican presidential nominee James G. Blaine. Its present boundaries were set on February 8, 1917, when a western portion was partitioned off to form Camas County.

Blaine County is part of the Hailey, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area.


The Wood River Valley in present-day Blaine County was organized as part of Alturas County by the Idaho Territorial Legislature in 1864. By the 1880s the area became noted for its mining economy. In 1882 the county seat of Alturas County was moved from Rocky Bar in present-day Elmore County to Hailey, in response to a population shift from Rocky Bar – which would eventually become a ghost town – to the Wood River Valley.

After Idaho statehood in 1890, as in the rest of the state, mining gradually decreased in significance in Blaine County. At its creation in March 1895, Blaine County included five other present-day counties. Less than two weeks later, Lincoln County was carved from it and later partitioned into Gooding (1913), Minidoka (1913), and Jerome (1919) counties. Blaine County was further reduced in 1917 when Camas County was formed.

The county began to recast itself as a tourism destination in 1936 with the opening of the Sun Valley resort, originally owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. The area soon attracted celebrity visitors, and later residents, most notably Ernest Hemingway, who is buried in the Ketchum Cemetery. Celebrities who have lived either full-time or part-time in Blaine County include Adam West, Demi Moore, and John Kerry.

County profile

Most Blaine County residents live in the Wood River Valley along State Highway 75 in the western half of the county. This area includes all of the county's incorporated cities and towns except Carey, which is located in the south-central part of the county at the junction of US 20 with US 26/93. The county's gerrymandered southeastern panhandle, known locally as the Yale area, is very sparsely populated.

As the home of a major ski resort, Blaine County expectedly has a much higher cost of living than surrounding areas; the median value of its owner-occupied housing units is more than double the state average. As a result, many who work in Blaine County live in outlying areas, particularly in the city of Shoshone in neighboring Lincoln County. It is estimated that 2,540 people from outside the county commute to work in Blaine County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,661 square miles (6,890 km2), of which 2,644 square miles (6,850 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 20.svg – US 20
  • US 26.svg – US 26
  • US 93.svg – US 93
  • SH 75Sawtooth Scenic Byway

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 4,900
1910 8,387 71.2%
1920 4,473 −46.7%
1930 3,768 −15.8%
1940 5,295 40.5%
1950 5,384 1.7%
1960 4,598 −14.6%
1970 5,749 25.0%
1980 9,841 71.2%
1990 13,552 37.7%
2000 18,991 40.1%
2010 21,376 12.6%
2020 24,272 13.5%
US Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020 2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 21,376 people, 8,823 households, and 5,575 families in the county. The population density was 8.1 inhabitants per square mile (3.1/km2). There were 15,050 housing units at an average density of 5.7 per square mile (2.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.9% white, 0.9% Asian, 0.6% American Indian, 0.2% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 11.8% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 20.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 24.1% were German, 18.8% were English, 11.4% were Irish, and 7.9% were American.

Of the 8,823 households, 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.8% were non-families, and 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.99. The median age was 40.4 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $61,854 and the median income for a family was $73,929. Males had a median income of $48,036 versus $37,603 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,656. About 4.9% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

  • Boulder City
  • Vienna


Blaine County is home to events and festivals throughout the year, including Wagon Days, Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Sun Valley Harvest Festival, and the Sun Valley for the Arts Wine Auction.

The Blaine County Fair is an annual summer event.


All but one public school in the county is administered by the Blaine County School District. There are two public high schools in the county, Wood River High School in Hailey, and Carey High School in Carey. Syringa Mountain School is the first charter school to be approved in Blaine County; it opened in 2014. The rural Yale area in the county's southeastern panhandle is served by schools in neighboring Minidoka County.

Private schools include Community School in Sun Valley and The Sage School in Hailey.

The College of Southern Idaho, a community college based in Twin Falls, operates an off-campus outreach center in Hailey.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Blaine (Idaho) para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Activists:
Ralph Abernathy
Lillie Mae Bradford
Aurelia Browder
Nannie Helen Burroughs
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