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Canyon County, Idaho facts for kids

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Canyon County
Boise River and Canal Bridge in Caldwell
Boise River and Canal Bridge in Caldwell
Official seal of Canyon County
Map of Idaho highlighting Canyon 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 7, 1891
Seat Caldwell
Largest city Nampa
 • Total 604 sq mi (1,560 km2)
 • Land 587 sq mi (1,520 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (40 km2)  2.7%
 • Total 231,105 Increase
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 1st

Canyon County is located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 231,105, making it the second-most populous county in Idaho. The county seat is Caldwell, and its largest city is Nampa. Canyon County is part of the Boise metropolitan area.


Hudson's Bay Company established Fort Boise in 1834 near what is now Parma, but abandoned it in 1855. Migrants traveled through Canyon County on the Oregon Trail.

Discovery of gold in the Boise Basin in 1862 brought settlement to the region again. The lower Boise River was fully contained within Boise County from 1863 until the formation of Ada in 1864. Settlement of the lower Boise River west of Boise City was limited prior to the completion of the Oregon Shortline railroad. Middleton was the first settlement of Canyon County, starting in 1863. The 1870 Census for Ada County listed 76 residents of the Boise Valley, excluding Boise City and the 1880 Census listed 44 residents at Middleton. The arrival of the Railroad at Caldwell led to the establishment of a town there as of August, 1883. Businessmen James A. McGee and Alexander Duffes filed the plat for nearby Nampa in 1886. Parma was settled around the same time with the Old Fort Boise post office being moved to the town's location. It was incorporated in 1904. Ada County established precincts for each of the settlements with a combined 1890 Census population of 2,311. Significant settlement of Greenleaf and Notus started around 1904 with the two settlements listed as precincts at the 1910 census. Notus was incorporated in 1921 while Greenleaf was incorporated prior to 1980. Melba was incorporated in 1912 while Wilder was incorporated in 1919. The City of Star annexed a portion of territory in northeast Canyon County prior to 2007, becoming the county's ninth incorporated city. The majority of Star is located within Ada County.

The Idaho Legislature created Canyon County from Ada County in an act approved March 7, 1891, effective at the November 26, 1892 election. Caldwell was established as the county seat.The county originally contained all of Canyon and Payette Counties and part of Gem. Gem County formed in 1915 and Payette County formed in 1917. Some sources attribute the name to the canyon of the Boise River near Caldwell, while western writers John Rees and Vardis Fisher believed it was named for the Snake River canyon, which forms a natural boundary with Owyhee County to the south and west.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 604 square miles (1,560 km2), of which 587 square miles (1,520 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (2.7%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Major highways

  • I-84.svg Interstate 84
  • US 20.svg US 20
  • US 26.svg US 26
  • US 30.svg US 30
  • US 95.svg US 95
  • ID-19.svg SH-19
  • ID-44.svg SH-44
  • ID-45.svg SH-45
  • ID-55.svg SH-55


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 7,497
1910 25,323 237.8%
1920 26,932 6.4%
1930 30,930 14.8%
1940 40,987 32.5%
1950 53,597 30.8%
1960 57,662 7.6%
1970 61,288 6.3%
1980 83,756 36.7%
1990 90,076 7.5%
2000 131,441 45.9%
2010 188,923 43.7%
2020 231,105 22.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 188,923 people, 63,604 households, and 47,481 families living in the county. The population density was 321.6 inhabitants per square mile (124.2/km2). There were 69,409 housing units at an average density of 118.2 per square mile (45.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 83.0% white, 1.1% American Indian, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 11.4% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 23.9% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 18.8% were American, 17.4% were German, 13.0% were English, and 8.8% were Irish.

Of the 63,604 households, 42.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.3% were non-families, and 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.36. The median age was 31.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,218 and the median income for a family was $48,219. Males had a median income of $38,132 versus $28,356 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,366. About 12.7% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.8% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Canyon para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic actors
Jenna Ortega
Anthony Quinn
Chita Rivera
Antonio Banderas
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