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Caribou County, Idaho facts for kids

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Caribou County
Caribou County Courthouse, Soda Springs
Caribou County Courthouse, Soda Springs
Official seal of Caribou County
Map of Idaho highlighting Caribou 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 February 11, 1919
Named for Caribou Mountains
Seat Soda Springs
Largest city Soda Springs
 • Total 1,799 sq mi (4,660 km2)
 • Land 1,764 sq mi (4,570 km2)
 • Water 34 sq mi (90 km2)  1.9%
 • Total 7,027 Increase
 • Density 3.9/sq mi (1.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Caribou County is a county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 Census the county had a population of 6,963. The county seat and largest city is Soda Springs.


Robert Stuart explored the area of Soda Springs in 1812. Donald Mackenzie also explored the area in 1819. The explorers were followed by trappers, missionaries, and emigrants that would travel through on the Oregon Trail. Soda Springs' namesake springs were an attraction for the trappers who met there to socialize on November 10, 1833. Missionaries and emigrant Journal entries describing the springs date back to John K. Townsend's journal entry of July 8, 1834.

In May, 1863, members of the Morrisite religious sect took refuge at the junction of Soda Creek and Bear River where they formed Morristown. At the direction of General Patrick E. Conner, a fort was constructed in the Fall of 1863 for their protection. Soda Springs was established as the county seat of Oneida County when it was created January 22, 1864, serving as the county seat until 1866. The 1870 census lists a population of 144 for Soda Springs. Settlement of the present town of Soda Springs occurred in May, 1871 when Brigham Young and other Mormons purchased land at the present site of Soda Springs. Young would often recreate on his property holdings there.

Settlement in the western portion of the county from Thatcher to Chesterfield was primarily ranching and farming operations up until 1880. Chester Call, Chesterfield's namesake arrived in 1880, bring his family in 1881. The towns of Chesterfield and Squaw Creek Station were settled in 1882. Squaw Creek Station was the initial name for Bancroft that was established when the railroad was built. It was renamed Bancroft on July 23, 1898. Settlement at the town of Grace commenced in 1893. Chesterfield declined in population while Grace and Bancroft endured.

All of present Caribou County became a part of Bingham County when it was created on January 13, 1885. The 1890 census lists four precincts of Chesterfield, Gentile Valley (now Thatcher), Little Blackfoot (now Henry), and Soda Springs with a combined population of 1.722. The Caribou precinct with 342 residents also contained residents within present-day Caribou County, but also included territory now in Bonneville county.

Bannock County was established on March 6, 1893. Bancroft, Chesterfield, Chubb Springs (now Henry), Gentile Valley (now Thatcher), Salt River (now Freedom), and Soda Springs were in existence at the 1900 census with a combined population of 3,430.

When the legislature formed Caribou County on February 11, 1919, Bannock County retained the Gem, Gentile Valley, and Upper Portneuf valleys. The retained area contained 4,486 residents at the 1920 Census, declining to 3,572 residents by the 1940 Census. On January 11, 1948, the residents of this area voted to become part of Caribou County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,799 square miles (4,660 km2), of which 1,764 square miles (4,570 km2) is land and 34 square miles (88 km2) (1.9%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Major highways

  • US 30.svg US 30
  • ID-34.svg SH-34


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 2,191
1930 2,121 −3.2%
1940 2,284 7.7%
1950 5,576 144.1%
1960 5,976 7.2%
1970 6,534 9.3%
1980 8,695 33.1%
1990 6,963 −19.9%
2000 7,304 4.9%
2010 6,963 −4.7%
2020 7,027 0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020 2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 6,963 people, 2,606 households, and 1,936 families living in the county. The population density was 3.9 inhabitants per square mile (1.5/km2). There were 3,226 housing units at an average density of 1.8 per square mile (0.69/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.3% white, 0.3% American Indian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% black or African American, 2.3% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 27.5% were English, 17.0% were German, 7.2% were Swedish, 7.0% were Danish, 5.0% were Irish, and 4.3% were American.

Of the 2,606 households, 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.7% were non-families, and 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.12. The median age was 37.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $44,958 and the median income for a family was $53,615. Males had a median income of $45,904 versus $23,837 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,637. About 4.2% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.4% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities

See also

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

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