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Emmett, Idaho
View of Emmett
View of Emmett
Location of Emmett in Gem County, Idaho.
Location of Emmett in Gem County, Idaho.
Emmett, Idaho is located in the United States
Emmett, Idaho
Emmett, Idaho
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Idaho
County Gem
 • Total 2.62 sq mi (6.79 km2)
 • Land 2.60 sq mi (6.74 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
2,362 ft (720 m)
 • Total 6,557
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,710.99/sq mi (1,046.56/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 208 Exchanges: 365,369
FIPS code 16-25570
GNIS feature ID 0397688

Emmett is a city in Gem County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,557 at the 2010 census, up from 5,490 in 2000. It is the county seat and the only city in the county. Emmett is part of the BoiseNampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Landscape near Emmett in the 1930s
Road cut into the barren hills which lead into Emmett. Emmett, Idaho, July 1941
Road cut into the barren hills leading into Emmett, 1941
Emmett ID aerial
Aerial view of Emmett

Rising some 5,906 feet (1,800 m) above sea level, Squaw Butte, named by Native Americans who used this area as their winter resort, stands at the north end of the valley. The Payette River was named after Francois Payette, a fur trader from Quebec who was put in charge of old Fort Boise in 1818 and traveled through the area. Permanent settlement began in the early 1860s, after gold discoveries in the Boise Basin brought people over the established stage and pack train routes. Two of these trails joined at the Payette River north of the present river bridge in Emmett.

Originally called "Emmettville," it was primarily a post office named after Emmett Cahalan, the son of Tom Cahalan, an early settler of the area. The post office was later moved but retained the name. A few years later the "ville" was dropped and the post office and town became simply Emmett. In 1883 James Wardwell had the town platted, and in 1900 the town was incorporated as Emmett. Later, in March 1902, the Idaho Northern railroad came to the valley.

After the closing of the mines in 1906, the power lines were extended to Emmett. A series of irrigation projects made it possible for more rapid expansion of the town as the major service center for a farming and fruit-growing valley. In the early 1900s fruit packers adopted the label of "Gem of Plenty" because of the fertility of the valley. During the mining era the valley was known as the "garden" for the mining regions.

Until 2001, the city was home to a Boise Cascade manufacturing facility. The Black Canyon diversion dam on the Payette River, built in the early 1920s, is east of the city.

While campaigning for a return to Congress in 1934, Robert M. McCracken died in an automobile accident near Emmett. His vehicle went through a guard rail and tumbled down Freezeout Hill.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.82 square miles (7.30 km2), of which, 2.80 square miles (7.25 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. It is located south of the Payette River, at an elevation of 2,362 feet (720 m) above sea level.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,351
1920 2,204 63.1%
1930 2,763 25.4%
1940 3,203 15.9%
1950 3,067 −4.2%
1960 3,769 22.9%
1970 3,945 4.7%
1980 4,605 16.7%
1990 4,601 −0.1%
2000 5,490 19.3%
2010 6,557 19.4%
2019 (est.) 7,054 7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
Emmett ID aerial
Aerial view of Emmett

2020 census

Emmett racial composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 6,078 79.48%
Black or African American (NH) 19 0.25%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 57 0.75%
Asian (NH) 46 0.6%
Pacific Islander (NH) 16 0.21%
Some Other Race (NH) 30 0.39%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 377 4.93%
Hispanic or Latino 1,024 13.39%
Total 7,647

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 7,647 people, 2,773 households, and 1,790 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 6,557 people, 2,616 households, and 1,635 families living in the city. The population density was 2,341.8 inhabitants per square mile (904.2/km2). There were 2,916 housing units at an average density of 1,041.4 per square mile (402.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.1% White, 0.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.6% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.7% of the population.

There were 2,616 households, of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.5% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.12.

The median age in the city was 36.3 years. 27.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.7% were from 25 to 44; 22.3% were from 45 to 64; and 17.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.



Emmett experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with cold, moist winters and hot, dry summers.

Climate data for Emmett (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 36.6
Average low °F (°C) 23.0
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.72
Source: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000)



Notable people

  • Dennis and Willean white, biggest supporters of Emmett athletics and events
  • Carlos Bilbao, member of the Idaho House of Representatives.
  • Sarah Downs, 2013 Miss Idaho.
  • Hattie Johnson, Olympic shooter.
  • Brad Little, Governor of Idaho
  • Noe Anderson, two-time IDHSAA State Drama competition champion, Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship recipient.
  • Aaron Paul, Emmy Award-winning actor born in Emmett.
  • Clayne L. Pope, professor of economics at Brigham Young University.
  • Paul Graham Popham, U.S. Special Forces Vietnam, Bronze Star. General Manager McGraw Hill, Inc. AIDS activist.
  • Steven Thayn, member of Idaho Senate
  • Shayleah Jenkins, Questbridge National Match Scholar .
  • Ammon Bundy, leader of the Occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Emmett (Idaho) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Hispanic Hollywood icons
Myrtle Gonzalez
Rita Hayworth
Dolores del Río
Katy Jurado
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