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Idaho Panhandle facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Map of Idaho highlighting Idaho Panhandle
Panhandle counties shown in red
Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 58,486
1910 106,360 81.9%
1920 112,504 5.8%
1930 119,940 6.6%
1940 135,776 13.2%
1950 142,059 4.6%
1960 152,613 7.4%
1970 154,843 1.5%
1980 209,986 35.6%
1990 216,792 3.2%
2000 278,866 28.6%
2010 317,751 13.9%
2019 (est.) 355,638 11.9%
sources:

The Idaho Panhandle—locally known as North Idaho—is a salient region of the U.S. state of Idaho encompassing the state's 10 northernmost counties: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Shoshone (though the southern part of the region is sometimes referred to as North Central Idaho). The Panhandle is bordered by the state of Washington to the west, Montana to the east, and the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. The Idaho panhandle, along with Eastern Washington, comprises the region known as the Inland Northwest, headed by its largest city, Spokane, Washington.

Coeur d'Alene is the largest city within the Idaho Panhandle. Spokane is around 30 miles (50 km) west of Coeur d'Alene, and its Spokane International Airport is the region's main air hub. Other important cities in the region include Lewiston, Moscow, Post Falls, Hayden, Sandpoint, and the smaller towns of St. Maries and Bonners Ferry. East of Coeur d'Alene is the Silver Valley, which follows Interstate 90 to the Montana border at Lookout Pass.

The region has a land area of 21,012.64 square miles (54,422 km2), around 25.4% of the state's total land area; there is also 323.95 square miles (839 km2) of water area. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the Idaho Panhandle was 317,751, around 20.3% of the state's total population of 1,567,582.

The Idaho Panhandle observes Pacific Time north of the western-flowing Salmon River in the southern part of Idaho County. The rest of the state to the south observes Mountain Time, which begins at Riggins. Though the Idaho Panhandle is at the same longitude as southwestern Idaho, the reasons for the different time zones are: (1) because Spokane is the commercial and transportation center for the region, and (2) there are many cross-border towns and cities that are connected, led by Spokane with Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls, followed by Pullman (home of Washington State University) with Moscow (home of the University of Idaho), and Clarkston with Lewiston.

The Panhandle is isolated from southern Idaho due to distance and the east-west mountain ranges that naturally separate the state. The passage by vehicle was arduous until significant highway improvements were made on U.S. Route 95 in North Central Idaho, specifically at Lapwai Canyon (1960), White Bird Hill (1975), the Lewiston grade (1977), and Lawyer's Canyon (1991).

Culture

North Idaho has a strong hunting culture. Residents are highly conservative and sometimes lean libertarian.

Influence

Although the Coeur d'Alene area has experienced recent growth, southwestern Idaho has grown at a faster pace.

North Idaho has not elected a governor since the re-election of Cecil Andrus (D) in 1974. Andrus, an Oregon native, was a resident of Orofino when first elected in 1970. (Boise was his residence during his later campaigns of 1986 and 1990). The most recent member of the U.S. Congress from the Panhandle is Compton I. White, Jr. (D), last elected in 1964.

Attractions

Climate

NorthID koeppen
Köppen climate types in northern Idaho

Agriculture

The North Idaho region is most noted for silvaculture, the growing of trees and the production of lumber through the regions 12 lumber mills. The production of grass seeds and hops for beer production are also significant. Nine microbreweries have brewing operations in the area, making North Idaho highly characteristic of the Pacific Northwest. There are also many cattle ranches for raising beef.

Indian reservations

Major communities

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