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Lapwai, Idaho facts for kids

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Lapwai, Idaho
Location of Lapwai in Nez Perce County, Idaho.
Location of Lapwai in Nez Perce County, Idaho.
Country United States
State Idaho
County Nez Perce
 • Total 0.77 sq mi (1.98 km2)
 • Land 0.76 sq mi (1.96 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
955 ft (291 m)
 • Total 1,137
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,503.97/sq mi (580.55/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 208, 986
FIPS code 16-45370
GNIS feature ID 0396768

Lapwai is a city in the northwest United States, in Nez Perce County, Idaho. Its population was 1,137 at the 2010 census, and it is the seat of government of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Lapwai actually means "The land of the butterflies"


The area that is today Lapwai was the home of Hin-ma-tute-ke-kaikt, also known as Big Thunder and later as James. It was here that Henry H. Spalding established a Protestant mission among the Nez Perce in 1836. This was also the general region that Bill Craig settled since his wife was James' daughter.

The city's predecessor, Fort Lapwai, operated on the site from 1863 to 1884. The village of Lapwai was incorporated in 1911, with a model rural school.

The word "Lapwai" means place of the butterflies, as the area had thousands in early summer in earlier years.

Lapwai is part of the Lewiston, ID-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Lapwai is located at 46°24′16″N 116°48′16″W / 46.40444°N 116.80444°W / 46.40444; -116.80444 (46.404388, -116.804376)., at an elevation of 955 feet (291 m) above sea level

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.81 square miles (2.10 km2), of which, 0.80 square miles (2.07 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.




The city is served by the BG&CM Railroad, a freight carrier which operates on the former Second Subdivision line of the Camas Prairie Railroad.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 91
1880 165 81.3%
1920 359
1930 416 15.9%
1940 426 2.4%
1950 480 12.7%
1960 500 4.2%
1970 400 −20.0%
1980 1,043 160.8%
1990 932 −10.6%
2000 1,134 21.7%
2010 1,137 0.3%
2019 (est.) 1,137 0.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,137 people, 369 households, and 272 families living in the city. The population density was 1,421.3 inhabitants per square mile (548.8/km2). There were 397 housing units at an average density of 496.3 per square mile (191.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 16.6% White, 0.4% African American, 78.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population.

There were 369 households, of which 46.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 26.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 11.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.3% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08 and the average family size was 3.58.

The median age in the city was 30.8 years. 31.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.9% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.


The public schools in Lapwai are operated by Lapwai School District #341, led by Lapwai High School.

Notable residents

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Lapwai para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Influential Hispanic activists
Joan Baez
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
Vicente T. Ximenes
Mario G. Obledo
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