Should We Ban Californians?

September 26, 2018

"Idaho is being ruined by the liberal Commifornians!"

"They are jacking up all the house prices..."

"I can't even book a campsite because of them!"

These are just some of the few comments I heard about Californians by the local Idahoans. There seems to be a large percentage of locals that hate, or at the very least are frustrated by the influx of Californians moving into this state. As a result, the house prices have skyrocketed, the traffic has become unbearable, and many more unwanted consequences have surfaced.

What Got It All Started

Why does it feel like the entire world is moving to Idaho? Blame social media! Idaho is currently being ranked as one of the best states in several categories.

  • Among The Happiest States - WalletHub
  • Best City to Live In (Meridian, Idaho) - USA Today
  • Fastest Growing City (Boise, Idaho) - Forbes

As a result, Idaho is experiencing an insane amount of growth. Naturally, the locals will find something or someone to blame all of their problems on. This meme is a perfect example of how some locals feel about Californians.

Idaho meme offline outdoors

What if the problem is not "Californians"?  Rather than being consumed by this negativity, I took a step back and tried my best to look at this entire situation objectively. Here are a few issues that are often blamed on Californians.


Sure, I can complain about the traffic. I can blame the Californians all I want. But, I can also look at this perspective: Idaho's transportation department isn't keeping up with the rapid expansion. They are extremely slow with road work. Do we really need four people holding signs while two people are working? 

We have nothing to complain about in terms of traffic. I've visited some of the major cities in California. It is literally HELL there! A typical drive to work can easily be 2 hours long. I do agree that some Californian drivers are overly aggressive. But on the other hand, some locals still think they are living in 1940's. It is still very common to find an older lady going 34 miles an hour on Eagle Rd when the speed limit 50.

Reserving Campsites

When I was growing up, it was so easy it was to find a campsite. Reservations were not necessary. But now, I have to reserve 6 months in advance, and that's not even a guarantee. I have to spend so much more time researching, finding new spots, and making sure they are available. My first reaction was to blame all the newcomers, especially the Californians.

I've realized that I was spoiled. The best places in the world have incredibly long wait times. Some of them even have lotteries. Thank goodness Idaho isn't at that stage yet. Is there a shortage of campsites currently? I'd say no. Sure, there is a lot of competition for campsites that are really close to town. No one wants to drive far. This has forced me to explore new places that are much further away. Just follow this simple rule: the further you are from town, the less people you will see. 

The Free Market & House Prices

Before complaining about all the newcomers, the locals should look at what is happening to the economy. It is BOOMING! Idaho is one of the fastest growing states. Many local businesses are busier than ever before. The construction business in particular is experiencing insane growth. Even Amazon is planning to build a giant distributing center soon. That'll bring thousands of jobs!

This rapid growth has caused the house prices to skyrocket. Many locals complain that they can't even afford to buy a house anymore. My response is simple. Idaho isn't the same state anymore. It is rapidly evolving. And if you don't adapt, you will be left behind! If you can't afford something, complaining about it certainly won't help. There are two basic options: move to a different place that is affordable or find new career opportunities that will fund your lifestyle here. Trust me. There is plenty of opportunity here!

Message to the Locals

I totally understand the local frustrations. Idaho is rapidly changing. I do miss the old days when traffic was non-existent. I remember the dirt cheap house prices. What I miss the most about Idaho is the slow pace of life. Unfortunately Idaho will never be the same anymore. People will naturally move to a place that is better and apparently they are all choosing Idaho. Whether you welcome newcomers or shun them away, that will not change anything. People will continue moving here. 

The Truth About Me

I am actually from California. My family moved to Idaho in 2006 right before the recession. Although I am not a native, Idaho is my home and forever will be! 

Do you think my assessment of this situation is fair? Let me know.

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