Idaho Falls is a city located in Bonneville County, Idaho. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 50,730. The city is the county seat of Bonneville County.
Idaho Falls was founded as Taylor's Crossing, named after Matt Taylor , who built a toll bridge across the Snake River. The town changed its name to Eagle Rock after a rock island that was the nesting site for numerous eagles in the river 7 miles north. Later, the town voted to re-name itself Idaho Falls, after the rapids that existed below the bridge in what was then called Black Canyon. The Idaho Falls Electric Cooperative had not yet constructed the famous artificial falls now in place (as part of a modern power generation plant).
The community's economy remained agriculturally focused until the Atomic Energy Commission opened the National Reactor Testing Station in the nearby desert in 1949. The town subsequently became largely dependent on high-income jobs from "The Site", officially called the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) since 1997. The laboratory made several cutbacks, starting in 1993 and the town has tried to diversify its economy with call centers, a growing retail and entertainment sector, a regional medical center, and funding for small businesses.
Idaho Falls is located at 43°29'30" North, 112°1'57" West (43.491775, -112.032509)1, at an elevation of 4,700 feet.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.0 km² (17.4 mi²). 44.2 km² (17.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.8 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.67% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 50,730 people, 18,793 households, and 13,173 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,147.4/km² (2,972.2/mi²). There are 19,771 housing units at an average density of 447.2/km² (1,158.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 92.09% White, 0.62% African American, 0.76% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.81% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. 7.18% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 18,793 households out of which 37.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% are married couples living together, 10.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% are non-families. 25.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.65 and the average family size is 3.21.
In the city the population is spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $40,512, and the median income for a family is $47,431. Males have a median income of $39,082 versus $23,001 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,857. 10.9% of the population and 7.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 12.7% of those under the age of 18 and 6.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Idaho Falls is home to Eastern Idaho Technical College which continues to expand from its original mission as a vocational-technical college. The school proposed changing its name to "College of Eastern Idaho" in 2003 at the state legislature.
The city also has a unique campus named University Place which features dual enrollment for students in both Idaho State University and University of Idaho. The campus constructed a union building for students in 2002. Brigham Young University-Idaho, formerly Ricks College also uses the campus for courses.