Nampa, Idaho

Coordinates: 43°34′29″N 116°33′49″W / 43.57472°N 116.56361°W / 43.57472; -116.56361
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The former Nampa Department Store in Downtown Nampa
The former Nampa Department Store in Downtown Nampa
The Heart of the Treasure Valley
What a Place to Live
Location of Nampa in Canyon County, Idaho
Location of Nampa in Canyon County, Idaho
Coordinates: 43°34′29″N 116°33′49″W / 43.57472°N 116.56361°W / 43.57472; -116.56361
CountryUnited States
FoundedSeptember 8, 1886
IncorporatedApril 17, 1891
 • MayorDebbie Kling
 • City34.77 sq mi (90.06 km2)
 • Land33.48 sq mi (86.72 km2)
 • Water0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)
Elevation2,517 ft (767 m)
 • City100,200
 • Estimate 
 • RankUS: 279th
ID: 3rd
 • Density2,992.7/sq mi (1,155.5/km2)
 • Urban
177,561 (US: 203rd)
 • Metro
811,336 (US: 75th)
 • Combined
899,574 (US: 67th)
Time zoneUTC–7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC–6 (MDT)
ZIP Codes
83651, 83653, 83686, 83687
Area code(s)208 and 986
FIPS code16-56260
GNIS feature ID0396943[2]

Nampa (/ˈnæmpə/ ) is the most populous city in Canyon County, Idaho, United States. The population was 100,200 at the 2020 census.[3] It is Idaho's 3rd most populous city. Nampa is about 20 miles (32 km) west of Boise along Interstate 84, and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Meridian. It is the second principal city of the Boise metropolitan area. The name "Nampa" may have come from a Shoshoni word meaning either 'moccasin' or 'footprint'.[5] According to toponymist William O. Bright the name comes from the Shoshoni word /nampai/, meaning "foot".[6]


Nampa had its beginnings in the early 1880s when the Oregon Short Line Railroad built a line from Granger, Wyoming, to Huntington, Oregon, which passed through Nampa. In Nampa there is a history museum marking the significance of the railroad company.[7] More railroad lines sprang up running through Nampa, making it a very important railroad town. Alexander and Hannah Duffes established one of the town's first homesteads, eventually forming the Nampa Land and Improvement Company with the help of their friend and co-founder, James McGee. In spite of the name, many of the first settlers referred to the town as "New Jerusalem" because of the strong religious focus of its citizens. After only a year the town had grown from 15 homes to 50. As new amenities were added to the town, Nampa continued its growth and was incorporated in 1891.

Nampa's historic roads run perpendicular to the railroad tracks that travel northwest to southeast through the town. Thus, the northside is really the northeast side of the tracks, and the southside is really the southwest side of the railroad tracks. Founder Alexander Duffes laid out Nampa's streets this way to prevent an accident like one that occurred earlier in a town he had platted near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In that town, a woman and her two children were killed by a train when they started across the railroad tracks in a buggy and the wheel got stuck. As the Oregon Short Line railroad originally bypassed Boise, Nampa has the fanciest of many railroad depots built in the area.

The first elementary school was built in the 1890s. Lakeview School was on a hill on 6th Street and 12th Avenue North, with a view of Lake Ethel. Just after the school's centennial celebration, it was condemned as a school and sold to the First Mennonite Church. In 2008 the building was refurbished, and is now being used by the Idaho Arts Charter School.

Lake Ethel – an irrigation reservoir – had long been the site of community picnics, and many citizens fished, swam, boated and even hunted on the lake and its surrounding property. The hunting didn't last for long, however, as O.F. Persons, owner of the adjoining homestead, took offense when local hunters started shooting his pet ducks.[8]

The city later auctioned off the lake. E.H. Dewey (a former Nampa mayor) was the only bidder. But occasional flooding led to a series of lawsuits from neighbors. Dewey eventually drained Lake Ethel. Not long after, the city council became interested in buying back the Fritz Miller property as well as the Dewey home. Pressure had been building for more than four years. Nampa citizens wanted another park. On August 7, 1924, the city council passed an ordinance to purchase the Miller property and name it Lakeview Park. A bandstand was completed in 1928, and the municipal swimming pool opened on August 13, 1934. Swim tickets cost 10 cents each or 15 for a dollar. It is Nampa's largest park and many community celebrations are held there.[9]

Colonel William H. Dewey, a man who made a fortune mining in Silver City, built the Dewey Palace Hotel in 1902 for a quarter of a million dollars. Colonel Dewey died in his hotel in 1903, leaving his son one million dollars. The hotel survived the great fire of 1909, which burned several blocks of downtown Nampa, but was razed in 1963 after redevelopment plans failed. Relics from the hotel, such as the chandelier and the hotel safe can be found at the Canyon County Historical Museum, which is housed in the old train depot on Front Street and Nampa City Hall. After demolition the location on First Street between 11th and 12th Ave. South was sold to private enterprise including a bank and tire store replacing this historic building with the current modern structures. A public-use postage stamp sized park was later placed across the street from the old palace property as a collaboration between the Downtown Alliance of Nampa (the local business council) and an Eagle Scout Project for the Boy Scouts of America. The park includes a large mural/wall sculpture of running horses commissioned for the project.

A Carnegie library was built downtown in 1908; it burned down after the library moved in 1966. Nampa Public Library was then located on the corner of 1st Street and 11th Avenue South in the old bank building. A new library, located on 12th Avenue South, was opened in March 2015.

Deer Flat Reservoir, an offstream irrigation storage reservoir, was constructed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation between 1906 and 1911. Known locally as Lake Lowell, it is surrounded by the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The refuge is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Lake Lowell is filled by the concrete New York Canal; the water is diverted from the Boise River a few miles below Lucky Peak Dam.

The Idaho State School and Hospital was built northwest of Nampa in 1910, for the state's developmentally challenged population, and opened in 1918. The institution was largely self-sufficient, with a large farm staffed by the residents. The higher-functioning residents also cared for residents who could not care for themselves. Much has changed in the care of persons with developmental disabilities from the time of the state school's opening. The land for the old farm was sold and are now golf courses (Centennial and Ridgecrest), and the residents no longer give primary care to other residents. The institution is modernized and remains in operation, though a few of the oldest buildings are now used to house juvenile offenders.

Nampa held an annual harvest festival and farmers' market from about 1908, a time of celebration and community fun. From this festival emerged the Snake River Stampede Rodeo in 1937, which continues to this day. It is one of the top 12 rodeos in the pro rodeo circuits.

A local congregation of the Church of the Nazarene built a small elementary school in 1913, later growing to Northwest Nazarene College in 1915 and finally to Northwest Nazarene University. The university currently has a student body of 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Karcher Mall opened in 1965, the first enclosed shopping mall in the Treasure Valley. Many area residents have memories of having an Orange Julius, sitting on Santa's lap, or playing games at the Red Baron arcade in the mall. Karcher Mall was "the place to gather" for several decades until the Boise Towne Square mall was built in Boise in 1988, drawing business away. Karcher Mall was renamed to District 208 in 2022.

The Idaho Press-Tribune is the local newspaper for the Canyon County area. Since early 2009, the facility has been the contract printer for The Idaho Statesman, whose antiquated press equipment was retired and not replaced.

Nampa in 1907


Nampa is located at 43°34′29″N 116°33′49″W / 43.57472°N 116.56361°W / 43.57472; -116.56361 (43.574807, -116.563559).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 31.34 square miles (81.17 km2), of which, 31.19 square miles (80.78 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.39 km2) is water.[11]

Climate data for Nampa, Idaho
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 60
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 37
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 21
Record low °F (°C) −20
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.37
Source: [12]


Historical population
2022 (est.)110,951[4]10.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
2020 Census[3]
Map of racial distribution in Nampa, 2020 U.S. census. Each dot is one person:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Multiracial  Native American/Other

2020 census[edit]

As of the census of 2020,[14][3] there were 100,200 people. The population density was 2,992.7 inhabitants per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 81.2% White, 0.6% Black or African American alone, 1.0% American Indian or Alaskan Native alone, 0.9% Asian alone, 0.4% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander alone, 5.6% two or more races, 24.8% Hispanic or Latino. 69.6% of people identified as White alone, not Hispanic or Latino. The median age was 33 years old.[15] 6.6% of residents were under 5 years of age, 25.8% were under 18 years, 14.6% were over 65 years, and 49.8% were female.

Nampa, Idaho – Racial and ethnic composition
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 may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[16] Pop 2010[17] Pop 2020[18] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 40,555 59,291 67,229 78.19% 72.70% 67.09%
Black or African American alone (NH) 173 500 810 0.33% 0.61% 0.81%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 365 552 506 0.70% 0.68% 0.50%
Asian alone (NH) 455 671 1,031 0.88% 0.82% 1.03%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 89 270 426 0.17% 0.33% 0.43%
Other race alone (NH) 62 114 475 0.12% 0.14% 0.47%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 886 1,506 4,394 1.71% 1.85% 4.39%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 9,282 18,653 25,329 17.90% 22.87% 25.28%
Total 51,867 81,557 100,200 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%


There were 34,164 households, with 2.78 persons per households in the city. The owner-occupies housing rate was 66.3% and the median value of an owner-occupied unit was $191,800. 78.4% lived in the same household as of a year ago. In 17.6% of households, language other than English was spoken at home.

Educational attainment[edit]

87.2% of people were high school graduates (diploma or equivalent), 4.9% of people had less than a 9th grade education and 7.9% had a 9th-12th grade education with no diploma. 19.9% had a bachelor's degree, and 5.9% had a graduate or professional degree.

The percentage of people who graduated high school (diploma or equivalent) by racial makeup: 91% White, 94.9% Black, 75.2% American Indian or Alaska Native, 75.6% Asian, 88.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 91.3% Two or more races, and 66.7% Hispanic or Latino Origin.

21.2% of people with less than a high school diploma (or equivalent) lived in poverty. 12.6% of high school graduates lived in poverty, and 4.0% of bachelor's degree holders lived in poverty.

Income, employment, business, and health[edit]

Household 12-month income was $53,205 and per capita income was $22,422. 63.5% of residents were in the workforce (age 16 and above). 57.0% of the female population were in the civilian workforce (age 16 and above). 13.9% of residents lived in poverty. The mean travel time to work (commute) was 23.4 minutes. As of 2017, there were 1,833 businesses with 939 being owned by men and 212 owned by women.

11.4% of people had a disability and 13.8% of people under the age of 65 did not have health insurance.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census of 2010, there were 81,557 people, 27,729 households, and 20,016 families living in the city. The population density was 2,614.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,009.6/km2). There were 30,507 housing units at an average density of 978.1 per square mile (377.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.9% White, 0.7% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 10.7% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.9% of the population.

There were 27,729 households, of which 44.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.8% were non-families. 22.0% 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 2.88 and the average family size was 3.36.

The median age in the city was 30.1 years. 32.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.6% were from 25 to 44; 18.8% were from 45 to 64; and 10.3% were 65 years of age or older. The city's gender makeup was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 51,867 people, 18,090 households, and 13,024 families living in the city. The population density was 2,612.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,008.6/km2). There were 19,379 housing units at an average density of 976.0 per square mile (376.8/km2). The city's racial makeup was 83.45% White, 0.40% African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.93% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 11.25% from other races, and 2.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.90% of the population.

There were 18,090 households, of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.25.

The city's population was spread out, with 31.0% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 15.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

The city's median household income was $34,758, and the median family income was $39,434. Males had a median income of $28,580 versus $22,022 for females. The city's per capita income was $14,491. About 8.7% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.7% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

Ford Idaho Center[edit]

The Ford Idaho Center is a city-owned complex of entertainment venues managed by Spectra Venue Management. Venues include a 10,500-capacity amphitheater built in 1998 that features a 60-by-40-foot stage; a 12,279-seat arena featuring 31,200 square feet (2,900 m2) of arena floor space; the Idaho Horse Park, used for horse shows; and the Sports Center, used for indoor horse shows in the summer, and track and field events, including the home meets of the Boise State University Broncos track teams, in the winter. The Idaho Center hosts the Snake River Stampede Rodeo, Monster Jam, music concerts, trade shows, sporting events, and other events.

Brandt Center[edit]

Northwest Nazarene University's Brandt Center has a 1,500-seat auditorium, two art galleries, multiple meeting spaces, and a 9,000 square-foot lobby.[19] Art, music, dance, theater, speakers, and other events are hosted here.

Civic Center[edit]

The Nampa Civic Center hosts theater, music, films, and other events. It includes the 640-seat John Brandt Performing Arts Theater.[20]

Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho[edit]

The Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho (HCCI) opened in September 2003.[21] The center hosts events, classes, and festivals including Día de los Muertos, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Día Internacional de la Mujer. It serves as a meeting place for associations and groups. Displays of cultural history are available to the public.

Nampa Train Depot Museum[edit]

The Nampa Train Depot Museum is a historical depot with displays and archives of the area's railroad and cultural history. The Canyon County Historical Society saved the depot from demolition in 1972.[22]

Annual Festival of the Arts[edit]

This festival is held in Lakeview Park every year and includes art, music, dance, and food. They celebrated their 34th event in 2021.

Warhawk Air Museum[edit]

The Warhawk Air Museum was established in 1986 and relocated to Nampa in 2001.[23] The museum displays aircraft and veterans' history. Their collection includes a P-51C Mustang, P-40N Warhawk, F-86F Sabre Jet, N3N, Fokker DR-1, UH-1C Huey, L-19 Bird Dog, MiG-17, MiG-21, F-104 Starfighter, and a F9F Panther Jet.

Farmer's Market[edit]

The weekly Nampa Farmer's Market started in 1989 and runs from April to October in Lloyd Square.[24] It includes over 100 regional vendors from within a 100-hundred miles radius.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Nampa has 27 parks and 14 miles of pedestrian pathways.[25]

Lakeview Park is the largest (44 acres) and includes a public swimming pool, 1,000 seat capacity amphitheater, baseball-softball fields, BMX track, rose garden, basketball courts, playground, duck pond, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, and water wise garden. Historic displays at the park include a Northrop F-89B Scorpion fighter jet, M-60 Tank, and a Union Pacific Engine No. 616, a class 2-8-0 locomotive.

The Nampa Recreation Center, a 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) facility with a six-pool aquatic center, three gymnasiums, racquetball courts, indoor walking/running track, a weight room and exercise equipment, a climbing wall, and other activity areas, opened in 1994. The Nampa Recreation Center was later renamed to The Harward Recreation Center.[26]

The City of Nampa owns and operates the Centennial Golf Course[27] (18 holes) and Ridgecrest Golf Club[28] (27 holes). The city also owns and operates the Kohlerlawn-Cemetery.[29]

Wilson Springs is a 55-acre nature area that includes trails and fishing ponds serviced by Idaho Fish and Game and Canyon County Parks.[30]


On January 2, 2018, and then again on January 3, 2022, Debbie Kling[31] was sworn in as the second female mayor of Nampa. Current Nampa City Council members are Victor Rodriguez (District 1, elected 2017 and re-elected 2021), Natalie Jangula (District 2, elected 2023), David Bills (District 3, appointed to fill vacancy 2024), Darl Reynolds (District 4, elected 2023 and appointed 2022), Randy Haverfield (District 5, reelected 2017 and 2021) and Sebastian Griffin (District 6, elected 2023).

The Nampa City Council increased from four to six members after voters approved the increase in May 2013.[32] Following a legislative change in

2020, any city with a population of 100,000 people or more, must elect council members by district. Citizens can search for their district and learn more about this process at



The Nampa School District, which covers the majority of the city,[33] includes 18 elementary schools, five middle schools, and four high schools, and one alternative high school that serves students who struggle in traditional high schools.[34] The high schools include Nampa High School (the original and oldest), Skyview High School, Columbia High School, and Union High School.

Vallivue School District is partly in Nampa and partly in Caldwell.[33] It has seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools (one in Nampa).

A few blocks of Nampa are in West Ada School District (Meridian Joint School District 2).[33]

Book bans[edit]

In May 2022, local officials ordered the banning of 24 books from local libraries, including anti-Taliban book The Kite Runner.[35]


College of Western Idaho (CWI) is a public, 2-year community college offering associate degrees and Technical Certificates. It was established in 2007. The college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and it serves approximately 10,000 students.

Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) is a private Christian university located in Nampa. It was originally established in 1913 as a grade school and Bible school, but was later established as a four-year degree institution in 1937. It is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and it serves approximately 2,000 students total.



Major thoroughfares includes Interstate 84, which has four exits into Nampa, State Highway 55, and State Highway 45. Principal roads include the Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard (which connects Nampa with Caldwell), 12th Avenue Road, 16th Avenue, and Garrity Boulevard. The Union Pacific Northwest Corridor railroad line, connecting Salt Lake City and points east with the Pacific Northwest, runs through Nampa. Public bus transportation includes several bus lines operated by ValleyRide. Private bus transportation includes a single Greyhound bus stop. The Nampa Municipal Airport is used for general aviation.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Nampa, Idaho
  3. ^ a b c d "Explore Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  4. ^ a b "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau. January 16, 2024. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  5. ^ The Origin of the Name Nampa, Idaho State Historical Society, May 1965
  6. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 311. ISBN 9780806135984. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  7. ^ "City of Nampa". Archived from the original on May 25, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
  8. ^ Muhr, Eric. "Lakeview Park replaces Lake Ethel." The Idaho Press-Tribune. Cavalcade February 2005.
  9. ^ "Lakeview Park". Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  12. ^ "Average Weather for Nampa, ID - Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  13. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "QuickFacts: Nampa city, Idaho". United States Census Bureau. United States Census Bureau. July 6, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  15. ^ "Demographics | Nampa, ID - Official Website". Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  16. ^ "P004: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Nampa city, Idaho". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Nampa city, Idaho". United States Census Bureau.
  18. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Nampa city, Idaho". United States Census Bureau.
  19. ^ "Brandt Center - Northwest Nazarene University". Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  20. ^ "Nampa Civic Center – Arts Culture Community | Conferences, Weddings, Banquets, Events". Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  21. ^ "THE CENTER". HCCI. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  22. ^ "Museum". Canyon County Historical Society. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  23. ^ Inc, DesignWorks Creative. "About the Museum | Warhawk Air Museum | Nampa, ID". Warhawk Air Museum. Retrieved June 22, 2022. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  24. ^ "Nampa Farmers Market – Quality Products From People You Know". Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  25. ^ "Parks & Facilities | Nampa Parks and Rec, ID". Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  26. ^ "History". Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  27. ^ "Centennial Golf Course". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  28. ^ "Ridgecrest Golf Club". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  29. ^ "Kohlerlawn Cemetery | Nampa Parks and Rec, ID". Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  30. ^ "Wilson Springs". Canyon County. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  31. ^ "Office of the Mayor | Nampa, ID - Official Website". Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  32. ^ "Four new Nampa City Council members will join White, Kren". Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  33. ^ a b c "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Canyon County, ID" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 22, 2022. Retrieved March 13, 2023. - Text list
  34. ^ "Primary & Secondary Schools | Nampa, ID - Official Website". Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  35. ^ Hayasaki, Erika (September 8, 2022). "How Book Bans Turned a Texas Town Upside Down". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 17, 2023.

External links[edit]