Idaho Counties
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Idaho Counties

There are forty-four Counties in Idaho. When Idaho became a territory in March, 1863, there were four Counties in existence: Boise, Idaho, Nez Perce and Shoshone. By the time Idaho became a state, there were 15 counties. The rest of the 44 Counties came into existence during the 30 years after Idaho became a state. Two of the former counties disappeared during this time. Alturas, which was created in 1864, was later divided into the many counties now found in central Idaho. Logan County was only in existence for six years, from 1889 to 1895. It was combined with Alturas to form Blaine County and Lincoln County, which was formed just two weeks after Logan lost its identity.

Gem County, Idaho

Gem County Education, Geography, and HistoryGem County, Idaho Courthouse

Gem County is a county in the state of Idaho. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 16,719. Gem County was created on March 15, 1915. The county seat and largest city is Emmett. The county is named for the State nickname of "Gem State."

Gem County is part of the Boise, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Gem County Name

Gem County is named for the Idaho state nickname of Gem State.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Gem County History

Established March 15, 1915 with its county seat at Emmett. Named for the state nickname, "Gem State." Fur trappers were in the area as early as 1818 and Alexander Ross explored Squaw Creek in 1824. Prospectors and miners moved through the county in 1862 in route to the gold rush in the Boise Basin, and by the next year irrigation began along the Payette River.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 566 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 561 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (0.8%) is water. 

Gem county is located close to the center of Idaho. The county is the fifth-smallest county in Idaho by area.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Adams County
  • Northeast: Valley County
  • East: Boise County
  • South: Ada County
  • Southwest: Canyon County
  • West: Payette County
  • Northwest: Washington County


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