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Moscow, Idaho

  •   State: 
    Latah County
      County FIPS: 
    46°44′N 117°00′W
      Area total: 
    6.91 sq mi (17.90 km²)
      Area land: 
    6.91 sq mi (17.89 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.00 sq mi (0.01 km²)
    2,579 ft (786 m)
    1871; Settled 1871; Incorporated (town) 1887
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Moscow, ID
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Moscow, Latah County, Idaho, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    3,720.08 residents per square mile of area (1,436.28/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Moscow (MOS-koh) is a city in North Central Idaho, United States. Located along the state border with Washington, it had a population of 25,435 at the 2020 census. Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho, the state's land-grant institution and primary research university. The elevation of its city center is 2,579 feet (786 m) above sea level. Two major highways serve the city, passing through the city center: US-95 (north-south) and ID-8 (east-west). The PullmanMoscow Regional Airport, four miles (6 km) west, provides limited commercial air service. The local newspaper is the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. The city contains over 60% of the county's population, and while the university is Moscow's dominant employer, the city also serves as an agricultural and commercial hub for the Palouse region. Along with the rest of the Idaho Panhandle, Moscow is in the Pacific Time Zone. The first permanent settlers came to the Moscow area 151 years ago in 1871. The abundance of camas bulbs, a favorite fodder of pigs brought by the farmers, led to naming the vicinity "Hog Heaven" When the first US post office opened in 1872, the town was called "Paradise Valley," but the name changed to "Moscow" in 1875. There is no conclusive proof that it is connected to the Russian capital, though various accounts suggest it purposely evoked the Russian city. Another account claims that the name derives from a Native American tribe named "Masco".


First permanent settlers came to the Moscow area 151 years ago in 1871. The abundance of camas bulbs, a favorite fodder of pigs brought by the farmers, led to naming the vicinity "Hog Heaven" When the first US post office opened in 1872, the town was called "Paradise Valley," but the name changed to "Moscow" in 1875. The name Paradise persists in the main waterway through town, Paradise Creek, which originates at the west end of the Palouse Range. The University of Idaho was chartered in January 1889, and first opened its doors to students in October 1892. Moscow's neighboring city, Pullman, became the home of Washington's land grant institution, the college that became Washington State University. In 1904, the community agreed to maintain a free public library at least $10,000 annually. In March 1906, a new library was built in the Mission Style building that was used for university classes during the day and used for evening classes in the evening. Moscow voters approved a permanent tax in 1905 and with successful fundraising by local residents and local businesses, the library was begun in March 1906. The library was destroyed in a fire that month, so the new building was used during the university's classes that day, so that the new library could be used for classes in evening and the evening during the week. The new library is located at the corner of Main and Second Streets, and a small library in the corner in the Pleiades Club was established in 1902.


Moscow lies on the eastern edge of the Palouse region of north central Idaho in the Columbia River Plateau. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.85 square miles (17.74 km²), all of it land. Moscow has either a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb) or a dry- summer continental climate (Dsb) An amphibian, the Rough-skinned Newt, has a disjunctive population at Moscow; this species is found typically along the Pacific coast of the US. The city sits at the boundary between the Palouses grasslands and wheat fields, and the conifer forests of the Rocky Mountains to the east. There is a variety of flora and fauna within the vicinity of Moscow. Moscow is located on the U.S. Census Bureau's Western Slope, which includes parts of Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. It has a population of 2,816. The Köppen climate classification system says Moscow has a warm summer Mediterranean climate. It is one of the few cities in the world to have both a Mediterranean and a dry summer climate. Moscow's highest point is Moscow Mountain at 4,983 feet (1,519 m) above sea level. The highest point in the city is Paradise Ridge at 3,702 feet (1,128 m) southeast of the city. Paradise Creek, with headwaters on Moscow Mountain to the northeast, flows through Moscow, then crosses the state border and joins the south fork of thePalouse River near Pullman.


As of the census of 2010, there were 23,800 people, 9,180 households, and 4,335 families residing in the city. There were 8,029 housing units at an average density of 1,305.0 per square mile (504.1 per km²) The racial makeup of the city was 90.9% White, 1.1% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.1%. Asian, 0,2% Pacific Islander, 1,4% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6%. The city's median income was $26,884, and the median income for a family was $46,331. About 9.5% of families and 22.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 4.5. of those age 65 or over. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was2.91. The median age in theCity was 24.2 years. The city has a population density of 3,474.5 inhabitants per squaremile (1,341.5/km²) and a population growth rate of 1.7%. The median income in the City was $35,494 and the per capita income for the city is $14,930. The age distribution of the residents is 16.1 years old or older.

Arts and culture

The city was highlighted in a comedy special at University of Idaho by actor-comedian Yakov Smirnoff, filmed in late 1990. Using Moscow as its setting pokes fun at SmirNoff emigrating from Moscow, Russia. The city was also used as a setting for the film's opening credits. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010. The special was directed by Alexei Kuznetsov and produced by David O'Brien. It was released in the U.S. on November 25, 2010. It is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Blu - Ray.

Parks and recreation

There are seventeen neighborhood parks located throughout the town offering a wide variety of venues for outdoor activities. A park just north of the university is named for Admiral Robert Ghormley, from 1933 to 1997, it was the site of the city's outdoor swimming pool. The defunct Tamarack Ski Area was on the east-facing slope of East Moscow Mountain; a grove of ancient red cedar trees is nearby, just northeast of Moscow Mountain's summit. The Moscow Pathways Commission (formerly Paradise Path Task Force) is a citizen committee seeking to develop a system of linearly connected parks throughout the area. The Latah Trail, completed in October 2008, extends from the eastern edge of Moscow bike path system to Troy, parallel to the Troy Highway (SH-8) for most of its twelve miles (19 km). On the west side of Moscow, the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail connects the two university communities of the Palouse. The Paradise Path bridges the gap in Moscow between the endpoints of the Chipman and Latah trails, passing through the north and east edges of the UI campus. The trail systems together constitute a continuous 22-mile (35 km) paved linear park from Pullman to Troy. From pullman to the western boundary of Moscow (the state line), it follows the right of way of a dismantled Union Pacific railroad line, and east of US-95 it follows a dismantled BNSF railroad line that junctioned at Arrow on the Clearwater River by way of Troy, Kendrick, and Juliaetta.


Moscow has a Council-Mayor form of government consisting of six Council members (at large) and a Mayor. These positions are elected separately and serve four year terms. Council is the legislative and judicial arm of Moscow's City government; enacting ordinances and resolutions. Council approves the City's annual budget and serves as the convening body for public hearings and appeals of other City Boards and Commissions. Meetings are generally scheduled for the first and third Monday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Moscow is less politically conservative than the rest of the state. In the 2004 Presidential Election, John Kerry out-polled George W. Bush in Moscow 54%-46%. Latah County was 49.5%-48.0% for the Bush/Cheney ticket; the entire state of Idaho went 68%-30% for Bush. In 2008 Barack Obama won Moscow 52%-45% while losing statewide 61%-36%. In 2000 Latah county went to Republican George. Bush 53% to Democrat Al Gore's 36% and Independent Ralph Nader's 6%. The state ofIdaho went to Bush 67%, to Gore 27%, with Nader at 2%. The city of Moscow has a population of 1.2 million people. It is the second-largest city in Idaho after Boise. The city's population is 1.3 million people; it is the third largest city in the state, behind Boise and Boise, Idaho. It has a mayor and a council of six members.


The University of Idaho is Idaho's oldest public university, located in the city of Moscow in Latah County. It is the state's flagship, primary research university. The university offers 142 degree programs, including bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and specialists' degrees. At 25% and 53%, its 4 and 6 year graduation rates are the highest of any public university in Idaho. The school is home to the Idaho Vandals, who competed on the Division I FBS (formerly I-A) level through the 2017 season before dropping down to the FCS level in 2018. The Moscow School District #281 operates Moscow High School (9-12), an alternative high school, a middle school (6-8), and four elementary schools (two K-5, one K-2, one 3-5). There are two public charter schools and three private schools in the town of Moscow, including New Saint Andrews College, which opened in 1994 and moved to its present campus on Main Street in 2003. In addition to the main campus in Moscow, the UI has branch campuses in Coeur d'Alene, Boise, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls. It also operates a research park in Post Falls and dozens of extension offices statewide. It generates 74 percent of all research expenditures in the state, with research expenditures of $100 million in 2010 alone. The UI has the largest campus in theState at 1,585 acres (6.4 km²), located in. the hills of the Palouse region.


US-95 connects Moscow to Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston, and the Treasure Valley with onward connections to Boise. The Paradise Path is an east-to-west multi-use path that connects to shopping centers, the University of Idaho, and city parks. There are intercity bike trail connections with the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail to Pullman, Washington and the Latah Trail to the eastern town of Troy. The Moscow Intermodal Transit Center is the transport hub for SMART (Sustainable Moscow Area Transit Service) transit and intercity bus services. Bus service to Spokane and Boise is offered by Northwestern Trailways. Wheatland Express also providesService to Spokane. Moscow is located on the eastern edge of the Wasilla Range, which is home to the majority of Idaho's oil and natural gas production. It is also home to Idaho State University, which has a campus in Moscow. The city is also the home of the Idaho National Guard, which was founded in 1883. It was the first U.S. military base in the state, and has since become a major military hub. Moscow has a population of 1.2 million. It has a long history of being a hub for rail and bus service. It also has a history of hosting the Winter Olympics in 1988 and the Winter Paralympics in 1992. The Winter Olympics were held in Moscow from 1988 to 1992. Moscow was also the site of the Winter Games, which were held from 1992 to 1998.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho = 89.7. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 36. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 98. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Moscow = 3 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 25,435 individuals with a median age of 26.3 age the population grows by 9.71% in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 3,720.08 residents per square mile of area (1,436.28/km²). There are average 2.22 people per household in the 8,529 households with an average household income of $34,317 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.10% of the available work force and has dropped -3.25% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 27.40%. The number of physicians in Moscow per 100,000 population = 141.1.


The annual rainfall in Moscow = 23.6 inches and the annual snowfall = 49.5 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 117. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 169. 83 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 22.5 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 77, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho which are owned by the occupant = 41.38%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 33 years with median home cost = $165,820 and home appreciation of -6.33%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $10.59 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,642 per student. There are 15.9 students for each teacher in the school, 417 students for each Librarian and 348 students for each Counselor. 6.98% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 29.35% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 24.55% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Moscow's population in Latah County, Idaho of 2,484 residents in 1900 has increased 10,24-fold to 25,435 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 47.15% female residents and 52.85% male residents live in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho.

    As of 2020 in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho are married and the remaining 55.08% are single population.

  • 14.9 minutes is the average time that residents in Moscow require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    61.80% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 11.25% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 1.02% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.94% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho, 41.38% are owner-occupied homes, another 52.04% are rented apartments, and the remaining 6.58% are vacant.

  • The 29.52% of the population in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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