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In collaboration with the City of Boise (City), the Idaho Policy Institute (IPI) used an objective, statistical approach to determine a set of peer cities for use across City departments. This analysis uses a set of population and demographic variables to identify a group of cities that closely match Boise’s demographic profile. This peer city selection process will help City departments standardize their research about peer cities and apply lessons learned from these cities into policy and operational decisions throughout City government. IPI’s next steps in the peer cities analysis include creating an online dashboard with profiles of each peer city, automating the updating process for variables, and conducting specific service level comparisons across the peer cities. Boise’s primary and secondary peer cities are:

Primary Peer Cities:

  1. Spokane, WA
  2. Reno, NV
  3. Lincoln, NE
  4. Little Rock, AR
  5. Greensboro, NC
  6. Des Moines, IA

Secondary Peer Cities:

  1. Fort Wayne, IN
  2. Huntsville, AL
  3. Lexington, KY
  4. Salem, OR
  5. Madison, WI
  6. Winston-Salem, NC
  7. Wichita, KS
  8. Chattanooga, TN
  9. Durham, NC
  10. Amarillo, TX
  11. Anchorage, AK


This report was prepared by Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University and commissioned by City of Boise.