Idaho is the 14th largest state in the United States. Known as the Gem State, Idaho has a long history of gem mining and is notable for being one of only two places on earth where star garnets can be found in notable amounts. Idaho did not enter the Union until 1890 and was primarily a mining territory with few settlements before then.
Mining remains a principle industry alongside agriculture, primarily potatoes; and the lumber industry. Science and technology have also grown dramatically in Idaho becoming the largest single element of the state’s economy. Outdoor recreation constitutes the most popular tourist attractions including skiing, mountain climbing, river rafting, and camping.
Most of Idaho’s population can be found along the western state line, particularly in the Boise metro in the southwest section of the state. Small population centers follow the Snake River through Idaho’s southern area eastward.