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Idaho is a state located in the Pacific Northwest region, Western United States. It shares a small part of the Canadian border to the north with British Columbia. It borders the state of Montana and Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west. Boise is the capital and largest city of Idaho. With an area of 83,570 square miles (216,400 km), Idaho is the 14th largest state by land area, but with a population of approximately 1.8 million, it ranks as the 13th least populous and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 U.S. states.
For thousands of years, and prior to European colonization, Idaho has been inhabited by native peoples. In the early 19th century, Idaho was considered part of the Oregon Country, an area of dispute between the U.S. and the British Empire. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 officially made it a U.S. territory. However, a separate Idaho Territory was not established until 1863. Instead, it was included for periods in Washington Territory and Oregon Territory. On July 3, 1890, Idaho was admitted to the Union and became the 43rd state.
Idaho, which is part of the Pacific Northwest and the Cascadia bioregion, is divided into distinct geographical and climatic regions. The state’s northern region, the Idaho Panhandle (a remote area) is closely connected to Eastern Washington. It shares the Pacific Time Zone with Eastern Washington. The rest of the state uses Mountain Time Zone. The state’s south includes the Snake River Plain (which has most of the population and agricultural land). The state’s southeast incorporates part of the Great Basin. Idaho is quite mountainous, and contains several stretches of the Rocky Mountains. The United States Forest Service holds about 38% of Idaho’s land, the highest proportion of any state.