Twin Falls is the county seat and largest city of Twin Falls County, Idaho, United States. The city had a population of 44,125 as of the 2010 census.Twin Falls is the largest city of Idaho's Magic Valley region. As the largest city in a 100-mile (160-kilometer) radius, Twin Falls serves as a regional commercial center for both south-central Idaho and northeastern Nevada.
Twin Falls is the principal city of the Twin Falls, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which officially includes Jerome and Twin Falls Counties. The resort community of Jackpot, Nevada, in Elko County is unofficially considered part of the greater Twin Falls area.
Excavations at Wilson Butte Cave near Twin Falls in 1959 revealed evidence of human activity, including arrowheads, that rank among the oldest dated artifacts in North America. Later native American tribes predominant in the area included the Northern Shoshone and Bannock.
The first people of European ancestry to visit the Twin Falls area are believed to be members of a group led by Wilson Price Hunt, which attempted to blaze an all-water trail westward from St. Louis, Missouri, to Astoria, Oregon, in 1811 and 1812. Hunt's expedition met with disaster when much of his expedition was destroyed and one man was killed in rapids on the Snake River known as Caldron Linn near present-day Murtaugh. Hunt and the surviving members of his expedition completed the journey to Astoria by land.
Twin Falls is one of only three Idaho cities which has a Council-manager form of government. The seven-member Twin Falls City Council is directly elected in non-partisan municipal elections to four-year terms. The mayor, who holds little executive power, is periodically selected among current city council members to chair meetings and is "considered the official representative of the city." City council meetings are usually held on Mondays.
The city's day-to-day operations are overseen by a city manager, who is appointed by the city council. The city government through various citizen boards oversees parks and recreation, planning and zoning, sanitation and garbage collection, street maintenance, wastewater collection, and maintains police and fire departments. Twin Falls Public Library, Twin Falls Municipal Golf Course and Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport are also under the city's jurisdiction.
Twin Falls is home to the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), a large community college in the northwestern part of the city. Several Idaho universities, including Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho, offer classes on the CSI campus. The nursing program received money from the 2007-2008 state budget to construct a state of the art nursing facility which complements the nursing program. The CSI men's basketball team won its third NJCAA Division I Championship in March 2011.
According to City-Data.com, Twin Falls's crime rate dramatically decreased between the years of 2003 through 2009. As of 2009, the crime rate in Twin Falls was lower than the U.S. average.
Twin Falls, the state's 7th largest city, is the fastest growing city in South-Central Idaho. As of April 2011 unemployment in Twin Falls county stood at 9.5%, below Idaho's average of 9.6%. From 1998 to 2007 the unemployment rate was steadily decreasing to a low of just under 2%. Then, in tandem with the national economy, the unemployment rate increased to nearly 9.5% as of April 2011.
Most growth seen today has taken place over the last 20 years, with an acceleration of growth just between 2006-2011. However, there are businesses that have been a mainstay for many decades.
Although Twin Falls has the distinction of being the largest Idaho City not directly on the Interstate Highway System, the city is served by several major highways including U.S. Route 30 and U.S. Route 93. Access to Interstate 84 is afforded by a junction with U.S. Route 93 approximately 5 miles (8.3 km) north of the city in Jerome County. Idaho State Highway 74 provides direct access from downtown Twin Falls to southbound locations on U.S. Route 93, including Hollister, Rogerson, and Jackpot, Nevada.