Twin Falls is the county seat and the state’s 7th largest city (44,125 as of the 2010 census); 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%. As the largest city of Idaho’s Magic Valley and 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.
Twin Falls became the center of national attention in September 1974 when daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in a specially modified rocket cycle. Watched by millions on closed-circuit television on a Sunday afternoon, the attempt ultimately failed due to high winds and a premature deployment of Knievel’s parachut. The launch ramp’s foundation lies on private land on the canyon’s south rim.
During the last quarter of the 20th century, gradual diversification of the agriculture-based economy allowed the city to continue to grow. Major Twin Falls employers in 2006 included computer maker Dell, Inc., Glanbia, and Jayco, a recreational vehicle manufacturer. In September 2009 Dell announced it would close its Twin Falls facility by January 2010. Later in 2010 the call center company C3 opened a facility in the former Dell location. In 2012 Chobani, one of the U.S.’s largest Greek yogurt manufacturers, opened its largest factory and distribution center in Twin Falls.
In recent years Twin Falls has become quite multicultural. Thanks in large part to a refugee center operated by the College of Southern Idaho, since 1995 significant numbers of people from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former Soviet Union have settled in Twin Falls. The city also has a sizable Hispanic population.
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.
Public schools are administered by the Twin Falls School District, including Twin Falls High School, Canyon Ridge High School, the alternative Magic Valley High School, two middle schools and seven elementary schools. Also, Twin Falls is home to Xavier Charter School and the recently established Wings Charter Middle School.
Twin Falls experiences a semi-arid climate. Monthly temperature averages in Twin Falls range from 34.9 °F (1.6 °C) in January to 85.0 °F (29.4 °C) in July.