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Pocatello (Listeni/ˈpoʊkəˈtɛloʊ/) is the county seat and largest city of Bannock County, with a small portion on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in neighboring Power County, in the southeastern part of the US state of Idaho. It is the principal city of the Pocatello metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Bannock and Power counties. As of the 2010 census the population of Pocatello was 54,255.
Pocatello is the fifth largest city in the state, just behind Idaho Falls (population of 56,813). In 2007, Pocatello was ranked twentieth on Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers. Pocatello is the home of Idaho State University and the manufacturing facility of ON Semiconductor. The city is at an elevation of 4,462 feet (1,360 m) above sea level and is served by the Pocatello Regional Airport.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.38 square miles (83.86 km2), of which, 32.22 square miles (83.45 km2) is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water.
Pocatello experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk), with winters that are moderately long and cold, and hot, dry summers.
As of the census of 2010, there were 54,255 people, 20,832 households, and 13,253 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,683.9 inhabitants per square mile (650.2 /km2). There were 22,404 housing units at an average density of 695.3 per square mile (268.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.5% White, 1.0% African American, 1.7% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.2% of the population.
There were 20,832 households of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.4% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.10.
The median age in the city was 30.2 years. 25.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 14.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.4% were from 25 to 44; 21.8% were from 45 to 64; and 10.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.
Idaho State University (ISU) is a public university operated by the state of Idaho. Originally an auxiliary campus of the University of Idaho and then a state college, it became the second university in the state in 1963. The ISU campus is in Pocatello, with outreach programs in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Boise, and Twin Falls. The university’s crown jewel is the 123,000-square-foot (11,400 m2) L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center, which occupies a prominent location overlooking Pocatello and the lower Portneuf River Valley. The center’s three venues provide state-of-the-art performance space, including the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall. Idaho State’s athletics teams compete in the Big Sky Conference, the football and basketball teams play in Holt Arena.
In terms of popular film, Pocatello gained attention in the 1954 musical film A Star is Born, in which Judy Garland sang the song “Born in a Trunk” about being born in the “Princess Theatre in Pocatello, Idaho”. Pocatello is mentioned as the hometown of Aaron Davis, a character played by Steve Sandvoss in the motion picture Latter Days. Part of the 2006 film Bonneville occurs in Pocatello and, although it was not filmed in Idaho, actress Kathy Bates attended an LDS Church in Pocatello to research her character. Portions of the movie Napoleon Dynamite were filmed in Pocatello.
The Pocatello region is the setting for Ruth Ozeki’s novel All Over Creation and for Tom Spanbauer’s Now Is the Hour.