Boise is the state capital. Many factors—religion, agriculture, transportation, topography, industry, cultural ties, and sectional pride—have contributed to Idaho’s diverse regional characteristics. For many years writers and politicians consistently referred to the division of Idaho into two regions: northern Idaho, meaning the 10 northern counties, and southern Idaho, the rest of the state. A more accurate view of regionalism in the state, however, takes into account the trading and marketing centres, resulting in regions that sometimes cross state boundaries. According to this view, the regions are Lewiston and Spokane, Wash., in the north; Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls in the south; and the Logan–Ogden–Salt Lake City axis in northern Utah, which extends into the Bear Lake Valley of southeastern Idaho. More than half of the state’s population lives in urban areas; the largest concentration is in the southwest, in Boise and nearby Nampa and Meridian. Other urbanized areas are Idaho Falls and Pocatello, in the southeast, and Coeur d’Alene, in the northwest.