Are you mulling over moving to Montana?
Montana’s low cost of living, low crime rates, and booming job market make it a favorite state for many families and millennials.
The state’s low property taxes, zero sales tax, and shorter commuting time make moving to Montana appealing to many people.
Famous for its gold, silver, and sapphire, the state’s low population density makes it a safe place for many families.
If all of that sounds like what you’ll like to be a part of, moving to Montana could be perfect for you. To help you make up your mind, we have compiled key facts and information about the state so you can decide if moving to Montana is right for you.
Let’s get started.
A quick look at the population and other demographics of Montana.
Settled amidst scenic serene surroundings, Montana is one of the prettiest states and also boasts seven natural wonders that allure thousands of people annually. Spectacular lakes, ringing rocks, limestone cliffs, and tasty berries are to name a few, and living in this Treasure State gives you a feel that no other state can offer.
It is not just the serene beauty that makes Montana special but even the education system is outstanding here. The state is a center of world-class education and is also home to some of the premium US universities which include Montana State University, Montana Technological University, The University of Montana–Western, and the University of Providence. The state has in total 11 universities, each competing for the top berth in terms of size and quality of education.
A perfectly blessed state in terms of nature, Montana boasts plenty of lakes and wild parks where both locals and tourists indulge in a wide range of activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hunting, and fishing.
Despite its large size, Montana’s population is one of the lowest in the US. Spread over 147,040 sq miles, Montana is the fourth largest in size but the eighth least populous in the country. About 1,122,867 people reside here, which means 7.09 persons per square mile, which means the density is 7.09/sq mi.
Montana’s economy is greatly based on ranching and it is still dominant across the state. For generations, it had been the backbone of the state’s economy, and the unlimited mountain ranges, plenty of gazing areas, and open spaces are still centers for ranching.
Montana is the coldest state in the US and it often goes down to even touch down minus 50 or colder. The extreme winter and large snowfalls make normal life tougher in the winter months. December is the coldest month and some of the tallest mountains in the state get more than 100 inches of 3-month snowpack. Some parts of the state receive snow at any time of the year.
As a big part of Montana is sparsely populated and is covered by dense wild lands, it is natural to be a home for a large number of wild animals. Grizzly bears, lynx, black bears, moose, wolverines, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, coyotes, and wolves are found plenty in the state while badgers, beavers, otters, porcupines, mink, and bats are also seen in plenty number.
With its amazingly pretty nature, unlimited water bodies, a vast number of open spaces, strong schooling system, and low crime rate, Montana is undoubtedly a good place to raise a family. It’s true that the state gets extremely cold in winter but summers are warm and even the cost of living is much lower than most neighboring states.
Montana loves beer more than any other beverage. Historically, Montana consumed more beer, especially craft beer; the state has recently eclipsed its 100th local craft brewery, which means that small breweries are in many of Montana’s smaller towns and cities. The state is one of the largest producers of barley and some of the world’s finest barley is found here which makes craft beer the most consumed beverage.
Montana has a population of 1,836,843 living in 55 different counties. Here’s a simple breakdown of the state’s population since you’re considering moving to Montana:
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If the weather is one of the relevant things you’d like to consider before making up your mind about moving to Montana, we’ve collected key stats about the state’s weather to give you an idea of what to expect.
Is moving to Montana right for you? People are moving to Montana for several reasons. We’ve highlighted ten of such reasons to help you figure out if moving to Montana is right for you or not.
Montana is a great place to live on a minimal budget. Groceries, health, housing, transportation, health - everything here costs lower than the national average. You can get a studio apartment for an average rent of $566, while a two-bedroom house would cost you $823 as rent.
Montana had a past packed with battles and violence but that was a century back. Now, Montana is one of the safest states with a low-level crime rate. Property crime levels sit just below the national average at 42.09 per 1,000 residents. Gang-related violence and armed robberies are also hardly reported in Montana.
The average rental prices are much cheaper in Montana than the national average. The average rent for a studio apartment is $566 per month, compared to the U.S. national average of $823 per month. For a one-bedroom apartment, the Montana monthly average cost is $641, while the national average is $930. The average cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment in Montana is $823. The U.S. national average is $1,148.
If buying a home is in your plan, you can own one for $367,030. Realty experts state that almost 56% of the homes in the state fall between $118,674 and $356,480, which is highly affordable for a common man.
One of the best things about Montana is the top-quality education here. The state is home to several high-performing, well-rounded school districts that balance academic achievement with vigorous athletic programs.
Montana has two large universities - Montana State University and the University of Montana. In addition, there are many small and mid-size colleges across the state. Here is the list of Top Schools and University in Montana
You'll be surprised to see people waving in Montana as they pass on the state’s country roads and chat with strangers in cafes and diners. The residents here have a friendly and warm attitude that welcomes more people. While in conversation, Montana people crack jokes in between and do not miss a chance to laugh at them.
Montana's economy is booming and the unemployment rate is just 4.2 percent. Most people work in the healthcare industry, followed by education. There are a large number of populations working in transportation, food preparation, and office administration.
While in Montana, the best time to have an adrenaline rush is in winter. While in winter, there will be carpets of snow all around and Montana also offers a wealth of unique winter activities, some of which are found nowhere else.
Some of the best things to do in Montana in winter are:
Montana has no shortage of outdoor entertainment, especially in winter. However, that doesn't mean that summers are dull. The state has got enough options to keep you busy year around.
Here are some of the things to do in Montana
The fourth-largest state by area, Montana is also the third least densely populated state. The state has a population of 1,085,407 and the density is 7.09 per mile. This leaves almost a big part of the state uninhabited. The healthy population density also ensures equal distribution of natural resources where each resident will get a good share.
Since the state is sparsely populated, there is no heavy traffic anywhere in the state, including big cities. This way, you won’t be stuck on roads while commuting for professional or personal reasons.
Living in Montana comes with some upsides and downsides. Considering both will make it easier for you to make the right decision. So, we’ve highlighted the pros and cons of living in Montana to make it easier to consider both options.
|The Pros of living in Montana||The Cons of living in Montana|
|You’ll have access to top-quality education||The weather in Montana can be harsh sometimes|
|You’ll enjoy a low cost of living||You’ll have to put up with lots of tourists|
|You’ll enjoy world-class winter sports in Montana||Housing isn’t so many in Montana|
|The environment in Montana is warm and friendly||You may be at risk of a predator attack in Montana|
|Montana has a booming job market||You’ll have to deal with the constant need to be self-sufficient|
|Montana isn’t an overcrowded state||Lack of public transport is a problem here|
|Outdoor activities in Montana are really amazing||Facilities aren’t so many in Montana|
|You’ll live among nice and friendly neighbors in Montana||New trends hardly trend here compared to the rest of the U.S.|
|Traffic isn’t a problem in Montana|
|You’ll enjoy hunting, fishing, and ranching in Montana|
|Homes are affordable in Montana|
|If you love beer, you’ll love Montana|
Montana is home to several beautiful cities. Since you’re considering moving to Montana, living in some of the best places in the state will most likely be one of your top priorities.
|Rank||City||Population||Unemployment Rate||Home Value|
The cost of living in Montana is 94.0. The United States average is 100. This means that the cost of living in Montana is lower than the national average.
The median home value in Montana is $264,987. There are 425,818 homes and apartments in Montana. Montana is home to 56 counties.
Renting a home is a good option if you’re moving to Montana. About 27% of Montanans are renters, while about 1.7% of apartments and homes in the city are available to rent. Here are the average costs of renting various rooms and apartments in Montana:
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Montana’s unemployment rate is 2.7. The United States average is 3.7%. Whether you’re considering getting a job after moving to Montana or not, the state’s unemployment rate will give you an idea of the state’s job market and the overall economy.
Montana is home to several large industries powering the state’s economy. Moving to Montana could mean investing or working in any of the largest industries in the state. Here are the largest industries in Montana:
If you’re considering changing your career after moving to Montana or you’re considering getting building a career in one of the fastest-growing jobs in the state, we’ve made a list of the ten fastest-growing jobs in Montana.
|Rank||Job Title||Growth %||Average Wage||Jobs in 2024|
|5||Personal Care Assistant||123.2%||$22,730||6,580|
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The average annual pay for hourly jobs in Montana is $56,575 per annum. If you’re interested in getting a new job after moving to Montana, we’ve compiled key stats about the average salary in the state to give you an idea of what to expect.
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Montana is home to several large industries and employers. Moving to Montana could give you a chance to get a job or do business with one or more of the largest companies in the state. Here’s a list of the top ten largest companies and employers in Montana:
|2||Fringe Benefit Resources||Great Falls||12,000|
|5||St. Patrick Hospital Health Sci Cent||Missoula||3,000|
|9||Town Pump||Butte-Silver Bow||1,871|
|10||Kalispell Regional Healthcare||Kalispell||1,800|
Montana’s average one-way commute time takes 17.10 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes. This means that the average commuting time in Montana is faster than the United States average.
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Crime rates are among the most significant things to take into account before making up your mind about moving to Montana. Here are key stats about the crime rates in the Big Sky Country to help you make an accurate comparison before making up your mind about moving to Montana:
Safety is one of the most significant things to think through before moving to Montana. So, we’ve listed the ten safest cities in Montana to give you an idea of where you should consider buying or renting a home in the state. Here are the ten safest cities in Montana:
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crimes Per 100k||Property Crimes Per 100k|
|4||Columbia Falls, MT||5,456||146||1,539|
|5||Deer Lodge, MT||2,902||241||620|
|7||Miles City, MT||8,496||200||1,871|
Moving to Montana could mean paying a lot less in taxes depending on where you’re moving from. Montana is rated as a fairly taxpayer-friendly state. The state’s property taxes are lower than the U.S. average. Montana has no sales tax. Before making up your mind about moving to Montana, here’s a simple breakdown of the state’s taxes:
The beautiful state of Montana is known for several things. Here we’ve listed a dozen things The Big Sky Country is known for. Since you’re considering moving to Montana, you should check out the list.
Montana has a large stock of gold, silver, and sapphires as natural resources and since the 18th century, this had attracted people to the state. Even now, the different gems, gold, silver, and sapphires are extracted from different mines, contributing highly to the state’s coffers.
A non-profit wildlife park and educational facility in West Yellowstone, the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is open to the public for 365 days. 114 animals belonging to 23 species are displayed here.
The museum is at an inactive silver and zinc mine in Butte. There are 50 buildings spread over 22 acres and you can tour through underground mines up to 100-feet down.
A 3,000-acre recreation and nature preservation area 12 miles east of Whitehall, Lewis and Clark Caverns has two visitor centers, ten miles of hiking trails, a campground, and electrically lighted limestone caverns. Since 2018, it has been on the National Registry of Historic Places.
A 1903 era-red stone mansion in Billings, the Moss Mansion is now a museum reflecting the history of early Billings's development. The Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area covers 28,465 acres and is managed by the Helena National Forest. There is a 53-mile trail through high meadows, open forests, and narrow gorges cut by bounding streams. Camping and fishing are allowed with proper permits but no motorized or mechanized vehicles, including bicycles, are allowed.
On Northwestern Montana, on the US-Canada border, Glacier National Park is spread over 1,000 miles and includes parts of 2 mountain ranges. There are 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals in this protected region.
This is a preserved site that is a memorial to the soldiers who fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. The site of a related military action led by Marcus Reno and Frederick Benteen is also part of the national monument but is about 3 miles southeast of the Little Bighorn battlefield.
An independent non-profit institution, the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) is a repository for state and federal fossils. One of the world's finest research museums, MOR displays an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils including the fully-mounted Montana's T. rex skeleton.
A ski resort in Montana, Big Sky is located an hour south of Bozeman via U.S. Highway 191. The second-largest ski resort in the country, it is spread over 5,800 acres of terrain and has a vertical drop of 4,350 feet. It has 250 runs for skiing enthusiasts of every type - beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The resort also hosts several events, including conferences and weddings year-round.
Helena, the state capital of Montana is one of the most visited cities and is blessed with the scenic beauty around. The elaborate Victorian architecture is worth seeing. You’ll see its rich historic past still intact - for the past 100 years and more. The 75-mile trail is ideal to explore walking or on a bike.
The art museum in Great Falls primarily displays the artwork of "cowboy artist" Charles Marion Russell. The illustrated letters by Russell, work materials used by him, and many other items are displayed to help visitors understand his life and working habits. There is also Russell's log cabin studio and his two-story wood-frame home within the museum property.
If you’re moving to Montana, you’ll most likely be interested in the best schools in the state. We’ve made a list of the best universities, colleges, high, middle, and elementary schools in the state. Here’s the list below:
Morning Star School
Bozeman Elementary School District, Public, PK-5 | 499 students, Rating: 9/10
Bozeman Elementary School District, Public, PK-5 | 355 students, Rating: 9/10
Bozeman Elementary School District, Public, PK-5 | 319 students, Rating: 9/10
Creston Elementary School District, Public, PK-6 | 87 students, Rating: 9/10
Meadow Lark School
Great Falls Elementary School District, Public, PK-6 | 510 students, Rating: 9/10
Chester-Joplin-Inverness El School District, Public, 7-8 | 18 students, Rating: 8/10
Clancy Elementary School District, Public, 7-8 | 69 students, Rating: 8/10
Big Sky School K-12, Public, 6-8 | 89 students, Rating: 7/10
Elysian Elementary School District, Public, 7-8 | 85 students, Rating: 7/10
Sacajawea Middle School
Bozeman Elementary School District, Public, 6-8 | 745 students, Rating: 7/10
Fairfield High School
Fairfield High School, Public, 9-12 | 104 students, Rating: 10/10
Fairview High School
Fairview High School, Public, 9-12 | 119 students, Rating: 10/10
Frenchtown High School
Frenchtown K-12 Schools, Public, 9-12 | 412 students, Rating: 10/10
Gardiner High School
Gardiner High School, Public, 9-12 | 66 students, Rating: 10/10
Melstone High School
Melstone High School, Public, 9-12 | 33 students, Rating: 10/10
Rank 1. Montana State University, Bozeman
Rank 2. The University of Montana, Missoula
Rank 3. Montana Tech, Butte
Rank 4. Montana State University Billings, Billings
Rank 5. Carroll College, Helena
Rank 6. Rocky Mountain College, Billings
Rank 7. Montana State University-Northern, Havre
Rank 8. University of Providence, Great Falls
Rank 9. The University of Montana Western, Dillon
If you think living in a sparsely populated area amidst splendid scenic beauty is cool, Montana is for you. With unmatched natural beauty, plenty of wide open spaces, and exceptionally low property taxes, Montana is one of the best places to lead a quiet and peaceful life. While small in size, the state has got plenty of job opportunities and amazing outdoor fun options to keep you hooked for a long time.
Montana is highly affordable. You can comfortably live here with $45,000 per annum, which is much lower than most wealthy US states. With a low employment rate, you’ll find it easier to get a job in Montana and the paycheck would be decent enough to survive with a smile.
Montana is sparsely populated and is known for its laid-back lifestyle. The wide open spaces and lush landscapes make the state pretty and scenic. However, moving here, you should be ready to bear the harsh winter which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The 8-month winter, freezing cold temperatures, limited access to amenities, and absence of vibrant nightlife in most parts of the state make the state not a preferred choice for weak hearts.
As per the latest stats, the average household income in Montana is $82,327 and you can earn $45,000 annually, living in Montana is pretty easy. The minimum salary in the state is $9.95.
Montana is highly scenic with wide landscapes, open spaces, and lush parks. The employment rate is much lower and it is easy to find a suitable job in any part of the state. It is sparsely populated and people maintain a laidback lifestyle. However, the harsh climate with 8-month long winter where the temperature often touches -70 degrees and low racial diversity along with the absence of vibrant nightlife and lack of affordable housing options may make you wonder whether Montana is really the place where you want to live in.Check the Pros and Cons in details
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