10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Montana For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in Montana have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Montana? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Treasure State:

  1. Dillon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Glendive (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Conrad (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Stevensville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Glasgow (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Columbus (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Kalispell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. East Helena (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Libby (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Red Lodge (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Montana, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Montana and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Montana.

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How do you determine which place is best for families in Montana anyways?

To give you the places in Montana which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Treasure State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Montana, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 2,000 people. For Montana, that meant a total of 29 cities.

Read on to see why Dillon is where all the families are headed, while Billings is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Dillon

Dillon, MT

Source: Public domain

Population: 4,214
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 20.5%
More on Dillon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

2. Glendive

Glendive, MT

Population: 5,353
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Denver
Households with kids: 31.8%
More on Glendive: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

3. Conrad

Conrad, MT

Population: 2,587
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 31.0%
More on Conrad: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

4. Stevensville

Stevensville, MT

Population: 2,016
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 26.2%
More on Stevensville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

5. Glasgow

Glasgow, MT

Population: 3,363
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 28.7%
More on Glasgow: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

6. Columbus

Columbus, MT

Population: 2,208
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 30.7%
More on Columbus: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

7. Kalispell

Kalispell, MT

Population: 21,619
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 31.2%
More on Kalispell: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Kalispell (kæl spl, kæl spl) is a city in, and the county seat of Flathead County, Montana, United States. The 2015 Census estimates put Kalispell’s population at 22,052. The Kalispell Micropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 93,068 and it is the largest city and commercial center of northwest Montana. The name Kalispell is a Salish word meaning ‘flat land above the lake’. Kalispell is also the gateway to Glacier National Park.

8. East Helena

East Helena, MT

Population: 2,286
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 34.2%
More on East Helena: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

9. Libby

Libby, MT

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,674
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 25.0%
More on Libby: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

10. Red Lodge

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,328
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 21.5%
More on Red Lodge: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In Montana

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Montana ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Montana according to the data:

  1. Billings
  2. Missoula
  3. Sidney

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Montana

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Dillon 4,214 55
2 Glendive 5,353 67
3 Conrad 2,587 41
4 Stevensville 2,016 43
5 Glasgow 3,363 47
6 Columbus 2,208 48
7 Kalispell 21,619 57
8 East Helena 2,286 36
9 Libby 2,674 45
10 Red Lodge 2,328 46
11 Colstrip 2,288 34
12 Whitefish 6,859 43
13 Wolf Point 2,801 60
14 Columbia Falls 4,960 35
15 Polson 4,674 61
16 Cut Bank 2,993 48
17 Laurel 6,931 47
18 Livingston 7,210 53
19 Belgrade 7,874 44
20 Deer Lodge 3,062 64
21 Lewistown 5,868 53
22 Havre 9,815 47
23 Great Falls 59,479 59
24 Helena 30,102 58
25 Hamilton 4,539 63
26 Bozeman 41,761 67
27 Sidney 6,407 54
28 Missoula 70,117 58
29 Billings 109,089 55

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