10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Montana For 2019

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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in Montana.

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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.

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 some more reading about Montana and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Montana For 2019

Columbus, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,320
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 36.1%
More on Columbus: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Glendive, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,285
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Denver
Households with kids: 25.1%
More on Glendive: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Stevensville, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,020
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 22.8%
More on Stevensville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Dillon, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,224
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 20.3%
More on Dillon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Kalispell, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,992
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 30.9%
More on Kalispell: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Kalispell 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.

Review Of Kalispell by HomeSnacks User

I think it’s an understatement to say that visiting Kalispell for about a month was the best experience of my life as it is truly a beautiful place. I loved visiting Glacier National Park that is literally ten minutes away from the city and the local campus of the University Of Montana is nearby as well and it is rated as one of the top colleges in the nation. Also just being surrounded by the beautiful mountains and scenery around me made me feel relaxed and calm.

What stood out out to me the most were the beautiful scenery and nature and wildlife that the city of Kalispell had to offer and therefore I have to say it was a great experience and nothing was bad about it.

Conrad, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,841
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 27.4%
More on Conrad: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Deer Lodge, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,015
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 23.8%
More on Deer Lodge: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Review Of Deer Lodge by HomeSnacks User

Wonderful pictures! Yep this is my home and my roots! From Deer Lodge! Thank you for sharing!

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,349
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 18.8%
More on Red Lodge: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Glasgow, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,361
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 25.6%
More on Glasgow: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Livingston, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,294
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 24.8%
More on Livingston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Livingston is a city and the county seat of Park County, Montana, United States. Livingston is located in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park. The population was 7,044 at the 2010 census.

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.

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. Sidney
  3. Helena

For more Montana reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Montana?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Columbus, MT 2,320 63
2 Glendive, MT 5,285 40
3 Stevensville, MT 2,020 64
4 Dillon, MT 4,224 52
5 Kalispell, MT 21,992 46
6 Conrad, MT 2,841 33
7 Deer Lodge, MT 3,015 51
8 Red Lodge, MT 2,349 56
9 Glasgow, MT 3,361 35
10 Livingston, MT 7,294 58

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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