These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Montana For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Montana have the most for people looking to make the move to Montana.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Montana a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Montana.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Treasure State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Montana, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 28 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Treasure State for 2018:

  1. Fallon County (Photos)
  2. Stillwater County (Photos)
  3. Jefferson County
  4. Gallatin County (Photos)
  5. Valley County (Photos)
  6. Dawson County (Photos)
  7. Carbon County (Photos)
  8. Park County (Photos)
  9. Richland County (Photos)
  10. Lewis and Clark County (Photos)

Fallon County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Montana. And you might want to avoid Glacier County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Montana, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Montana and the best places to raise a family in Montana.

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How do you determine which Montana county is the best?

To give you the best county in Montana, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Montana across each of the criteria from one to 28, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Montana’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Treasure State.

Read on to see why Fallon County is the best county, while Glacier County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Montana.

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1. Fallon County

Baker, MT

Biggest Place: Baker
Population: 2,913
Median Income: $50,114 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $151,700 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (4th best)
More on Fallon County: PhotosData

2. Stillwater County

Columbus, MT

Biggest Place: Columbus
Population: 9,342
Median Income: $59,603 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $213,100 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (9th best)
More on Stillwater County: PhotosData

3. Jefferson County

Basin, MT

Biggest Place: Montana City
Population: 11,601
Median Income: $62,939 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $247,900 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (16th best)
More on Jefferson County: Data

4. Gallatin County

Belgrade, MT

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Bozeman
Population: 97,958
Median Income: $57,021 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $285,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (14th best)
More on Gallatin County: PhotosData

5. Valley County

Glasgow, MT

Biggest Place: Glasgow
Population: 7,576
Median Income: $49,977 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $143,000 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (12th best)
More on Valley County: PhotosData

6. Dawson County

Glendive, MT

Biggest Place: Glendive
Population: 9,431
Median Income: $57,591 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $158,900 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (2nd best)
More on Dawson County: PhotosData

7. Carbon County

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Red Lodge
Population: 10,340
Median Income: $52,869 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $217,700 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (7th best)
More on Carbon County: PhotosData

8. Park County

Livingston, MT

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Livingston
Population: 15,843
Median Income: $43,385 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $222,500 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (10th best)
More on Park County: PhotosData

9. Richland County

Sidney, MT

Biggest Place: Sidney
Population: 11,392
Median Income: $65,638 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $203,700 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (3rd best)
More on Richland County: PhotosData

10. Lewis And Clark County

East Helena, MT

Biggest Place: Helena
Population: 65,989
Median Income: $59,170 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $212,600 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (11th best)
More on Lewis And Clark County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Montana To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Montana can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Montana according to the data:

  1. Glacier County
  2. Roosevelt County
  3. Lake County

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Montana

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Fallon County 1 2,913 $50,114 $151,700
Stillwater County 2 9,342 $59,603 $213,100
Jefferson County 3 11,601 $62,939 $247,900
Gallatin County 4 97,958 $57,021 $285,200
Valley County 5 7,576 $49,977 $143,000
Dawson County 6 9,431 $57,591 $158,900
Carbon County 7 10,340 $52,869 $217,700
Park County 8 15,843 $43,385 $222,500
Richland County 9 11,392 $65,638 $203,700
Lewis And Clark County 10 65,989 $59,170 $212,600
Beaverhead County 11 9,317 $38,194 $168,000
Yellowstone County 12 155,344 $55,032 $201,500
Flathead County 13 94,696 $48,407 $236,800
Missoula County 14 113,101 $46,371 $243,700
Cascade County 15 82,049 $45,469 $165,800
Fergus County 16 11,429 $42,357 $119,700
Chouteau County 17 5,837 $38,735 $121,900
Powell County 18 6,928 $43,064 $136,600
Rosebud County 19 9,348 $55,609 $113,200
Blaine County 20 6,609 $36,875 $86,000
Ravalli County 21 41,130 $40,546 $238,100
Pondera County 22 6,166 $42,193 $116,600
Hill County 23 16,529 $42,979 $131,300
Lincoln County 24 19,268 $35,461 $173,900
Sanders County 25 11,375 $34,336 $183,100
Lake County 26 29,311 $39,898 $226,300
Roosevelt County 27 11,230 $34,481 $117,000
Glacier County 28 13,695 $29,181 $100,600

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