You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Montana, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Treasure State and no one pays attention to the little guy.
Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Montana based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.
We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Montana ranked the based–you know, based on science. Here are the 10 Best Small Towns in Montana (in which to live):
- Woods Bay
- Fort Peck
- South Hills
- Helena Flats
- Lewistown Heights
- Fort Shaw
If you live in one of these small towns like Woods Bay, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.
But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.
How We Determined The Best Small Towns In Montana
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (Higher is better)
- Lowest Unemployment Rates
- Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
- Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
- High School Dropouts (Lower is better)
- Crime Rates (Lower is better)
We looked at places with populations lower than 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 152 to be exact.
We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 152, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Montana. Top of that list — Woods Bay.
Keep reading to find out more about our top 10 best small towns in Montana.
1. Woods Bay
Population 2014: 498 Median Income: $56,607
Median Home Price: $231,000
Crime Per 100k: 1,871
2. Fort Peck
Population 2014: 201 Median Income: $74,167
Median Home Price: $183,100
Crime Per 100k: 2,356
3. South Hills
Population 2014: 340 Median Income: $97,250
Median Home Price: $444,200
Crime Per 100k: 1,025
Population 2014: 314 Median Income: $46,944
Median Home Price: $233,900
Crime Per 100k: 2,224
Population 2014: 1,032 Median Income: $60,694
Median Home Price: $248,300
Crime Per 100k: 752
Population 2014: 767 Median Income: $50,682
Median Home Price: $107,400
Crime Per 100k: 3,236
7. Helena Flats
Population 2014: 1,072 Median Income: $57,321
Median Home Price: $232,600
Crime Per 100k: 767
8. Lewistown Heights
Population 2014: 454 Median Income: $90,125
Median Home Price: $195,700
Crime Per 100k: 2,523
Population 2014: 883 Median Income: $37,250
Median Home Price: $184,800
Crime Per 100k: 701
10. Fort Shaw
Population 2014: 300 Median Income: $78,060
Median Home Price: $168,300
Crime Per 100k: 2,254
Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones
We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 10 small towns in Montana are the best, in which to live.
And who can argue with that?
If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Montana:
- Old Agency
For more Montana reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Montana
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Montana
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana
Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Montana
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