These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Montana For 2019


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Montana are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2019.

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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.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Montana for 2019:

  1. King Arthur Park (Homes)
  2. Glasgow (Photos | Homes)
  3. Four Corners (Homes)
  4. Montana City (Homes)
  5. Scobey (Photos | Homes)
  6. Helena Valley Northwest (Homes)
  7. Colstrip (Photos | Homes)
  8. Big Timber (Homes)
  9. Helena Valley Northeast (Homes)
  10. Gardiner (Homes)

If you live in one of these small towns like King Arthur Park, 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.

For more reading on the Treasure State check out:

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Montana

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 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)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 62 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 62, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Montana. Top of that list — King Arthur Park.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Montana.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,125
Median Income: $64,194 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $231,700 (12th Best)
More on King Arthur Park: Data | Homes For Sale

Glasgow, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,361
Median Income: $61,484 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $140,800 (34th Best)
More on Glasgow: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,051
Median Income: $81,550 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $332,800 (3rd Best)
More on Four Corners: Data | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,770
Median Income: $96,089 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $313,600 (6th Best)
More on Montana City: Data | Homes For Sale

Scobey, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,268
Median Income: $53,594 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $119,200 (45th Best)
More on Scobey: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,949
Median Income: $80,000 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $232,400 (11th Best)
More on Helena Valley Northwest: Data | Homes For Sale

Colstrip, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,253
Median Income: $88,542 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $137,500 (36th Best)
More on Colstrip: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,498
Median Income: $42,143 (32nd Best)
Median Home Value: $169,100 (22nd Best)
More on Big Timber: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,232
Median Income: $74,484 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $306,400 (7th Best)
More on Helena Valley Northeast: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,046
Median Income: $56,094 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $318,900 (5th Best)
More on Gardiner: Data | Homes For Sale

Plentywood, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,846
Median Income: $49,375 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $165,400 (24th Best)
More on Plentywood: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,904
Median Income: $80,551 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $397,900 (1st Best)
More on Big Sky: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,714
Median Income: $75,147 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $291,500 (8th Best)
More on Clancy: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,793
Median Income: $41,354 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $156,600 (29th Best)
More on Forsyth: Data | Homes For Sale

Conrad, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,841
Median Income: $43,372 (30th Best)
Median Home Value: $118,000 (46th Best)
More on Conrad: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,797
Median Income: $61,789 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $342,200 (2nd Best)
More on Bigfork: Data | Homes For Sale

Baker, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,860
Median Income: $51,573 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $144,800 (31st Best)
More on Baker: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,349
Median Income: $46,786 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $224,700 (14th Best)
More on Red Lodge: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,122
Median Income: $59,052 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $324,300 (4th Best)
More on Frenchtown: Data | Homes For Sale

Manhattan, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,342
Median Income: $61,400 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $224,800 (13th Best)
More on Manhattan: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

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 20 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:

  1. Hays
  2. North Browning
  3. Fort Belknap Agency

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Montana

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 King Arthur Park 1,125 $64,194.0 $231,700.0
2 Glasgow 3,361 $61,484.0 $140,800.0
3 Four Corners 4,051 $81,550.0 $332,800.0
4 Montana City 2,770 $96,089.0 $313,600.0
5 Scobey 1,268 $53,594.0 $119,200.0
6 Helena Valley Northwest 3,949 $80,000.0 $232,400.0
7 Colstrip 2,253 $88,542.0 $137,500.0
8 Big Timber 1,498 $42,143.0 $169,100.0
9 Helena Valley Northeast 3,232 $74,484.0 $306,400.0
10 Gardiner 1,046 $56,094.0 $318,900.0
11 Plentywood 1,846 $49,375.0 $165,400.0
12 Big Sky 2,904 $80,551.0 $397,900.0
13 Clancy 1,714 $75,147.0 $291,500.0
14 Forsyth 1,793 $41,354.0 $156,600.0
15 Conrad 2,841 $43,372.0 $118,000.0
16 Bigfork 4,797 $61,789.0 $342,200.0
17 Baker 1,860 $51,573.0 $144,800.0
18 Red Lodge 2,349 $46,786.0 $224,700.0
19 Frenchtown 2,122 $59,052.0 $324,300.0
20 Manhattan 1,342 $61,400.0 $224,800.0
21 Dillon 4,224 $36,201.0 $156,000.0
22 Three Forks 2,046 $53,750.0 $186,000.0
23 Hamilton 4,570 $29,799.0 $171,200.0
24 Columbus 2,320 $57,331.0 $171,600.0
25 East Helena 2,265 $49,088.0 $163,600.0
26 Fort Benton 1,381 $38,667.0 $143,000.0
27 West Glendive 1,879 $73,586.0 $163,600.0
28 West Yellowstone 1,108 $32,316.0 $243,200.0
29 Choteau 1,676 $39,107.0 $119,600.0
30 Townsend 2,000 $49,012.0 $141,200.0
31 East Missoula 2,047 $48,606.0 $197,100.0
32 Helena West Side 1,286 $56,434.0 $199,300.0
33 Lolo 3,525 $56,068.0 $218,200.0
34 Stevensville 2,020 $34,282.0 $160,800.0
35 Malta 2,000 $37,708.0 $120,200.0
36 Wolf Point 2,792 $43,512.0 $107,100.0
37 Absarokee 1,022 $42,837.0 $165,700.0
38 Cut Bank 3,009 $38,229.0 $120,800.0
39 Deer Lodge 3,015 $37,985.0 $113,000.0
40 Shelby 3,194 $39,868.0 $136,900.0
41 Polson 4,702 $33,023.0 $174,600.0
42 Libby 2,664 $26,049.0 $103,200.0
43 White Sulphur Springs 1,109 $34,219.0 $116,000.0
44 Lakeside 2,459 $60,670.0 $287,400.0
45 Corvallis 1,083 $26,875.0 $164,800.0
46 Ronan 1,887 $35,046.0 $124,200.0
47 Hardin 3,812 $43,641.0 $111,800.0
48 Black Eagle 1,054 $29,427.0 $96,000.0
49 Thompson Falls 1,130 $30,541.0 $130,500.0
50 Chinook 1,056 $38,824.0 $102,900.0
51 Boulder 1,001 $41,696.0 $128,500.0
52 Eureka 1,317 $27,042.0 $138,000.0
53 Ashland 1,048 $38,750.0 $106,900.0
54 Sun Prairie 1,406 $51,771.0 $103,400.0
55 Roundup 1,813 $28,431.0 $84,800.0
56 Crow Agency 2,118 $37,228.0 $72,500.0
57 South Browning 1,388 $17,455.0 $48,100.0
58 Lame Deer 2,188 $39,722.0 $61,100.0
59 Pablo 2,722 $27,235.0 $123,100.0
60 Fort Belknap Agency 1,388 $29,107.0 $67,500.0
61 North Browning 2,582 $18,398.0 $55,800.0
62 Hays 1,006 $24,333.0 $50,300.0

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.