These Are The 10 Best Small Towns In Montana


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

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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. Here are the 10 Best Small Towns in Montana (in which to live):

  1. Woods Bay
  2. Fort Peck
  3. South Hills
  4. Piltzville
  5. Churchill
  6. Culbertson
  7. Helena Flats
  8. Lewistown Heights
  9. Ennis
  10. 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.

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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.

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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

4. Piltzville


Population 2014: 314
Median Income: $46,944
Median Home Price: $233,900
Crime Per 100k: 2,224

5. Churchill


Population 2014: 1,032
Median Income: $60,694
Median Home Price: $248,300
Crime Per 100k: 752

6. Culbertson


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

9. Ennis


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:

  1. Hays
  2. Busby
  3. Old Agency

For more Montana reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Montana

City Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price Crime Per 100k
Woods Bay 1 498 $56,607 $231,000 1,871
Fort Peck 2 201 $74,167 $183,100 2,356
South Hills 3 340 $97,250 $444,200 1,025
Piltzville 4 314 $46,944 $233,900 2,224
Churchill 5 1,032 $60,694 $248,300 752
Culbertson 6 767 $50,682 $107,400 3,236
Helena Flats 7 1,072 $57,321 $232,600 767
Lewistown Heights 8 454 $90,125 $195,700 2,523
Ennis 9 883 $37,250 $184,800 701
Fort Shaw 10 300 $78,060 $168,300 2,254
Ulm 11 575 $88,125 $173,500 2,238
Chester 12 780 $39,653 $95,400 3,222
Beaver Creek 13 379 $96,528 $251,800 1,719
Harrison 14 218 $53,750 $104,200 3,481
Pray 15 945 $38,277 $467,100 1,025
Wineglass 16 262 $35,929 $286,400 2,027
Hobson 17 232 $44,167 $91,900 3,395
Turah 18 410 $62,292 $333,900 1,301
Pony 19 135 $32,125 $231,300 1,476
Amsterdam 20 193 $54,554 $166,700 2,780
Gallatin Gateway 21 946 $54,702 $280,400 1,722
Florence 22 779 $49,250 $235,300 2,212
Midvale 23 603 $53,156 $191,400 2,895
Toston 24 140 $39,286 $167,900 2,688
Jefferson City 25 488 $48,309 $255,100 2,261
Joliet 26 617 $37,438 $137,500 453
Philipsburg 27 852 $38,969 $156,800 2,581
West Glacier 28 372 $53,194 $164,600 2,590
Elliston 29 243 $63,750 $177,100 2,718
Reed Point 30 193 $41,607 $109,400 2,990
Sheridan 31 642 $40,583 $139,400 2,825
Stockett 32 301 $50,000 $123,900 2,767
Little Bitterroot Lake 33 217 $63,646 $249,200 1,703
Lonepine 34 179 $51,250 $181,700 2,835
Highwood 35 170 $50,104 $105,900 3,330
Sand Coulee 36 209 $44,722 $107,700 3,154
Cascade 37 593 $39,844 $131,300 3,098
Emigrant 38 242 $32,188 $203,100 2,590
Flaxville 39 110 $41,250 $70,000 3,355
Wheatland 40 427 $49,388 $304,300 1,808
Virginia City 41 200 $41,250 $160,700 2,858
Richey 42 148 $58,125 $40,600 3,368
Condon 43 316 $34,545 $324,300 1,406
Circle 44 627 $35,486 $88,600 3,365
Ponderosa Pines 45 327 $53,580 $137,500 2,843
Evaro 46 412 $41,000 $239,300 2,315
Twin Bridges 47 335 $43,333 $111,800 3,279
Broadus 48 610 $42,386 $92,500 3,406
Shepherd 49 817 $47,045 $110,700 3,275
Hysham 50 322 $46,250 $55,500 3,583
Willow Creek 51 309 $39,479 $190,600 2,857
Bainville 52 168 $48,571 $56,300 3,534
Whitehall 53 1,097 $31,974 $120,900 1,176
Lincoln 54 786 $31,094 $132,500 3,283
Medicine Lake 55 291 $41,625 $71,200 3,563
Clyde Park 56 380 $41,667 $148,800 3,051
Riverbend 57 248 $34,297 $168,800 2,844
Fairview 58 913 $46,944 $65,700 3,518
Augusta 59 197 $32,917 $101,700 2,978
East Glacier Park Village 60 629 $51,667 $125,000 3,245
Alder 61 138 $41,875 $83,300 3,412
Big Arm 62 287 $53,333 $174,600 2,686
Belt 63 747 $37,500 $97,900 3,370
Westby 64 174 $26,250 $36,700 3,190
Klein 65 339 $51,680 $81,300 3,573
Ekalaka 66 399 $37,188 $61,100 3,664
Sylvanite 67 108 $36,250 $195,000 2,753
Nashua 68 347 $43,452 $67,500 3,367
Worden 69 586 $22,250 $107,900 3,424
Moore 70 197 $47,054 $39,400 3,797
Martin City 71 466 $50,568 $212,500 2,942
Heron 72 300 $41,667 $135,300 2,984
Dutton 73 403 $42,083 $82,200 3,658
Custer 74 221 $40,750 $87,100 3,549
Kila 75 487 $39,336 $173,500 3,015
Fromberg 76 604 $43,583 $85,000 3,508
Fairfield 77 547 $35,313 $89,400 3,387
Power 78 211 $46,563 $127,800 3,210
Drummond 79 455 $22,200 $143,800 3,239
Superior 80 1,108 $25,547 $142,800 1,184
The Silos 81 550 $29,423 $186,300 2,517
Stanford 82 474 $37,500 $66,800 3,585
Big Sandy 83 769 $33,611 $73,100 3,739
Valier 84 714 $38,750 $71,700 3,623
Batavia 85 302 $37,188 $203,800 3,257
Plains 86 888 $23,587 $120,100 2,437
Hot Springs 87 665 $23,788 $81,800 2,170
Saco 88 231 $45,074 $44,600 3,624
Broadview 89 185 $38,000 $80,000 3,560
Harlowton 90 917 $26,000 $75,900 3,692
Roberts 91 188 $30,625 $162,500 3,098
Marion 92 739 $39,792 $222,500 2,545
Sunburst 93 451 $44,375 $85,300 3,571
Jordan 94 386 $33,125 $54,800 3,798
Pinesdale 95 754 $37,788 $146,400 3,595
Denton 96 329 $33,750 $72,300 3,703
Belfry 97 205 $37,083 $70,000 3,787
Dodson 98 98 $29,500 $57,700 3,360
White Haven 99 910 $31,496 $152,800 3,175
Winifred 100 153 $22,500 $77,500 3,786

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