Best Small Towns In Montana For 2020


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. This is our sixth time ranking the best small places to live in Montana.

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 15, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Montana for 2020.

What’s the best small town in Montana? King Arthur Park is the best small town in Montana based on the most recent Census data. 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:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Montana For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,239
Median Income: $62,629 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $251,900 (9th Best)
More on King Arthur Park: Data | Homes For Sale

Glasgow, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,348
Median Income: $62,300 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $138,800 (37th Best)
More on Glasgow: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,796
Median Income: $93,194 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $331,900 (5th Best)
More on Montana City: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,163
Median Income: $83,398 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $238,700 (12th Best)
More on Helena Valley Northwest: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,336
Median Income: $83,161 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $355,600 (2nd Best)
More on Four Corners: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,201
Median Income: $79,238 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $338,600 (4th Best)
More on Helena Valley Northeast: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,073
Median Income: $45,833 (31st Best)
Median Home Value: $117,200 (47th Best)
More on Chester: Data | Homes For Sale

Scobey, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,162
Median Income: $53,182 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $120,500 (42nd Best)
More on Scobey: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,739
Median Income: $48,320 (28th Best)
Median Home Value: $166,100 (24th Best)
More on Big Timber: Data | Homes For Sale

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,277
Median Income: $49,450 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $235,700 (13th Best)
More on Red Lodge: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Plentywood, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,858
Median Income: $55,625 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $161,100 (27th Best)
More on Plentywood: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,986
Median Income: $77,569 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $293,700 (7th Best)
More on Clancy: Data | Homes For Sale

Colstrip, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,446
Median Income: $87,188 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $118,400 (44th Best)
More on Colstrip: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Manhattan, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,506
Median Income: $60,854 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $245,700 (11th Best)
More on Manhattan: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Conrad, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,531
Median Income: $43,810 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $117,900 (46th Best)
More on Conrad: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

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 2014-2018 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 – 60 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 60, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Montana. Top of that list — King Arthur Park. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Montana.

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 15 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. Pablo
  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, MT 1,239 $62,629.0 $251,900.0
2 Glasgow, MT 3,348 $62,300.0 $138,800.0
3 Montana City, MT 2,796 $93,194.0 $331,900.0
4 Helena Valley Northwest, MT 4,163 $83,398.0 $238,700.0
5 Four Corners, MT 4,336 $83,161.0 $355,600.0
6 Helena Valley Northeast, MT 3,201 $79,238.0 $338,600.0
7 Chester, MT 1,073 $45,833.0 $117,200.0
8 Scobey, MT 1,162 $53,182.0 $120,500.0
9 Big Timber, MT 1,739 $48,320.0 $166,100.0
10 Red Lodge, MT 2,277 $49,450.0 $235,700.0
11 Plentywood, MT 1,858 $55,625.0 $161,100.0
12 Clancy, MT 1,986 $77,569.0 $293,700.0
13 Colstrip, MT 2,446 $87,188.0 $118,400.0
14 Manhattan, MT 1,506 $60,854.0 $245,700.0
15 Conrad, MT 2,531 $43,810.0 $117,900.0
16 Big Sky, MT 3,098 $68,333.0 $434,600.0
17 Somers, MT 1,088 $60,665.0 $220,800.0
18 Forsyth, MT 1,673 $38,188.0 $155,500.0
19 Frenchtown, MT 2,330 $65,054.0 $309,200.0
20 East Helena, MT 1,808 $57,557.0 $164,300.0
21 West Yellowstone, MT 1,016 $33,605.0 $251,000.0
22 Columbus, MT 2,324 $59,444.0 $173,100.0
23 Dillon, MT 4,244 $34,432.0 $158,600.0
24 Lolo, MT 3,780 $57,852.0 $216,000.0
25 Three Forks, MT 1,922 $55,156.0 $192,400.0
26 Bigfork, MT 4,626 $56,327.0 $352,200.0
27 East Missoula, MT 2,132 $51,886.0 $214,500.0
28 Lakeside, MT 2,160 $63,313.0 $286,100.0
29 Baker, MT 1,727 $53,750.0 $150,000.0
30 Hamilton, MT 4,628 $30,361.0 $172,800.0
31 Deer Lodge, MT 2,976 $41,332.0 $118,400.0
32 West Glendive, MT 1,803 $74,006.0 $160,600.0
33 Townsend, MT 2,069 $50,341.0 $157,000.0
34 Seeley Lake, MT 1,256 $48,239.0 $222,400.0
35 Helena West Side, MT 1,320 $58,187.0 $200,300.0
36 Choteau, MT 1,866 $40,833.0 $129,900.0
37 Fort Benton, MT 1,462 $39,514.0 $155,000.0
38 Malta, MT 2,090 $45,242.0 $126,000.0
39 Polson, MT 4,843 $36,272.0 $179,700.0
40 Harlowton, MT 1,076 $41,750.0 $87,500.0
41 Black Eagle, MT 1,027 $36,406.0 $100,900.0
42 Stevensville, MT 2,163 $32,500.0 $169,100.0
43 Cut Bank, MT 3,007 $36,485.0 $119,900.0
44 Shelby, MT 3,160 $39,205.0 $148,800.0
45 Ronan, MT 1,985 $33,850.0 $140,500.0
46 Wolf Point, MT 2,799 $44,276.0 $101,700.0
47 Libby, MT 2,663 $30,217.0 $106,100.0
48 Eureka, MT 1,405 $30,060.0 $156,100.0
49 Hardin, MT 3,842 $43,377.0 $127,600.0
50 Bonner-West Riverside, MT 1,726 $40,938.0 $98,500.0
51 Corvallis, MT 1,143 $30,417.0 $162,800.0
52 Roundup, MT 1,817 $31,071.0 $104,000.0
53 Sun Prairie, MT 1,515 $52,933.0 $110,200.0
54 Thompson Falls, MT 1,231 $30,296.0 $135,100.0
55 Lame Deer, MT 2,156 $47,813.0 $61,600.0
56 Crow Agency, MT 1,928 $35,724.0 $75,200.0
57 South Browning, MT 1,522 $16,184.0 $50,700.0
58 Fort Belknap Agency, MT 1,514 $33,269.0 $81,500.0
59 North Browning, MT 2,720 $22,917.0 $61,000.0
60 Pablo, MT 2,655 $19,069.0 $102,600.0

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.