These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Montana For 2018


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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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 2018:

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

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:

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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.

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1. King Arthur Park


Population: 1,137
Median Income: $56,000 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $169,200 (22nd Best)
More on King Arthur Park: Data| Homes For Sale

2. Montana City

Source: Public Domain

Population: 2,878
Median Income: $94,167 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $316,900 (2nd Best)
More on Montana City: Data| Homes For Sale

3. Four Corners


Population: 4,003
Median Income: $76,632 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $315,900 (3rd Best)
More on Four Corners: Data| Homes For Sale

4. Scobey

Scobey, MT

Population: 1,175
Median Income: $48,929 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $116,000 (45th Best)
More on Scobey: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

5. Glasgow

Glasgow, MT

Population: 3,363
Median Income: $53,235 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $151,600 (30th Best)
More on Glasgow: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

6. Helena Valley Northwest


Population: 3,967
Median Income: $79,283 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $230,900 (10th Best)
More on Helena Valley Northwest: Data| Homes For Sale

7. Colstrip

Colstrip, MT

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,288
Median Income: $89,483 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $126,500 (38th Best)
More on Colstrip: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

8. Clancy


Population: 1,612
Median Income: $78,077 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $289,200 (7th Best)
More on Clancy: Data| Homes For Sale

9. Plentywood

Plentywood, MT

Population: 1,881
Median Income: $47,034 (25th Best)
Median Home Value: $167,000 (23rd Best)
More on Plentywood: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

10. Gardiner


Population: 1,057
Median Income: $51,500 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $292,600 (5th Best)
More on Gardiner: Data| Homes For Sale

11. Helena Valley Northeast


Population: 3,154
Median Income: $70,275 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $290,600 (6th Best)
More on Helena Valley Northeast: Data| Homes For Sale

12. East Helena

East Helena, MT

Population: 2,286
Median Income: $52,639 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $165,500 (24th Best)
More on East Helena: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

13. Forsyth


Population: 1,837
Median Income: $44,848 (28th Best)
Median Home Value: $152,100 (29th Best)
More on Forsyth: Data| Homes For Sale

14. Big Timber


Population: 1,484
Median Income: $41,316 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $169,500 (21st Best)
More on Big Timber: Data| Homes For Sale

15. Columbia Falls

Columbia Falls, MT

Population: 4,960
Median Income: $47,157 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $174,400 (18th Best)
More on Columbia Falls: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

16. Three Forks

Three Forks, MT

Population: 2,083
Median Income: $53,229 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $174,100 (19th Best)
More on Three Forks: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

17. Red Lodge

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,328
Median Income: $42,120 (30th Best)
Median Home Value: $227,900 (11th Best)
More on Red Lodge: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

18. Manhattan

Manhattan, MT

Population: 1,300
Median Income: $57,321 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $220,500 (12th Best)
More on Manhattan: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

19. West Glendive


Population: 1,922
Median Income: $69,722 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $171,500 (20th Best)
More on West Glendive: Data| Homes For Sale

20. Baker

Baker, MT

Population: 1,866
Median Income: $51,181 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $148,900 (31st Best)
More on Baker: 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. Fort Belknap Agency
  3. North Browning

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 1,137 $56,000 $169,200
2 Montana City 2,878 $94,167 $316,900
3 Four Corners 4,003 $76,632 $315,900
4 Scobey 1,175 $48,929 $116,000
5 Glasgow 3,363 $53,235 $151,600
6 Helena Valley Northwest 3,967 $79,283 $230,900
7 Colstrip 2,288 $89,483 $126,500
8 Clancy 1,612 $78,077 $289,200
9 Plentywood 1,881 $47,034 $167,000
10 Gardiner 1,057 $51,500 $292,600
11 Helena Valley Northeast 3,154 $70,275 $290,600
12 East Helena 2,286 $52,639 $165,500
13 Forsyth 1,837 $44,848 $152,100
14 Big Timber 1,484 $41,316 $169,500
15 Columbia Falls 4,960 $47,157 $174,400
16 Three Forks 2,083 $53,229 $174,100
17 Red Lodge 2,328 $42,120 $227,900
18 Manhattan 1,300 $57,321 $220,500
19 West Glendive 1,922 $69,722 $171,500
20 Baker 1,866 $51,181 $148,900
21 Conrad 2,587 $39,432 $107,300
22 Big Sky 2,767 $67,969 $376,800
23 Helena West Side 1,242 $55,433 $176,400
24 Townsend 1,941 $48,125 $142,600
25 Deer Lodge 3,062 $37,917 $113,400
26 Fort Benton 1,325 $38,421 $135,300
27 East Missoula 2,114 $45,625 $191,600
28 Dillon 4,214 $32,180 $134,800
29 West Yellowstone 1,139 $32,134 $244,400
30 Lolo 3,876 $57,248 $215,600
31 Choteau 1,714 $39,375 $120,100
32 Frenchtown 1,932 $41,594 $266,900
33 Columbus 2,208 $49,805 $161,200
34 Hamilton 4,539 $31,845 $165,200
35 Shelby 3,160 $45,285 $136,800
36 Cut Bank 2,993 $36,542 $122,100
37 Wolf Point 2,801 $38,397 $96,100
38 Malta 1,806 $27,917 $122,100
39 Stevensville 2,016 $32,120 $160,100
40 Lakeside 2,898 $57,882 $303,200
41 Polson 4,674 $33,013 $182,400
42 Boulder 1,144 $41,875 $130,700
43 Libby 2,674 $24,271 $95,400
44 Thompson Falls 1,153 $30,556 $119,800
45 Clinton 1,076 $54,792 $192,900
46 Absarokee 1,109 $42,543 $154,000
47 Bonner-West Riverside 1,682 $39,297 $77,000
48 Black Eagle 1,022 $28,179 $98,500
49 Chinook 1,047 $41,364 $97,900
50 Ronan 1,919 $32,228 $121,600
51 Hardin 3,803 $40,884 $107,800
52 Roundup 1,824 $30,609 $83,100
53 Ashland 1,009 $35,625 $73,900
54 Sun Prairie 1,193 $51,402 $86,400
55 Eureka 1,280 $26,223 $126,600
56 South Browning 1,545 $19,333 $53,900
57 Crow Agency 2,038 $34,500 $83,600
58 Pablo 2,475 $26,791 $119,600
59 Lame Deer 2,119 $31,250 $59,200
60 North Browning 2,804 $20,469 $59,800
61 Fort Belknap Agency 1,375 $24,900 $80,200
62 Hays 1,023 $29,167 $58,700

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