Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Montana does this very well. Families love the Treasure State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.
But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.
These are the places in Montana that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.
After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Montana for 2019.
So where is the most expensive place to live in Montana? That would be Bozeman.
Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Montana for 2019:
- Bozeman (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Red Lodge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Whitefish (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Manhattan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Missoula (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hamilton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Three Forks (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Billings (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Kalispell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Polson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
So hopefully Chinook (the cheapest place to live in Montana) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Montana and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Montana For 2019
Bozeman is a city in and the seat of Gallatin County, Montana, United States. Located in southwest Montana, the 2010 census put Bozeman’s population at 37,280 and by 2016 the population rose to 45,250, making it the fourth largest city in Montana. It is the principal city of the Bozeman, MT Micropolitan Statistical Area, consisting of all of Gallatin County with a population of 97,304. It is the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Montana and is the third largest of all of Montana’s statistical areas.
The median income in Bozeman comes in at $49,217 and the median home value is $310,800 for 2019.
The median income in Red Lodge comes in at $46,786 and the median home value is $224,700 for 2019.
Whitefish (Salish: epxyu, “has whitefish”) is a city in Flathead County, Montana, United States. The population was 6,357 at the 2010 census. It is home to a ski resort on Big Mountain called Whitefish Mountain Resort.
The median income in Whitefish comes in at $49,870 and the median home value is $326,100 for 2019.
The median income in Manhattan comes in at $61,400 and the median home value is $224,800 for 2019.
Missoula /mzul/ ( listen) is a city in the U.S. state of Montana and is the county seat of Missoula County. It is located along the Clark Fork River near its confluences with the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers in western Montana and at the convergence of five mountain ranges, thus is often described as the “hub of five valleys”. In 2016[update], the United States Census Bureau estimated the city’s population at 72,364 and the population of the Missoula Metropolitan Area at 116,130. In the 1990s, Missoula overtook Great Falls as Montana’s secondlargest city, behind Billings. Missoula is home to the University of Montana, a public research university.
The median income in Missoula comes in at $43,602 and the median home value is $253,100 for 2019.
The median income in Hamilton comes in at $29,799 and the median home value is $171,200 for 2019.
The median income in Three Forks comes in at $53,750 and the median home value is $186,000 for 2019.
Billings is the largest city in the state of Montana, and the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area with a population of 166,855. It has a trade area of over half a million people.
The median income in Billings comes in at $55,585 and the median home value is $206,100 for 2019.
Kalispell (kæl spl, kæl spl) is a city in, and the county seat of Flathead County, Montana, United States. The 2015 Census estimates put Kalispell’s population at 22,052. The Kalispell Micropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 93,068 and it is the largest city and commercial center of northwest Montana. The name Kalispell is a Salish word meaning “flat land above the lake”. Kalispell is also the gateway to Glacier National Park.
The median income in Kalispell comes in at $44,800 and the median home value is $205,500 for 2019.
The median income in Polson comes in at $33,023 and the median home value is $174,600 for 2019.
HHow We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Treasure State For 2019
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Montana to figure out which is the most expensive.
What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 50 places in Montana that have more than 1,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in Montana according to the data is Bozeman.
Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Montana For 2019
Well there you have it, the places in Montana that have the highest cost of living, with Bozeman ranking as the most expensive city in the Treasure State.
Here’s a look at the most affordable cities in Montana according to the data:
- Wolf Point
- Deer Lodge
For more Montana reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Montana
- 10 Safest Places In Montana
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Montana
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Montana