These Are The 10 Most Expensive Cities In Montana


We used science and data to determine which cities in Montana that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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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:

  1. Bozeman (Photos)
  2. Whitefish (Photos)
  3. Missoula (Photos)
  4. Red Lodge
  5. Belgrade (Photos)
  6. Helena (Photos)
  7. Billings (Photos)
  8. Kalispell (Photos)
  9. East Helena
  10. Columbia Falls

If you’re wondering, Cut Bank is the most affordable city in Montana.

Read on to see why these places cost so much more than average. Or check out the most affordable places in Montana.

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How We Determined The Most Expensive Cities In Montana

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Montana to figure out which is the most expensive.

For reference, the United State averages a cost of living 100. A score below 100 means that the city has a below average cost of living while a score over 100 has a high cost of living for that category.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 34 places in Montana that have more than 2,000 people.

The city with the highest cost of living index, Bozeman, rank as being the most expensive.

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1. Bozeman

Bozeman, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 39,123
Services Index: 101
Groceries Index: 101
Housing Index: 127
Healthcare Index: 106
Transportation Index: 94
Utilities Index: 86

2. Whitefish

Whitefish, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,542
Services Index: 95
Groceries Index: 92
Housing Index: 129
Healthcare Index: 114
Transportation Index: 93
Utilities Index: 81

3. Missoula

Missoula, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 68,377
Services Index: 101
Groceries Index: 101
Housing Index: 116
Healthcare Index: 106
Transportation Index: 94
Utilities Index: 86

4. Red Lodge

Red Lodge, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,337
Services Index: 101
Groceries Index: 101
Housing Index: 112
Healthcare Index: 106
Transportation Index: 94
Utilities Index: 86

5. Belgrade

Belgrade, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,625
Services Index: 101
Groceries Index: 101
Housing Index: 100
Healthcare Index: 106
Transportation Index: 94
Utilities Index: 86

6. Helena

Helena, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 29,142
Services Index: 101
Groceries Index: 101
Housing Index: 98
Healthcare Index: 106
Transportation Index: 94
Utilities Index: 86

7. Billings

Billings, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 106,979
Services Index: 101
Groceries Index: 101
Housing Index: 93
Healthcare Index: 106
Transportation Index: 94
Utilities Index: 86

8. Kalispell

Kalispell, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,629
Services Index: 95
Groceries Index: 92
Housing Index: 98
Healthcare Index: 114
Transportation Index: 93
Utilities Index: 81

9. East Helena

East Helena, Montana

Source: Flickr

Population: 2,497
Services Index: 101
Groceries Index: 101
Housing Index: 88
Healthcare Index: 106
Transportation Index: 94
Utilities Index: 86

10. Columbia Falls

Columbia Falls, Montana

Source: Flickr

Population: 4,765
Services Index: 95
Groceries Index: 92
Housing Index: 96
Healthcare Index: 114
Transportation Index: 93
Utilities Index: 81

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in Montana that have the highest cost of living, with Bozeman ranking as the most exensive city in the Treasure State.

If you’re curious, here are the most least expensive cities in Montana:

  1. Cut Bank
  2. Conrad
  3. Wolf Point

For more Montana reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Montana

City Rank Population Services Groceries Healthcare Housing Transportation Utilities
Bozeman 1 39,123 101 101 106 127 94 86
Whitefish 2 6,542 95 92 114 129 93 81
Missoula 3 68,377 101 101 106 116 94 86
Red Lodge 4 2,337 101 101 106 112 94 86
Belgrade 5 7,625 101 101 106 100 94 86
Helena 6 29,142 101 101 106 98 94 86
Billings 7 106,979 101 101 106 93 94 86
Kalispell 8 20,629 95 92 114 98 93 81
East Helena 9 2,497 101 101 106 88 94 86
Columbia Falls 10 4,765 95 92 114 96 93 81
Livingston 11 7,086 101 101 106 85 94 86
Polson 12 4,580 95 92 114 93 93 81
Hamilton 13 4,486 101 101 106 84 94 86
Columbus 14 2,250 101 101 106 82 94 86
Sidney 15 5,888 103 108 108 71 100 87
Great Falls 16 59,017 101 101 106 79 94 86
Laurel 17 6,887 101 101 106 76 94 86
Townsend 18 2,033 101 101 106 73 94 86
Dillon 19 4,181 101 101 106 73 94 86
Butte-Silver Bow 20 33,481 101 101 106 69 94 86
Colstrip 21 2,243 101 101 106 68 94 86
Glendive 22 5,167 103 108 108 60 100 87
Havre 23 9,668 101 101 106 66 94 86
Glasgow 24 3,327 103 108 108 56 100 87
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County 25 9,243 101 101 106 61 94 86
Lewistown 26 5,879 101 101 106 60 94 86
Hardin 27 3,720 101 101 106 58 94 86
Shelby 28 3,096 101 101 106 58 94 86
Miles City 29 8,553 97 107 106 53 104 86
Libby 30 2,667 95 92 114 56 93 81
Deer Lodge 31 3,085 101 101 106 52 94 86
Wolf Point 32 2,730 103 108 108 40 100 87
Conrad 33 2,600 101 101 106 49 94 86
Cut Bank 34 2,947 101 101 106 47 94 86

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