Sidney, Helena Valley West Central, Laurel: These cities aren’t just some of the best places to live in Montana. They are also home to some of the richest people in the Treasure State.
Sidney in particular houses the richest residents in the state thanks, in part, to a median household income of $56,926 and a ridiculously low poverty rate of 9.6%.
If you’re thinking of moving to one of these towns, you’ll probably need to start saving. The richest places in Montana share common characteristics such as having a genius level populous, sky high home prices, and a Pleasantville level of married couples.
After analyzing Census data from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey for the 22 places in Montana with more than 5,000 people, we were left with this set of the ten richest places in the Treasure State:
- Helena Valley West Central
- Helena Valley Southeast
- Orchard Homes
For more on how we calculated the top ten, read on or skip to the end for the full list. Oh, and the poorest place in Montana? That would be Missoula.
How We Determined The Richest Places In Montana
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the richest places is simply how much people earn. After all, rich people have really high salaries.
However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “richest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income
- Unemployment Rate
Median household income is the most digestible way to understand how rich a place really is. The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for more people to become rich. If more people are employed, the richer the future looks.
After we collected the data for all 22 places with more than 5,000 people in Montana, we ranked each place from 1 to 22 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the richest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Rich Score” with the place having the lowest overall Rich Score, Sidney, crowned the “Richest Place In Montana”.
You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 22 places.
Population: 5,888Median Income: 5692600.0%
Poverty Level: 9.6%
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
2. Helena Valley West Central
Population: 8,502 Median Income: 6213800.0%
Poverty Level: 8.5%
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Population: 6,887Median Income: 4528600.0%
Poverty Level: 8.6%
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Population: 6,943 Median Income: 5226400.0%
Poverty Level: 9.0%
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Population: 5,879Median Income: 3843800.0%
Poverty Level: 7.2%
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Population: 7,625Median Income: 4601000.0%
Poverty Level: 10.1%
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Population: 106,979Median Income: 4926500.0%
Poverty Level: 13.2%
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
8. Helena Valley Southeast
Population: 7,340 Median Income: 5438600.0%
Poverty Level: 9.8%
Unemployment Rate: 9.1%
9. Orchard Homes
Population: 5,410 Median Income: 5299100.0%
Poverty Level: 12.4%
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
Population: 29,142Median Income: 5031100.0%
Poverty Level: 15.8%
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
There You Have It – The Richest Places In Montana
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the richest places in Montana, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Montana. When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very top of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the poorest cities in MT, according to data:
2nd Poorest: Butte-Silver Bow
3rd Poorest: Kalispell
For more Montana reading , check out:
- If You’re From Montana This Will Be The Most Jaw-Dropping Thing You See Today. Guaranteed.
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Montana
Detailed List Of Richest Places In Montana
|Helena Valley West Central||2|
|Helena Valley Southeast||8|
|Anaconda-Deer Lodge County||19|