Where are the best places in the state of Montana?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Treasure State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Montana.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 32 places in Montana, we came up with this list of the best places.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Montana for 2019:
- Glasgow (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Colstrip (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- East Helena (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Laurel (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sidney (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Whitefish (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Helena (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bozeman (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Columbia Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Belgrade (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Glasgow if you’re thinking of moving to Montana — it’s the best the Treasure State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Montana.
For more Montana reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Montana
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Montana
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Montana
The 10 Best Places To Live In Montana For 2019
Glasgow is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.
It’s quite a gem tucked away in Montana.
If you live in Colstrip, you probably know how great it is already.
Colstrip has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($89,483). And the crime is really, really low (1st lowest in Montana).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
East Helena is by far one of the best places to live in Montana: the math proves it! This city has the 16th lowest unemployment rate and the 7th highest median income in all of Montana.
Plus, the median home values are the 14th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 3rd lowest in the state, making East Helena a safe and great place to live.
Little Laurel has it made. It has the 14th lowest unemployment rate, and crime is far below average for Montana.
Residents here have great jobs, and the home price proves it’s a highly desirable location in the state, for those who can afford the high cost of living
We’d recommend you start saving up!
The Sidney has the 5th lowest unemployment rate in Montana. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Sidney is higher than the national average and households make $59,131 per year.
We’d move to Sidney if we could in a heart beat.
Whitefish had the 20th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (5.7%) and the 15th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Whitefish is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Helena so high on the list. Unless you live in Helena.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 3.6%, Helena residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Montana. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Helena is doing quite well.
Let’s be honest — Helena is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
In Bozeman, everyone loves to call Bozeman home! The median home value is the 2nd highest in Montana.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 22nd lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Treasure State.
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Columbia Falls.
Columbia Falls ranked impressively high for its crime rate (12th overall) and its short commute times (23rd).
We think that’s worth the price of admission.
Well, I guess technically 5.2% of Belgrade residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 19th closest of any city in Montana.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Belgrade also ranked well for crime (13th) and median income ($54,000).
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Montana
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Helena with a population of 30,102 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 2,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 2,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 32 cities, 62 towns, and 215 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 2,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Montana
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Montana across a number of criteria from one to 32, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Montana”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Montana? That would be Glasgow.
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Montana.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Glasgow at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Montana
If you’re looking at areas in Montana with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Glasgow made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Montana for 2019.
Best Towns To Live In Montana
- King Arthur Park (Pop. 1,137)
- Scobey (Pop. 1,175)
- Montana City (Pop. 2,878)
- Four Corners (Pop. 4,003)
- Glasgow (Pop. 3,363)
- Colstrip (Pop. 2,288)
- Helena Valley Northwest (Pop. 3,967)
- Plentywood (Pop. 1,881)
- Baker (Pop. 1,866)
- West Glendive (Pop. 1,922)
Best Small Towns To Live In Montana
- Belknap (Pop. 291)
- Kerr (Pop. 115)
- Turah (Pop. 426)
- South Hills (Pop. 529)
- Park City (Pop. 944)
- Sweet Grass (Pop. 95)
- Saddle Butte (Pop. 175)
- Huntley (Pop. 478)
- Gibson Flats (Pop. 253)
- Rader Creek (Pop. 234)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Montana according to the data:
- Libby (Pop. 2,674)
- Polson (Pop. 4,674)
- Hardin (Pop. 3,803)
For more Montana reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Montana
- 10 Safest Places In Montana
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Montana