These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Montana For 2019


These are the cream of the crop in Big Sky Country.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Montana.

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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.

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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Montana reading, check out:

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’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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.

The 10 Best Places To Live In Montana For 2019

Glasgow, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,363
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $151,600 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (11th best)
More on Glasgow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glasgow broke into the top ten best places to live in Montana on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 11th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 4th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 4th shortest average commute time of any place in Montana.

Colstrip, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,288
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $126,500 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (25th best)
More on Colstrip: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let’s take a look at why Colstrip is a great place to call home for 2019.

There’s low crime in Colstrip, and the residents here are gainfully employed (7.3% unemployment rate).

You can make Colstrip your home for only $126,500 which won’t be too hard on a $89,483 household salary.

East Helena, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,286
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $165,500 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (16th best)
More on East Helena: Real Estate | Data | Photos

At an unemployment rate of 4.8%, everyone who wants a job can get one in East Helena. And the residents command high salaries ($52,639 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($165,500 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Montana. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Laurel, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,931
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $161,000 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (14th best)
More on Laurel: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you don’t have a job in Laurel, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 3.8%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $49,839.

That’s actually not a bad idea…

Sidney, MT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,407
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $180,400 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (5th best)
More on Sidney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sidney has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Montana.

The unemployment rate is the 5th lowest in the state at 2.3%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $59,131, and the average cost of a home is $180,400. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Sidney one of America’s gems.

Whitefish, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,859
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $311,900 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (20th best)
More on Whitefish: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Whitefish comes in 6th in our best places to live in Montana analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (20th overall) and crime rate (15th overall), Whitefish is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Whitefish in our lists for years to come.

Helena, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 30,102
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $209,500 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (11th best)
More on Helena: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Helena so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Helena great. They also have the 8th highest median income and the 9th shortest commute time.

Bozeman, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 41,761
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 6)
Median Home Value: $278,700 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (22nd best)
More on Bozeman: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Montana, Bozeman came in 8th. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Bozeman has an impressive history for a place of just over 41,761 people. The median home costs a cool $278,700 and households make $48,612 which is good for 12th in Montana.

Columbia Falls, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,960
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $174,400 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (16th best)
More on Columbia Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We think the motto in Columbia Falls should be “Everything is greater in Columbia Falls,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Columbia Falls has some of the highest home values in Montana, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Columbia Falls only has 1230.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Columbia Falls a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Review Of Columbia Falls by HomeSnacks User

The people in this town are so nice and generous. There’s a strong sense of community here. People really look out for one another and always offer help when needed.

The people here are the nicest I have ever come across.

Belgrade, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,874
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $196,300 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (19th best)
More on Belgrade: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who doesn’t want to live in Belgrade? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 5.2%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Belgrade in the news in the coming months.

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

  1. King Arthur Park (Pop. 1,137)
  2. Scobey (Pop. 1,175)
  3. Montana City (Pop. 2,878)
  4. Four Corners (Pop. 4,003)
  5. Glasgow (Pop. 3,363)
  6. Colstrip (Pop. 2,288)
  7. Helena Valley Northwest (Pop. 3,967)
  8. Plentywood (Pop. 1,881)
  9. Baker (Pop. 1,866)
  10. West Glendive (Pop. 1,922)

Best Small Towns To Live In Montana

  1. Belknap (Pop. 291)
  2. Kerr (Pop. 115)
  3. Turah (Pop. 426)
  4. South Hills (Pop. 529)
  5. Park City (Pop. 944)
  6. Sweet Grass (Pop. 95)
  7. Saddle Butte (Pop. 175)
  8. Huntley (Pop. 478)
  9. Gibson Flats (Pop. 253)
  10. Rader Creek (Pop. 234)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Montana according to the data:

  1. Libby (Pop. 2,674)
  2. Polson (Pop. 4,674)
  3. Hardin (Pop. 3,803)

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Montana

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Glasgow 3,363 3.6% $151,600
2 Colstrip 2,288 7.3% $126,500
3 East Helena 2,286 4.8% $165,500
4 Laurel 6,931 3.8% $161,000
5 Sidney 6,407 2.3% $180,400
6 Whitefish 6,859 5.7% $311,900
7 Helena 30,102 3.6% $209,500
8 Bozeman 41,761 6.1% $278,700
9 Columbia Falls 4,960 4.8% $174,400
10 Belgrade 7,874 5.2% $196,300
11 Billings 109,089 3.6% $198,300
12 Conrad 2,587 2.9% $107,300
13 Livingston 7,210 2.2% $182,200
14 Great Falls 59,479 5.0% $163,700
15 Red Lodge 2,328 0.0% $227,900
16 Dillon 4,214 9.6% $134,800
17 Havre 9,815 4.5% $136,400
18 Three Forks 2,083 3.5% $174,100
19 Columbus 2,208 9.1% $161,200
20 Missoula 70,117 7.4% $241,000
21 Glendive 5,353 3.2% $159,300
22 Lewistown 5,868 2.5% $104,000
23 Kalispell 21,619 7.4% $193,200
24 Deer Lodge 3,062 1.3% $113,400
25 Stevensville 2,016 6.1% $160,100
26 Shelby 3,160 0.5% $136,800
27 Wolf Point 2,801 3.8% $96,100
28 Hamilton 4,539 6.5% $165,200
29 Cut Bank 2,993 6.7% $122,100
30 Libby 2,674 11.8% $95,400
31 Polson 4,674 11.8% $182,400
32 Hardin 3,803 11.8% $107,800

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One thought on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Montana For 2019

  1. Are you friggin serious????? Oh my God I’m sorry for being rude but you have Sidney, MT the #1 spot to live in Montana? Are you kidding me? Please tell me this is a joke. Please cause if not I have zero faith in Ppl anymore cause that’s just straight up silly

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