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
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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Montana For 2019
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Montana