Montana, the last best place. For those of us that live here, we've always known this. Recently more and more individuals are finding its allure as they depart from urban areas in pursuit of something new. Even though we wish to keep it under wraps, the news is spreading: Montana is worth living in. Here are some reasons why.
One of the biggest drivers in the growth of Montana in recent years is people searching for a better quality of life. Whether it’s the pandemic, politics, or crowding people began leaving cities and heading to smaller towns, and the Mountain West became a hot spot. As the fourth largest state and a population of just over a million, Montana offers space to breathe. Montana's cities have experienced population growth, but it pales in comparison to that of larger cities in our country. Of course, the growing pains are real with Montana trying to figure out how to cope with more density, traffic, and crime. However, with endless outdoor recreation, clean air, and friendly communities Montana still offers a quality of life that is hard to find elsewhere.
As we mentioned above, Montana is the fourth largest state, and with that comes a variety of landscapes and geography. The western and southwest parts of our state have impressive mountain ranges, especially when you are up near Glacier National Park. However, head to eastern Montana and there’s hardly a mountain in sight. Here you’ll find a relatively flat landscape with grassy plains and warmer weather. North central Montana is rolling wheat fields that go on for days. Regardless of location, Montana is renowned for its stunning, expansive backdrops.
It's not just the landscape that offers variety in Montana, the personalities of each town differ drastically. Bozeman has not-so-affectionately been called Boz-Angeles because of the increase in downtown condo development, and boujee shops and restaurants. Missoula still remains the Montana city with the most laid-back vibe, while Butte is the tough guy. You’ll find small farming communities, ski resort towns, and everything in between. The communities in Montana are as diverse as our landscape. To find out more about the cities in Montana, click here. If a small town is more your vibe, click here for the 9 best.
Montana has always been an agricultural state with the majority of our industry coming from farming and ranching. While this is still a booming industry in much of our state, there are several large employers across Montana. Healthcare, education, and banking are big industries here and recently the high-tech sector has grown with over 600 firms across the state. Several of the tech companies are located in Bozeman.
The shift to remote work drastically changed where people do business and added to the popularity of Montana. If you can work anywhere, why wouldn’t you pick a beautiful place like Montana? The cities have large airports to accommodate business travel and plenty of co-working spaces for remote workers.
Montana is amazing, but it’s not all big blue skies and happy cowboys. Winters are the real deal around here. And they are long! It’s not uncommon for the first snow to fall in October and continue until June. Getting around during a blizzard or shoveling for the hundredth time gets old. It’s also something to consider if you are planning on living in a community that requires a commute to work. The constant winter storms can add time to the drive or make it impossible on occasion.
Speaking of affordability, housing in Montana has gotten expensive. In 2020 and 2021, Montana was the number 1 state people were moving to and a large majority of those people brought their out-of-state cash. The already limited supply of homes saw huge demand and with that came rising home prices. Although we have seen the market calm down, home prices across the state remain high. For more things to know about living in Montana, click here.
Because Montana is such a special place to live, we have had a flood of newcomers to the state. Real Montanans are a friendly bunch and welcome this, as long as they share their determination to preserve the state's exceptional qualities. If you’re new to the area, or considering moving, click here for a few friendly suggestions to keep Montana a great place to live.
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