Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Montana a good place?
The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Montana.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Treasure State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.
So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Montana, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 56 counties in the state.
After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Treasure State for 2022.
The 10 Best Counties To Live In Montana For 2022
Jefferson County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Montana. And you might want to avoid Big Horn County if you can — at least according to the data.
So if you’re thinking of making the move Montana, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.
Or, check out the best places to live in Montana and the cheapest places to live in Montana.
The Best Counties To Live In Montana For 2022
1. Jefferson County
Biggest Place: Montana City
Median Income: $71,779.0 (best)
Median Home Price: $290,700.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (28th best)
More on Jefferson County: Photos | Data
2. Sweet Grass County
Biggest Place: Big Timber
Median Income: $53,790.0 (22nd best)
Median Home Price: $243,300.0 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.2% (7th best)
More on Sweet Grass County: Data
3. Stillwater County
Biggest Place: Columbus
Median Income: $67,448.0 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $256,600.0 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (37th best)
More on Stillwater County: Photos | Data
4. Gallatin County
Biggest Place: Bozeman
Median Income: $70,124.0 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $388,000.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (20th best)
More on Gallatin County: Photos | Data
5. Carbon County
Biggest Place: Red Lodge
Median Income: $61,209.0 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $271,500.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (38th best)
More on Carbon County: Photos | Data
6. Daniels County
Biggest Place: Scobey
Median Income: $56,026.0 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $164,700.0 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.4% (11th best)
More on Daniels County: Photos | Data
7. Fallon County
Biggest Place: Baker
Median Income: $69,792.0 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $165,900.0 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.1% (3rd best)
More on Fallon County: Photos | Data
8. Richland County
Biggest Place: Sidney
Median Income: $64,158.0 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $229,100.0 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (2best)
More on Richland County: Photos | Data
9. Madison County
Biggest Place: Big Sky
Median Income: $55,892.0 (17th best)
Median Home Price: $316,900.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (24th best)
More on Madison County: Data
10. Mccone County
Biggest Place: Circle
Median Income: $57,045.0 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $151,300.0 (36th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (13th best)
More on Mccone County: Data
Methodology: How do you determine which Montana county is the best?
To give you the best county in Montana, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.
With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.
We paid particular attention to:
- Violent Crime Rates
- Property Crime Rates
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Unemployment Rates
- Adult Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty Rates
We then ranked each county in Montana across each of the criteria from one to 56, with one being the best.
Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In Montana”.
The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Treasure State.
Read on to see why Jefferson County is the best county, while Big Horn County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Montana.
Summary: The Best Counties In Montana To Call Home For 2018
It turns out living in Montana can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?
But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.
Here’s a look at the worst counties in Montana according to the data:
- Big Horn County
- Glacier County
- Roosevelt County
For more Montana reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In Montana
- Cheapest Places To Live In Montana
- Best Places To Buy A House In Montana
- Richest Cities In Montana