Fastest Growing Cities In Montana For 2020

We used data and science to determine the places in Montana everyone wants to move to today.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the fastest growing cities in Montana.

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Is being in an area that's growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Billings and Missoula, while others want peace and quiet like in Columbia Falls and Glendive, thank you very much.

But today we're going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts -- over the past five years, which cities in Montana have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census's American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Treasure State that have people climbing over each other to get in.

These are the 10 fastest growing cities in Montana for 2020 according to the most recent census data:

What's the fastest growing city in Montana for 2020? Based on the most recent ACS data, Sidney ranks as the fastest growing city in Montana. If you happen to be a resident of Sidney, you're probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you're surprised--and you're wondering why these places are kind of a big deal--keep reading. We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in Montana are growing like weeds.

And if you already knew these places were happening, check out the best places to live in Montana or the Fastest Growing States In America.

For more Montana state reading:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Montana For 2020

Sidney, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,475
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Population 2010: 5,052
Percent Growth 28.2%
Absolute Growth: 1,423
More on Sidney: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Sidney is a city in and the county seat of Richland County, Montana, United States, less than 10mi away from the North Dakota border. The population was 5,191 at the 2010 census. The city lies along the Yellowstone River and is in proximity to the badlands of the Dakotas. Sidney is approximately midway between Glendive, Montana and Williston, North Dakota.

Bozeman, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 45,121
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Population 2010: 36,440
Percent Growth 23.8%
Absolute Growth: 8,681
More on Bozeman: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Bozeman is a city in and the seat of Gallatin County, Montana, United States. Located in southwest Montana, the 2010 census put Bozeman's population at 37,280 and by 2016 the population rose to 45,250, making it the fourth largest city in Montana. It is the principal city of the Bozeman, MT Micropolitan Statistical Area, consisting of all of Gallatin County with a population of 97,304. It is the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Montana and is the third largest of all of Montana-s statistical areas.

Kalispell, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,621
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Population 2010: 19,298
Percent Growth 17.2%
Absolute Growth: 3,323
More on Kalispell: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Kalispell is a city in, and the county seat of Flathead County, Montana, United States. The 2015 Census estimates put Kalispell's population at 22,052. The Kalispell Micropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 93,068 and it is the largest city and commercial center of northwest Montana. The name Kalispell is a Salish word meaning "flat land above the lake". Kalispell is also the gateway to Glacier National Park.

Whitefish, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,309
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Population 2010: 6,352
Percent Growth 15.1%
Absolute Growth: 957
More on Whitefish: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Whitefish is a city in Flathead County, Montana, United States. The population was 6,357 at the 2010 census. It is home to a ski resort on Big Mountain called Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Belgrade, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,345
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Population 2010: 7,281
Percent Growth 14.6%
Absolute Growth: 1,064
More on Belgrade: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Columbia Falls, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,225
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Population 2010: 4,626
Percent Growth 12.9%
Absolute Growth: 599
More on Columbia Falls: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Columbia Falls is a city in Flathead County, Montana, United States. The population was 4,710 at the 2010 census

Helena, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,212
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Population 2010: 27,672
Percent Growth 12.8%
Absolute Growth: 3,540
More on Helena: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Helena is the state capital of the U.S. state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County.

Missoula, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 72,125
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Population 2010: 65,383
Percent Growth 10.3%
Absolute Growth: 6,742
More on Missoula: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Missoula is a city in the U.S. state of Montana and is the county seat of Missoula County. It is located along the Clark Fork River near its confluences with the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers in western Montana and at the convergence of five mountain ranges, thus is often described as the "hub of five valleys". In 2016, the United States Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 72,364 and the population of the Missoula Metropolitan Area at 116,130. In the 1990s, Missoula overtook GreatFalls as Montana-s secondlargest city, behind Billings. Missoula is home to the University of Montana, a public research university.

Billings, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 109,431
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Population 2010: 101,549
Percent Growth 7.8%
Absolute Growth: 7,882
More on Billings: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Billings is the largest city in the state of Montana, and the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area with a population of 166,855. It has a trade area of over half a million people.

Glendive, MT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,232
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Population 2010: 4,899
Percent Growth 6.8%
Absolute Growth: 333
More on Glendive: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Treasure State for 2020

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the beginning of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Current Population
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to Current (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)

We ranked all 17 Montana cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Treasure State.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Current Population - Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Here's a graph of the cities in Montana with the largest percent increase in population:
Fastest Growing Cities in Montana Graph For 2020

Click to enlarge

These Places Grew Up So Fast In Montana, You Know?

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in Montana are led by Sidney which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.

It'll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We'll be here to let you know!

These places have been growing (or shrinking) the slowest (fastest):

  1. Anaconda-Deer Lodge County
  2. Lewistown
  3. Great Falls

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Montana For 2020

Rank City Growth Population Population 2010
1 Sidney 28.2% 6,475 5,052
2 Bozeman 23.8% 45,121 36,440
3 Kalispell 17.2% 22,621 19,298
4 Whitefish 15.1% 7,309 6,352
5 Belgrade 14.6% 8,345 7,281
6 Columbia Falls 12.9% 5,225 4,626
7 Helena 12.8% 31,212 27,672
8 Missoula 10.3% 72,125 65,383
9 Billings 7.8% 109,431 101,549
10 Glendive 6.8% 5,232 4,899

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.