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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Montana does this very well. Families love the Treasure State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.
But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.
These are the places in Montana that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.
After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Montana for 2020.
So where is the most expensive place to live in Montana? That would be Bozeman.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 48 places in Montana with more than 1,000 people.
What's the most expensive place to live in Montana? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Bozeman is the most expensive place to live in Montana.
So hopefully Colstrip (the cheapest place to live in Montana) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Montana and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Montana For 2020
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.
The median income in Bozeman comes in at $51,896 and the median home value is $343,000 for 2020.
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.
The median income in Whitefish comes in at $51,059 and the median home value is $348,600 for 2020.
The median income in West Yellowstone comes in at $33,605 and the median home value is $251,000 for 2020.
The median income in Hamilton comes in at $30,361 and the median home value is $172,800 for 2020.
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.
The median income in Missoula comes in at $45,010 and the median home value is $262,500 for 2020.
The median income in Red Lodge comes in at $49,450 and the median home value is $235,700 for 2020.
The median income in Stevensville comes in at $32,500 and the median home value is $169,100 for 2020.
Livingston is a city and the county seat of Park County, Montana, United States. Livingston is located in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park. The population was 7,044 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Livingston comes in at $42,635 and the median home value is $215,400 for 2020.
The median income in Eureka comes in at $30,060 and the median home value is $156,100 for 2020.
The median income in Polson comes in at $36,272 and the median home value is $179,700 for 2020.
How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Treasure State For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Montana to figure out which is the most expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 48 places in Montana that have more than 1,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in Montana according to the data is Bozeman. You can download the data here.
Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Montana For 2020
Well there you have it, the places in Montana that have the highest cost of living, with Bozeman ranking as the most expensive city in the Treasure State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Montana according to the data:
- Wolf Point
For more Montana reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Montana
- 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
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Montana
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Montana
- 10 Safest Places In Montana
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Montana