The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Montana For 2023


We used science and data to determine which cities in Montana that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Montana.

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 2023.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Montana? That would be Bozeman.
the 2017-2021 American Community Survey for the 53 places in Montana with more than 1,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Montana for 2023:

  1. Bozeman
  2. Manhattan
  3. Missoula
  4. Hamilton
  5. Whitefish
  6. Red Lodge
  7. Stevensville
  8. Livingston
  9. Polson
  10. Kalispell

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 2023

1. Bozeman

Bozeman, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 51,574
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.9x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.8x (10th most expensive)
More on Bozeman: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bozeman comes in at $67,354 and the median home value is $466,400 for 2023.

2. Manhattan

Manhattan, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,884
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.2x (4th most expensive)
More on Manhattan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Manhattan comes in at $60,625 and the median home value is $297,800 for 2023.

3. Missoula

Missoula, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 73,300
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.0x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.0x (12th most expensive)
More on Missoula: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Missoula comes in at $54,423 and the median home value is $324,700 for 2023.

4. Hamilton

Hamilton, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,632
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.9x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.8x (3rd most expensive)
More on Hamilton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hamilton comes in at $37,868 and the median home value is $224,400 for 2023.

5. Whitefish

Whitefish, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,783
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.4x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.2x (25th most expensive)
More on Whitefish: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Whitefish comes in at $64,595 and the median home value is $477,600 for 2023.

6. Red Lodge

Red Lodge, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,032
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.1x (20th most expensive)
More on Red Lodge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Red Lodge comes in at $47,727 and the median home value is $296,300 for 2023.

7. Stevensville

Stevensville, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,959
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.6x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.6x (11th most expensive)
More on Stevensville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Stevensville comes in at $40,607 and the median home value is $226,300 for 2023.

8. Livingston

Livingston, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,110
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.1x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.9x (19th most expensive)
More on Livingston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Livingston comes in at $51,599 and the median home value is $263,700 for 2023.

9. Polson

Polson, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,161
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.3x (14th most expensive)
More on Polson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Polson comes in at $45,565 and the median home value is $217,700 for 2023.

10. Kalispell

Kalispell, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 24,260
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.3x (26th most expensive)
More on Kalispell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Kalispell comes in at $55,411 and the median home value is $277,000 for 2023.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Treasure State For 2023

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Montana
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. 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 2017-2021 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 53 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.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Montana For 2023

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:

  1. Colstrip
  2. Wolf Point
  3. Baker

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Montana

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Bozeman 4.67 51,574 6.9x 54.8x
2 Manhattan 6.5 1,884 4.9x 46.2x
3 Missoula 6.67 73,300 6.0x 56.0x
4 Hamilton 8.33 4,632 5.9x 45.8x
5 Whitefish 9.0 7,783 7.4x 65.2x
6 Red Lodge 9.67 2,032 6.2x 62.1x
7 Stevensville 11.0 1,959 5.6x 55.6x
8 Livingston 12.67 8,110 5.1x 61.9x
9 Polson 14.33 5,161 4.8x 58.3x
10 Kalispell 15.0 24,260 5.0x 65.3x
11 Dillon 15.33 3,930 4.3x 49.2x
12 Plains 15.33 1,156 6.2x 36.5x
13 Eureka 16.33 1,447 4.3x 48.3x
14 Helena 16.67 32,060 4.7x 67.9x
15 Belgrade 17.33 10,555 3.8x 64.0x
16 East Helena 19.33 1,647 3.7x 59.8x
17 Billings 19.67 115,689 3.9x 65.9x
18 West Yellowstone 20.83 1,096 5.4x 86.4x
19 Sidney 21.33 6,240 4.5x 73.3x
20 Three Forks 21.33 2,084 3.3x 61.2x
21 Columbia Falls 21.33 5,304 4.3x 69.9x
22 Ronan 23.33 1,785 4.2x 51.8x
23 Laurel 25.67 7,164 3.2x 65.0x
24 Great Falls 26.67 60,381 3.6x 69.9x
25 Libby 29.33 2,745 4.0x 69.5x
26 Columbus 29.67 2,069 3.5x 77.3x
27 Miles City 30.0 8,441 3.0x 62.4x
28 Shelby 30.33 3,139 3.6x 72.3x
29 Thompson Falls 30.67 1,551 3.7x 69.0x
30 Lewistown 31.67 5,967 3.2x 49.4x
31 Havre 31.67 9,417 3.1x 71.3x
32 Choteau 32.0 1,826 3.0x 63.3x
33 Boulder 34.67 1,033 3.3x 74.6x
34 Conrad 35.33 2,758 2.7x 58.2x
35 Townsend 35.33 2,224 2.8x 71.9x
36 Big Timber 36.33 1,752 3.1x 84.4x
37 Deer Lodge 36.67 2,938 3.0x 60.6x
38 Scobey 36.67 1,059 3.6x 89.1x
39 Glendive 37.0 4,928 3.1x 74.2x
40 Roundup 38.67 1,708 2.5x 53.8x
41 Cut Bank 39.33 3,049 2.6x 58.6x
42 Glasgow 39.67 3,192 3.0x 83.0x
43 Anaconda-Deer Lodge County 40.0 9,380 3.2x 76.5x
44 Forsyth 40.67 1,562 3.0x 77.1x
45 Chinook 40.67 1,421 3.3x 81.1x
46 Harlowton 41.0 1,096 2.7x 66.0x
47 Hardin 44.33 3,754 2.4x 69.4x
48 Plentywood 45.67 1,660 2.6x 82.2x
49 Fort Benton 46.0 1,396 2.6x 91.3x
50 Malta 49.33 2,031 2.7x 98.7x
51 Baker 49.33 1,763 2.1x 106.2x
52 Wolf Point 51.0 2,638 2.1x 79.0x
53 Colstrip 53.33 2,094 1.5x 96.0x

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.