Best Places to Live in Montana 2021


In the mood to get away? Move to Montana, and you’ll find a whole new way of life. Mountain living at its finest is waiting for you in Montana. From the beautiful mountain ranges to the national parks that offer a wide variety of outdoor activities, Big Sky Country has it all.

The state’s lively cities will keep you on your toes, even amid the breathtaking mountain scenery. With so many opportunities for adventure – from fishing to hiking – there’s always something fun to do.

Beautiful landscapes, fresh mountain air, and pristine wilderness, it’s no surprise that Montana is often ranked as one of the healthiest (and happiest!) states in the country. This is why many people are turning to this awe-inspiring place when they want to move to one of the most family-friendly states in the U.S. Check out these 10 incredible places below to purchase your next home in Montana.

10 Best Cities to Live in Montana 

  • Billings

Located along Interstate 90, Billings is the most populous city in Montana. This metropolitan community offers residents easy and quick access to all of the fun that a large city has to offer. Residents can enjoy the wide variety of hiking trails, kayaking along the Yellowstone River, music venues, and breweries scattered throughout the town. Veterans flocking to Billings will also find easy access to Fort Harrison State Park, which features countless activities including camping, fishing, and archery ranges.

The city also has cultural and arts venues aplenty, with museums, an orchestra, and the Yellowstone Art Museum all on offer. Perhaps surprisingly for a prairie city, Billings is a great headquarters for outdoor activities. Hikers can climb the Rimrocks, which offer impressive views of the downtown area, or explore some of Montana’s more than 4.3 million acres of public land.

Population: 109,843

Median Home Value: $286,407

Living Cost Index: 94.9

100 = U.S. Average (Below 100 means lower than the national average, above 100 means more expensive than the national average)

  • Bozeman

Bozeman is a vibrant community located at the base of the Big Sky and Bridger Mountain ranges in southern Montana, within close proximity to Yellowstone National Park. 

Surrounded by the stunning Bridger Mountains, the City of Bozeman is one of the most popular cities for students, young professionals, and families to live in. 

Bozeman has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and a thriving economy.

It is also home to Montana State University. With year-round mild weather, outdoor recreation, and an international airport, living in Bozeman offer residents the best of city life and the unique Western lifestyle of Montana.

Population: 52,800

Median Home Value: $548,649

Cost of Living Index: 121.6

  • Missoula

As a gateway to the Northern Rockies, Missoula offers its residents a healthy balance of outdoor recreational opportunities and urban amenities.  Its access to skiing, kayaking, hiking, and fishing is stunning – but so is its art scene. And it’s not all outdoorsy either: there are bookstores, theatres, and cozy coffee shops for lingering.

Whether you move to Missoula for the great outdoors or for the vibrant arts and culture, this community is one that’s sure to appeal to everyone. With two rivers running through the city, a downtown hub of arts and culture, and plenty of mountain views, Missoula offers a healthy balance of things to do both indoors and out.

Surrounded by natural beauty and abundant recreational opportunities, Missoula combines small-town charm and all the amenities of a thriving modern community. Whether it’s year-round recreation, stunning natural landscapes or access to the cultural scene, the City of Missoula offers something for everyone.

Population: 121,520

Median Home Value: $406,425

Cost of Living Index: 104.4

  • Helena

A wonderful quaint and charming city, Helena sits at an elevation of 1,181 m. This small city is both clean and cost-effective. More importantly, this city offers a lot of retail shopping centers for the residents that live here. The many different shops can be found scattered about the city.

Whether you’re looking for affordable neighborhoods or plenty of cultural attractions, Helena is the place to live. With many family-friendly activities and a thriving social scene, this is the perfect place to explore on foot or by bike. 

Helena is the state capital of Montana and enjoys a vibrant downtown that has been named one of the most charming in the U.S. by Smithsonian Magazine. The affordable housing, entertainment, retail, museums, historical landmarks, and academic institutions in town make Helena a great place to work, play and raise a family.

Population: 34,256

Median Home Value: $334,814

Cost of Living Index: 94.7

  • Great Falls

Great Falls is a great place to live. You can hike or bike and get into wildlife areas. It always has something to offer, and there are many ways to get involved in the community here. At every turn, there are opportunities to enjoy nature, while at the same time enjoying the small-town atmosphere of your neighborhood. 

The City of Great Falls is a middle-sized city full of energy and art, with a lot of space for work and play. Love outdoor adventure? Great Falls offers just that.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy endless activities including hiking, fishing, cycling, boating, kayaking, and camping as well as rock climbing at the nearby Pilot Knob climbing areas and ski resorts like Big Sky Resort are also close by. Arts and theater lovers can visit The Heritage Center or Great Falls Symphony Orchestra Center for live performances.

Population: 80,722

Median Home Value: $218,513

Cost of Living Index: 90.3

  • Belgrade

Located halfway between Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park, residents of the small city of Belgrade enjoy easy access to a wide variety of outdoor activities. Just to the north of Belgrade, Big Sky Resort is a popular ski resort that also offers many other activities during the offseason. 

Although Gallatin Canyon is located just next door to the west, there are few attractions in Belgrade itself. While residents can easily drive out for an afternoon at Bridger Bowl, most restaurants and stores are found outside city limits.

Set amongst the magnificent Gallatin Valley, the city of Belgrade offers a wide variety of amenities and services while maintaining a small-town feel. And, with its location in close proximity to some of Montana’s greatest sights and attractions, it really is the perfect place to live.

Population: 10,551

Median Home Value: $435,560

Cost of Living Index: 105.7

  • Dillon

Dillon is a charming town located in the heart of the Flathead Valley, surrounded by pristine lakes and mountains. The nearby Flathead River is a blue-ribbon trout stream and fly fishing destination. 

The residents here enjoy the nearby hiking trails, stunning surroundings, and local working ranches. The low cost of living makes it an excellent place for families and retirees to live in Dillon, MT.

It is a small, friendly town where residents are proud of their unique heritage and wonderful outdoor attractions. There are many affordable properties in town to rent or buy which offer stunning views, high-speed internet access, and often access to private land or fishing ponds.

Population: 4,369

Median Home Value: $248,542

Cost of Living Index: 84.3

  • Four Corners

In Four Corners, you’ll find the high-quality life and top amenities you need for a picture-perfect life. With Four Corners’ low crime rate and close proximity to Bozeman, this quiet community feels like an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its affordable housing makes it an excellent option for young professionals on a budget, while its vibrant community gives families everything they need to raise their children.

Located in Gallatin County, Four Corners is the ideal destination for families and young professionals alike. In addition, local schools often rank in the top 10% of the state and are usually above average when compared nationally. While some homes may lack yards or space, you’re still right next to a park where you can go hiking or a walk.

Population: 5,084

Median Home Value: $528,241

Cost of Living Index: 122.5

  • Livingston

Livingston is the perfect blend of community, recreation, and natural beauty. It is a small and friendly town where people of all ages can enjoy their active lifestyles. 

With its close proximity to the mountains and the Yellowstone River, take advantage of the variety of activities nearby, such as hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and rafting. Take a hike up to Yellowstone Park or make your way down the Yellowstone River for a day of rafting. You’re never too far away from incredible adventures in Livingston.

Population: 7,893

Median Home Value: $363,377

Cost of Living Index: 92.8

  • Whitefish

Living in Whitefish gets you close to a beautiful valley and some of the most incredible views of Glacier National Park. It also puts you near ski slopes, hiking trails, and much more. Here you’ll be able to live in a home with gorgeous views of the valley and an easy commute to the lake or mountains in any season of the year.

Whitefish is the largest town in a region that boasts stunning mountain scenery and some of the most challenging snow sports slopes in the Rockies. With its early 20th century charm, Whitefish is fast becoming one of the Midwest’s top tourist destinations.

Population: 8,915

Median Home Value: $524,784

Cost of Living Index: 111.8

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