Welcome to Montana

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Welcome to Montana

Known as “Big Sky Country” for its open and spacious landscape, Montana is the fourth largest state in the U.S. regarding the sheer size. It’s a landlocked state bordered by Idaho, Wyoming, North and Montana, and three Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan). It’s home to numerous parks, including Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, which makes it a destination spot for over 13 million tourists each year. Tourism is a significant source of Montana’s economy, and the residents treasure their naturally awe-inspiring state.

Although Montana is an official mountain state, over half of it is covered in prairie lands. Badlands and forests cover the rest of the state as rivers and streams snake throughout the area. Because of its fierce, natural beauty, nearly 35% of Montana is protected by the federal and state government. The weather in Big Sky Country typically offers comfortable summers with bitter cold winters. However, the state’s various geography often means Montanans experience vastly different weather conditions from region to region. Despite the weather, tourism and other resources have created a boom in Montana’s economy, making it a popular place to relocate.

Montana Self-Storage Facts

As many households relocate to Montana for jobs, recreation and a more affordable cost of living, the self-storage sector has found opportunity to develop new self-storage properties in recent years. A nationwide trend towards self-storage development over the last few years has resulted in more self-storage investment moving into Montana than usual. That said, Montana already has an abundance of self-storage space relative to the population with 9.87 square feet of storage per capita–almost double the national ratio of 5.4 square foot per person.

Below are some statistics that provide an overview of the self-storage industry in Montana:

370

Montana is home to an estimated 370 self-storage facilities.

10,096,640

Montana self-storage facilities cover 10,096,640 square feet of storage space.

9.87

Montana storage facilities offer 9.87 square feet of storage per person, which is greater than the national average of 5.4 square feet per capita.

Reasons to Move to Montana

Few states offer such indescribable natural beauty and opportunity as Montana. Here are a few more reasons why this is such a great state to set up camp:

1

Outdoor recreation. Nearly 81% of the state’s population take part in outdoor recreational activities. From fly fishing to hunting, from hiking to skiing, there’s never a shortage of things to do outdoors.

2

Unrivaled scenery. With such an array of unique land formations, bold mountains, and lush rivers, Montana is easy on the eyes. It’s called “Big Sky Country” for a reason, after all! The diverse landscape offers a sense of adventure and wild-heartedness to even the most reserved individuals.

3

Vibrant cities. Even with the state’s wild outdoors, its cities and towns don’t leave you wanting. Several Montana cities have ranked as the top 100 best places to live time after time.

4

Top-ranked colleges. With all the outdoor enjoyment to be had, you might think there was no time for education. But think again! Montana houses many of the top-ranked colleges and universities in the country, including the University of Montana and Montana State University. The state even provides several tribal colleges, as well.

5

Literary hotspot. Authors and poets seem to gravitate toward Montana. Many of the top writers in the country live within 100 miles of Livingston. As a result, the state is a wonderland for all things literary, housing bookstores, workshops, and nonprofit literacy organization galore.

6

High-tech economy. Gone are the days when mining for gold was the best gig you could get. Instead, Montana has made its mark on the high-tech sector, increasing its annual revenues significantly in recent years.

7

Low property taxes. Homeownership is a popular way of life in Montana. Mainly because property taxes are lower than the national average, landing it as the 20th least expensive state in the U.S.

8

Rich history. Epic and violent battles once took place in Montana, and the stories deriving from the land are endless. Native Americans, such as Crow and Cheyenne, first settled here, causing a rift when the area was discovered in the 1800s by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

9

Exotic cuisine. As in many other U.S. states, Montana offers unique culinary delights. However, only here will a bison burger or an elk steak work as a go-to meal. Plus, this state is so abundant in wildlife and farms that you can always find plenty of savory and exotic cuisine.

10

Health and fitness. It’s no surprise that those who live in Montana tend to lead exceptionally healthy lifestyles. The open spaces, outdoor activities, and fresh air all contribute to a deep sense of purpose and a strong sense of community, as well.

Moving to Montana

Montana is the fourth largest state regarding the total area. However, only 1.07 million individuals call it home, which ranks it 43rd in terms of population. Only two other states in the U.S. have fewer people per square mile—Alaska and Wyoming. Several decades ago, people relocated to Montana for employment. Today, however, they’re moving to the Big Sky Country for outdoor recreation. With a reasonable growth rate of 0.79%, Montana recently ranked as the 26th fastest-growing state in the U.S.

Montana Economic Outlook

As tourism and the high-tech industry bolster Montana’s economy, its GDP has grown to $46.6 billion, ranking it 44th in the U.S.

Big Sky Country continues to experience economic growth, which benefits both businesses and individuals. The stable economic conditions are expected to continue, drawing workers and entrepreneurs to Montana in the future. As mentioned, significant pillars of Montana’s economy are tourism and the high-tech industry. One holdup is that broadband is not readily available in some communities, making it tricky to launch startups. However, Montana’s government has made that issue a new priority.

Below is a breakdown of Montana’s largest sectors by GDP:

$5.9 billion
Real estate
$5.8 billion
Trade
$4.8 billion
Healthcare and private education
$3.1 billion
Mining and utilities
$3.1 billion
Manufacturing

The cost of living remains below the national average, though Montanans spend their money on different products than the rest of the country. For example, housing costs tend to fall under the national average, as well. However, with significant distances between cities, Montana residents tend to purchase more gasoline. Thankfully, gas prices have decreased in the past five years. Plus, wages and personal income has also seen an uptick in recent years, making the overall cost of living more manageable, too. The unemployment rates in September 2019 was 3.3%, which is below the national average.

Who are Montana's Largest Employers?

EMPLOYER
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
Billings Clinic
4,600
Aageson Farms
3,000
State of Montana
2,680
Glacier Bancorp
2,615
Bozeman Health
2,000

Places to live in Montana

Montana is the fourth largest state in the U.S., encompassing 147,040 square miles. Only Alaska, Texas, and California are bigger. To put it into a more worldwide perspective, Montana is a hair larger than Japan. Although Montana isn’t overflowing with bustling metropolises, here are its biggest cities:

Billings

With a population of 110,263, Billings is the largest city in Montana. It’s characterized by the dramatic landscape, plenty of recreational opportunities, and a Western flavor.

Cost of living
17% lower than the national average
Median home price
$209,756
Average rent
$1,012/month
Average apartment size
1,160 square feet

Missoula

Missoula offers its 71,022 residents a high quality of life, being tucked away in 60,000 acres of breathtaking wilderness. Aside from the outdoor adventuring, however, beer breweries and distinct eateries draw many people to this city.

Cost of living
10% higher than the national average
Median home price
$334,164
Average rent
$1,035/month
Average apartment size
1,030 square feet

Great Falls

This Montana city is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and 59,638 call it home. Although tourism doesn’t bolster its economy like in many other cities, it does offer a small-town vibe that many people desire.

Cost of living
2.9% higher than the national average
Median home price
$169,670
Average rent
$982/month
Average apartment size
1,150 square feet

Moving to Montana Resources