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Want to get away from it all? Love bright blue skies, crystal streams, and forests teeming with wildlife? There’s no better place to settle than Montana. Big Sky Country is the 4th largest state in area but the third least densely populated, meaning it’s never too hard to get away from it all and immerse yourself in nature. Let’s take a look at Montana’s top five best cities to live in to learn more about Montana’s most charming communities.  

1. Bozeman

Montana’s best city to live in is Bozeman, a rapidly growing community tucked between several mountain ranges that is home to Montana State University. People are drawn to Bozeman for its ripe opportunity for outdoor recreation, from kayaking to mountain climbing, and residents are employed by MSU as well as many biotech companies with a foothold in the area.

2. Helena

Helena, Montana’s state capital, is #2 on the list. Founded during the Montana gold rush, Helena soon became one of the wealthiest cities in the country, and its 19th-century prosperity is still seen in the Victorian homes throughout the city. Today, Helena’s median household income is still above the state average, with many finding employment in state government and the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center.  

3. Missoula

With a population of around 75K, #3 Missoula is the second largest city in Montana. Known as the “hub of five valleys” for its location at the nexus of five mountain ranges, Missoula offers spectacular views of the surrounding geographical features in addition to plenty of employment opportunities due to it being the home of the University of Montana.

4. Kalispell

Kalispell is the gateway to Glacier National Park, one of the most awe-inspiring national parks in the country. Also nearby are two skiing hotspots and the Buffalo Hills Golf Club, satisfying residents’ desire for outdoor sport.

5. Billings

Billings, fifth on the list, is the largest city in the state and the only to boast a population topping 100,000. The city has a strong economy with significant tourism, agriculture, and healthcare sectors.

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We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).