Montana brings to mind images of the beautiful landscapes and some of the best people in the country.
However, like all states, Montana has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.
With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sights on bringing attention to the places in Montana that could use a helping hand.
After analyzing Census data from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey for the 53 places in Montana with more than 2,000 people, we were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Treasure State:
- North Browning
- Lame Deer
- South Browning
- Butte-Silver Bow
To be clear, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts and status of the economy.
For more on how we calculated the top ten, read on or skip to the end for the full list. Oh, and the richest place in Montana? That would be Montana City.
How We Determined The Poorest Places In Montana
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of certain size.
However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income (Lower is poorer)
- Unemployment Rate (Higher is poorer)
Median household income is more a digestible way to understand how poor a place really is. While the unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.
After we collected the data for all 53 places with more than 2,000 people in Montana, we ranked each place from 1 to 53 for each of the criteria with 1 being the most poor.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “poor score” with the place having the lowest overall poor score, North Browning, being named the “Poorest Place In Montana”.
You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 53 places.
1. North Browning
Population: 2,363Poverty Level: 45.5%
Unemployment Rate: 32.2%
Population: 2,616Poverty Level: 47.0%
Unemployment Rate: 28.8%
3. Lame Deer
Population: 2,131Poverty Level: 40.1%
Unemployment Rate: 34.1%
4. South Browning
Population: 2,045Poverty Level: 46.5%
Unemployment Rate: 27.8%
Population: 2,667Poverty Level: 21.3%
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Population: 4,486Poverty Level: 25.0%
Unemployment Rate: 8.6%
Population: 4,181Poverty Level: 26.8%
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Population: 4,580Poverty Level: 23.2%
Unemployment Rate: 8.5%
Population: 3,720Poverty Level: 16.8%
Unemployment Rate: 9.9%
10. Butte-Silver Bow
Population: 33,481Poverty Level: 21.5%
Unemployment Rate: 7.0%
There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Montana
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Montana we weren’t trying to comment on the quality of the people in the area, only the statistics. But when you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being on he bottom of the income ladder.
If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in MT, according to data:
Richest: Montana City
2nd Richest: Helena Valley Northwest
3rd Richest: Four Corners
For more Montana reading , check out:
- If You’re From Montana This Will Be The Most Jaw-Dropping Thing You See Today. Guaranteed.
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Montana
Detailed List Of Poorest Places In Montana
|Anaconda-Deer Lodge County||14|
|Helena Valley Southeast||33|
|Helena Valley Northeast||47|
|Helena Valley West Central||48|
|Helena Valley Northwest||52|