These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Montana


We used science and data to determine which places in Montana are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Montana?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Montana – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Montana cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Treasure State:

  1. Pablo
  2. Lame Deer
  3. Hamilton
  4. North Browning
  5. Lakeside
  6. South Browning
  7. Polson
  8. Hardin
  9. Missoula
  10. Libby

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Montana City is the happiest place in MT.

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How do you decide if a city in Montana is miserable or not?

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Montana, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

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We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 52 places in Montana with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 52 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index “earning” the title “Most Miserable City In Montana”.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.

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1. Pablo

Miserable Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,616
People Who Own Their Home: 43.1%
Married Adults: 32.9%

2. Lame Deer

Miserable Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,131
People Who Own Their Home: 36.8%
Married Adults: 32.3%

3. Hamilton

Miserable Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,486
People Who Own Their Home: 45.3%
Married Adults: 41.9%

4. North Browning

Miserable Montana

Source: Panoramo

Population: 2,363
People Who Own Their Home: 30.0%
Married Adults: 28.3%

5. Lakeside

Miserable Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,755
People Who Own Their Home: 52.6%
Married Adults: 51.4%

6. South Browning

Miserable Montana

Source: Trulia

Population: 2,045
People Who Own Their Home: 29.8%
Married Adults: 38.1%

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7. Polson

Miserable Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,580
People Who Own Their Home: 39.8%
Married Adults: 43.7%

8. Hardin

Miserable Montana

Source: Flickr user rickpilot_2000

Population: 3,720
People Who Own Their Home: 47.4%
Married Adults: 45.5%

9. Missoula

Miserable Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 68,377
People Who Own Their Home: 44.9%
Married Adults: 38.1%

10. Libby

Miserable Montana

Source: Google Maps

Population: 2,667
People Who Own Their Home: 47.0%
Married Adults: 35.4%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in Montana is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in MT, according to science:

Most Happy: Montana City
2nd Most Happy: Colstrip
3rd Most Happy: Lewistown

For more Montana reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Montana

City Rank Population People Who Own Their Home Married Adults
Pablo 1 2,616 43.1% 32.9%
Lame Deer 2 2,131 36.8% 32.3%
Hamilton 3 4,486 45.3% 41.9%
North Browning 4 2,363 30.0% 28.3%
Lakeside 5 2,755 52.6% 51.4%
South Browning 6 2,045 29.8% 38.1%
Polson 7 4,580 39.8% 43.7%
Hardin 8 3,720 47.4% 45.5%
Missoula 9 68,377 44.9% 38.1%
Libby 10 2,667 47.0% 35.4%
East Missoula 11 2,597 71.2% 38.7%
Kalispell 12 20,629 48.8% 46.3%
Bozeman 13 39,123 40.9% 35.0%
Dillon 14 4,181 47.0% 35.8%
Livingston 15 7,086 56.9% 45.6%
Big Sky 16 2,694 18.3% 51.3%
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County 17 9,243 55.6% 51.6%
Whitefish 18 6,542 39.2% 59.8%
Shelby 19 3,096 49.5% 44.4%
Cut Bank 20 2,947 51.4% 44.8%
Red Lodge 21 2,337 40.4% 48.6%
Billings 22 106,979 59.7% 46.8%
Wolf Point 23 2,730 50.9% 45.0%
Great Falls 24 59,017 57.4% 48.3%
Helena 25 29,142 52.3% 44.0%
Belgrade 26 7,625 51.6% 50.4%
Orchard Homes 27 5,410 61.1% 55.8%
Townsend 28 2,033 66.8% 51.7%
Helena Valley Southeast 29 7,340 85.7% 49.6%
Evergreen 30 6,711 66.0% 50.9%
Columbia Falls 31 4,765 52.9% 54.0%
Glendive 32 5,167 54.4% 49.7%
Lolo 33 3,994 83.2% 56.9%
Lockwood 34 6,943 79.1% 49.3%
Bigfork 35 4,375 46.2% 65.0%
Glasgow 36 3,327 54.9% 51.1%
Conrad 37 2,600 59.4% 51.0%
East Helena 38 2,497 58.1% 50.2%
Sidney 39 5,888 58.0% 52.4%
Miles City 40 8,553 60.1% 50.8%
Columbus 41 2,250 67.3% 59.6%
Havre 42 9,668 59.0% 52.7%
Deer Lodge 43 3,085 57.6% 54.5%
Laurel 44 6,887 66.8% 52.6%
Four Corners 45 3,264 66.7% 65.3%
Helena Valley West Central 46 8,502 82.3% 60.6%
Malmstrom AFB 47 3,625 0.8% 68.9%
Helena Valley Northeast 48 2,731 79.4% 60.3%
Helena Valley Northwest 49 3,939 90.0% 63.6%
Lewistown 50 5,879 61.4% 51.0%
Colstrip 51 2,243 75.1% 68.1%
Montana City 52 2,683 90.9% 69.4%
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