Worst Small Towns In Montana For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in MT are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Montana.

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Most Americans have never been to Montana. However, as the people who live there know, Montana is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Montana has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Treasure State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 58 of Montana's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Montana where you'd never want to live:

So what is the worst small town to call home in montana for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Fort Belknap Agency is the worst small town to live in Montana.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Montana has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Montana or the worst places to live in Montana.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Montana For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,514
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $81,500 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 34.7% (1st worst)
More on Fort Belknap Agency:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,720
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $61,000 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.1% (4th worst)
More on North Browning:  Data

Lame Deer, MT

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,156
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $61,600 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 23.8% (3rd worst)
More on Lame Deer:  Data | Photos

Pablo, MT

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,655
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $102,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (9th worst)
More on Pablo:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,522
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $50,700 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.8% (5th worst)
More on South Browning:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,928
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $75,200 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (6th worst)
More on Crow Agency:  Data

Thompson Falls, MT

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,231
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $135,100 (23rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (7th worst)
More on Thompson Falls:  Data | Photos

Libby, MT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,663
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $106,100 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (10th worst)
More on Libby:  Data | Photos

Eureka, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,405
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $156,100 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (26th worst)
More on Eureka:  Data | Photos

Hardin, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,842
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $127,600 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (11th worst)
More on Hardin:  Data | Photos

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Montana, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in Montana for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 58 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Montana

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Treasure State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Montana, according to science:

  1. Four Corners (Pop. 4,336)
  2. Helena Valley Northwest (Pop. 4,163)
  3. King Arthur Park (Pop. 1,239)

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Montana

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Fort Belknap Agency 1,514 34.7% $81,500
2 North Browning 2,720 17.1% $61,000
3 Lame Deer 2,156 23.8% $61,600
4 Pablo 2,655 11.8% $102,600
5 South Browning 1,522 15.8% $50,700
6 Crow Agency 1,928 14.5% $75,200
7 Thompson Falls 1,231 12.1% $135,100
8 Libby 2,663 11.6% $106,100
9 Eureka 1,405 5.3% $156,100
10 Hardin 3,842 10.1% $127,600
11 Roundup 1,817 8.5% $104,000
12 Corvallis 1,143 24.4% $162,800
13 Wolf Point 2,799 12.0% $101,700
14 Ronan 1,985 5.2% $140,500
15 Sun Prairie 1,515 4.6% $110,200
16 Black Eagle 1,027 3.5% $100,900
17 Bonner-West Riverside 1,726 6.0% $98,500
18 Harlowton 1,076 5.7% $87,500
19 Cut Bank 3,007 4.3% $119,900
20 Malta 2,090 9.4% $126,000
21 Shelby 3,160 1.3% $148,800
22 Polson 4,843 7.7% $179,700
23 Helena West Side 1,320 6.2% $200,300
24 Choteau 1,866 3.7% $129,900
25 Fort Benton 1,462 5.5% $155,000
26 Seeley Lake 1,256 6.7% $222,400
27 Stevensville 2,163 3.7% $169,100
28 Hamilton 4,628 0.7% $172,800
29 West Yellowstone 1,016 2.4% $251,000
30 Deer Lodge 2,976 0.7% $118,400
31 Baker 1,727 3.8% $150,000
32 Dillon 4,244 2.8% $158,600
33 East Missoula 2,132 3.5% $214,500
34 Lakeside 2,160 0.0% $286,100
35 Big Sky 3,098 3.3% $434,600
36 Bigfork 4,626 2.4% $352,200
37 Forsyth 1,673 0.0% $155,500
38 Conrad 2,531 2.0% $117,900
39 Chester 1,073 1.2% $117,200
40 Townsend 2,069 3.1% $157,000
41 Three Forks 1,922 5.3% $192,400
42 Columbus 2,324 8.6% $173,100
43 Plentywood 1,858 2.6% $161,100
44 East Helena 1,808 1.9% $164,300
45 Red Lodge 2,277 0.0% $235,700
46 Lolo 3,780 2.6% $216,000
47 Colstrip 2,446 5.4% $118,400
48 Clancy 1,986 3.9% $293,700
49 Frenchtown 2,330 7.8% $309,200
50 Glasgow 3,348 6.2% $138,800
51 Somers 1,088 0.0% $220,800
52 Manhattan 1,506 1.8% $245,700
53 Scobey 1,162 0.0% $120,500
54 Montana City 2,796 6.2% $331,900
55 Big Timber 1,739 0.0% $166,100
56 Four Corners 4,336 1.1% $355,600
57 Helena Valley Northwest 4,163 1.6% $238,700
58 King Arthur Park 1,239 0.0% $251,900

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