These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Montana For 2019


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 . This is our fourth 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 62 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 2019? 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.

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 2019

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 2013-2017 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 – 62 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.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,388
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $67,500 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 36.5% (1st worst)
More on Fort Belknap Agency:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,006
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $50,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 33.7% (2nd worst)
More on Hays:  Data

Lame Deer, MT

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,188
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $61,100 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 28.2% (3rd worst)
More on Lame Deer:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,388
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $48,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.0% (7th worst)
More on South Browning:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,582
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $55,800 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.9% (6th worst)
More on North Browning:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,118
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $72,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.2% (5th worst)
More on Crow Agency:  Data

Pablo, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,722
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $123,100 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.3% (8th worst)
More on Pablo:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,048
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $106,900 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (15th worst)
More on Ashland:  Data

Eureka, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,317
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $138,000 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (22nd worst)
More on Eureka:  Data | Photos

Thompson Falls, MT

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,130
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $130,500 (25th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (11th worst)
More on Thompson Falls:  Data | Photos

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. 4,051)
  2. Helena Valley Northwest (Pop. 3,949)
  3. King Arthur Park (Pop. 1,125)

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 1,388 36.5% $67,500
2 Hays 1,006 33.7% $50,300
3 Lame Deer 2,188 28.2% $61,100
4 South Browning 1,388 20.0% $48,100
5 North Browning 2,582 20.9% $55,800
6 Crow Agency 2,118 21.2% $72,500
7 Pablo 2,722 19.3% $123,100
8 Ashland 1,048 9.7% $106,900
9 Eureka 1,317 6.5% $138,000
10 Thompson Falls 1,130 11.3% $130,500
11 Black Eagle 1,054 5.9% $96,000
12 Roundup 1,813 7.5% $84,800
13 Hardin 3,812 9.5% $111,800
14 Libby 2,664 12.8% $103,200
15 Boulder 1,001 6.6% $128,500
16 Ronan 1,887 6.3% $124,200
17 Corvallis 1,083 23.6% $164,800
18 Chinook 1,056 12.6% $102,900
19 Sun Prairie 1,406 5.9% $103,400
20 Cut Bank 3,009 4.6% $120,800
21 Wolf Point 2,792 6.1% $107,100
22 Malta 2,000 11.0% $120,200
23 White Sulphur Springs 1,109 5.3% $116,000
24 Polson 4,702 10.3% $174,600
25 Shelby 3,194 1.4% $136,900
26 Lakeside 2,459 11.1% $287,400
27 West Yellowstone 1,108 7.0% $243,200
28 Helena West Side 1,286 6.5% $199,300
29 Hamilton 4,570 4.3% $171,200
30 Deer Lodge 3,015 1.7% $113,000
31 East Missoula 2,047 7.7% $197,100
32 Choteau 1,676 2.1% $119,600
33 Absarokee 1,022 3.3% $165,700
34 Dillon 4,224 4.9% $156,000
35 Stevensville 2,020 5.0% $160,800
36 Fort Benton 1,381 2.5% $143,000
37 Lolo 3,525 5.7% $218,200
38 Conrad 2,841 1.9% $118,000
39 East Helena 2,265 4.8% $163,600
40 Red Lodge 2,349 0.0% $224,700
41 Townsend 2,000 2.3% $141,200
42 Three Forks 2,046 3.8% $186,000
43 Plentywood 1,846 2.3% $165,400
44 Forsyth 1,793 0.7% $156,600
45 Gardiner 1,046 1.1% $318,900
46 Clancy 1,714 5.1% $291,500
47 Big Sky 2,904 4.2% $397,900
48 Baker 1,860 2.7% $144,800
49 Columbus 2,320 8.0% $171,600
50 Bigfork 4,797 4.3% $342,200
51 Manhattan 1,342 2.4% $224,800
52 West Glendive 1,879 0.5% $163,600
53 Big Timber 1,498 0.0% $169,100
54 Colstrip 2,253 5.0% $137,500
55 Frenchtown 2,122 6.3% $324,300
56 Scobey 1,268 0.0% $119,200
57 Glasgow 3,361 4.3% $140,800
58 Helena Valley Northeast 3,232 2.5% $306,400
59 Montana City 2,770 4.5% $313,600
60 Four Corners 4,051 1.7% $332,800
61 Helena Valley Northwest 3,949 1.9% $232,400
62 King Arthur Park 1,125 3.1% $231,700

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