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.
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.
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
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $50,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 33.7% (2nd worst)
More on Hays: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $48,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.0% (7th worst)
More on South Browning: Data
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $55,800 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.9% (6th worst)
More on North Browning: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $72,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.2% (5th worst)
More on Crow Agency: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $106,900 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (15th worst)
More on Ashland: Data
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:
- Four Corners (Pop. 4,051)
- Helena Valley Northwest (Pop. 3,949)
- King Arthur Park (Pop. 1,125)
For more Montana reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Montana
- 10 Safest Places In Montana
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Montana
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Montana
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Montana
|1||Fort Belknap Agency||1,388|
|23||White Sulphur Springs||1,109|
|28||Helena West Side||1,286|
|58||Helena Valley Northeast||3,232|
|61||Helena Valley Northwest||3,949|
|62||King Arthur Park||1,125|