Montana (/mɒnˈtænə/ (listen)) is a state in the Northwestern United States. Montana has several nicknames, although none are official, including “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State”, and slogans that include “Land of the Shining Mountains” and more recently “The Last Best Place”.
Montana is one of the nine Mountain States, located in the north of the region known as the Western United States. It borders North Dakota and South Dakota to the east. Wyoming is to the south, Idaho is to the west and southwest, and three Canadian provinces, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, are to the north.
With an area of 147,040 square miles (380,800 km), Montana is slightly larger than Japan. It is the fourth-largest state in the United States after Alaska, Texas, and California; it is the largest landlocked U.S. state.
The United States Census Bureau estimated the population of Montana was 1,062,305 on July 1, 2018, a 7.37% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The 2010 Census put Montana’s population at 989,415. During the first decade of the new century, growth was mainly concentrated in Montana’s seven largest counties, with the highest percentage growth in Gallatin County, which had a 32% increase in its population from 2000–2010. The city having the largest percentage growth was Kalispell, with 40.1%, and the city with the largest increase in actual residents was Billings, with an increase in population of 14,323 from 2000–2010.
On January 3, 2012, the Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) at the Montana Department of Commerce estimated Montana had hit the one million population mark sometime between November and December 2011.
According to the 2010 Census, 89.4% of the population was White (87.8% non-Hispanic White), 6.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.9% Hispanics and Latinos of any race, 0.6% Asian, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 0.6% from some other race, and 2.5% from two or more races. The largest European ancestry groups in Montana as of 2010 are: German (27.0%), Irish (14.8%), English (12.6%), Norwegian (10.9%), French (4.7%), and Italian (3.4%).
Montana has a larger Native American population, both numerically and as a percentage, than most U.S. states. Although the state ranked 45th in population (according to the 2010 U.S. Census), it ranked 19th in native people population. Native people made up 6.5% of the state’s population, the sixth-highest percentage of all 50 states. Montana has three counties in which Native Americans are a majority: Big Horn, Glacier, and Roosevelt. Other counties with large Native American populations include Blaine, Cascade, Hill, Missoula, and Yellowstone Counties. The state’s Native American population grew by 27.9% between 1980 and 1990 (at a time when Montana’s entire population rose 1.6%), and by 18.5 percent between 2000 and 2010.
As of 2009, almost two-thirds of Native Americans in the state live in urban areas. Of Montana’s 20 largest cities, Polson (15.7%), Havre (13.0%), Great Falls (5.0%), Billings (4.4%), and Anaconda (3.1%) had the greatest percentages of Native American residents in 2010. Billings (4,619), Great Falls (2,942), Missoula (1,838), Havre (1,210), and Polson (706) have the most Native Americans living there. The state’s seven reservations include more than 12 distinct Native American ethnolinguistic groups.
While the largest European-American population in Montana overall is German, pockets of significant Scandinavian ancestry are prevalent in some of the farming-dominated northern and eastern prairie regions, parallel to nearby regions of North Dakota and Minnesota. Farmers of Irish, Scots, and English roots also settled in Montana. The historically mining-oriented communities of western Montana such as Butte have a wider range of European-American ethnicity; Finns, Eastern Europeans and especially Irish settlers left an indelible mark on the area, as well as people originally from British mining regions such as Cornwall, Devon, and Wales. The nearby city of Helena, also founded as a mining camp, had a similar mix in addition to a small Chinatown. Many of Montana’s historic logging communities originally attracted people of Scottish, Scandinavian, Slavic, English, and Scots-Irish descent.
The Hutterites, an Anabaptist sect originally from Switzerland, settled here, and today Montana is second only to South Dakota in U.S. Hutterite population, with several colonies spread across the state. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the state also had an influx of Amish, who moved to Montana from the increasingly urbanized areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Montana’s Hispanic population is concentrated in the Billings area in south-central Montana, where many of Montana’s Mexican-Americans have been in the state for generations. Great Falls has the highest percentage of African-Americans in its population, although Billings has more African-American residents than Great Falls.
The Chinese in Montana, while a low percentage today, have been an important presence. About 2000–3000 Chinese miners were in the mining areas of Montana by 1870, and 2500 in 1890. However, public opinion grew increasingly negative toward them in the 1890s, and nearly half of the state’s Asian population left the state by 1900. Today, the Missoula area has a large Hmong population and the nearly 3,000 Montanans who claim Filipino ancestry are the largest Asian-American group in the state.
English is the official language in the state of Montana, as it is in many U.S. states. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 94.8% of the population aged five and older speak English at home. Spanish is the language most commonly spoken at home other than English. About 13,040 Spanish-language speakers were in the state (1.4% of the population) in 2011. Also, 15,438 (1.7% of the state population) were speakers of Indo-European languages other than English or Spanish, 10,154 (1.1%) were speakers of a Native American language, and 4,052 (0.4%) were speakers of an Asian or Pacific Islander language. Other languages spoken in Montana (as of 2013) include Assiniboine (about 150 speakers in the Montana and Canada), Blackfoot (about 100 speakers), Cheyenne (about 1,700 speakers), Plains Cree (about 100 speakers), Crow (about 3,000 speakers), Dakota (about 18,800 speakers in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), German Hutterite (about 5,600 speakers), Gros Ventre (about 10 speakers), Kalispel-Pend d’Oreille (about 64 speakers), Kutenai (about six speakers), and Lakota (about 6,000 speakers in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota). The United States Department of Education estimated in 2009 that 5,274 students in Montana spoke a language at home other than English. These included a Native American language (64%), German (4%), Spanish (3%), Russian (1%), and Chinese (less than 0.5%).
According to the Pew Forum, the religious affiliations of the people of Montana are: Protestant 47%, Catholic 23%, LDS (Mormon) 5%, Jehovah’s Witness 2%, Buddhist 1%, Jewish 0.5%, Muslim 0.5%, Hindu 0.5% and nonreligious at 20%.
The largest denominations in Montana as of 2010 were the Catholic Church with 127,612 adherents, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 46,484 adherents, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 38,665 adherents, and nondenominational Evangelical Protestant with 27,370 adherents.
About 66,000 people of Native American heritage live in Montana. Stemming from multiple treaties and federal legislation, including the Indian Appropriations Act (1851), the Dawes Act (1887), and the Indian Reorganization Act (1934), seven Indian reservations, encompassing 11 federally recognized tribal nations, were created in Montana. A 12th nation, the Little Shell Chippewa is a “landless” people headquartered in Great Falls; it is recognized by the state of Montana, but not by the U.S. government. The Blackfeet nation is headquartered on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation (1851) in Browning, Crow on the Crow Indian Reservation (1868) in Crow Agency, Confederated Salish and Kootenai and Pend d’Oreille on the Flathead Indian Reservation (1855) in Pablo, Northern Cheyenne on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation (1884) at Lame Deer, Assiniboine and Gros Ventre on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation (1888) in Fort Belknap Agency, Assiniboine and Sioux on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation (1888) at Poplar, and Chippewa-Cree on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation (1916) near Box Elder. Approximately 63% of all Native people live off the reservations, concentrated in the larger Montana cities, with the largest concentration of urban Indians in Great Falls. The state also has a small Métis population, and 1990 census data indicated that people from as many as 275 different tribes lived in Montana.
Montana’s Constitution specifically reads, “the state recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity.” It is the only state in the U.S. with such a constitutional mandate. The Indian Education for All Act was passed in 1999 to provide funding for this mandate and ensure implementation. It mandates that all schools teach American Indian history, culture, and heritage from preschool through college. For kindergarten through 12th-grade students, an “Indian Education for All” curriculum from the Montana Office of Public Instruction is available free to all schools. The state was sued in 2004 because of lack of funding, and the state has increased its support of the program. South Dakota passed similar legislation in 2007, and Wisconsin was working to strengthen its own program based on this model – and the current practices of Montana’s schools. Each Indian reservation in the state has a fully accredited tribal college. The University of Montana “was the first to establish dual admission agreements with all of the tribal colleges and as such it was the first institution in the nation to actively facilitate student transfer from the tribal colleges”
Note: Births in table do not add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
Zip Code Map
Montana neighborhoods include: Absarokee, Acton, Alberton, Anaconda, Antelope, Arlee, Ashland, Babb, Bainville, Baker, Ballantine, Bearcreek, Belfry, Belgrade, Belt, Big Arm, Bigfork, Big Sandy, Big Timber, Billings, Black Eagle, Bloomfield, Bonner, Boulder, Box Elder, Bozeman, Brady, Bridger, Broadus, Broadview, Brockton, Brockway, Browning, Buffalo, Butte, Cameron, Cardwell, Carter, Cascade, Charlo, Chester, Chinook, Choteau, Circle, Clancy, Clinton, Coffee Creek, Columbia Falls, Columbus, Condon, Conner, Conrad, Corvallis, Crow Agency, Culbertson, Custer, Cut Bank, Dagmar, Darby, Dayton, Deer Lodge, Dell, Denton, Dillon, Divide, Dixon, Dodson, Drummond, Dutton, East Glacier Park, East Helena, Ekalaka, Elmo, Emigrant, Ennis, Essex, Eureka, Fairfield, Fairview, Fallon, Fishtail, Flaxville, Florence, Floweree, Forest Grove, Forsyth, Fort Benton, Fort Peck, Fort Shaw, Frazer, Frenchtown, Froid, Fromberg, Galata, Gallatin Gateway, Gardiner, Garrison, Geraldine, Gildford, Glasgow, Glendive, Glentana, Gold Creek, Grass Range, Great Falls, Greenough, Greycliff, Hall, Hamilton, Hardin, Harlem, Harrison, Havre, Heart Butte, Helena, Helmville, Heron, Highwood, Hilger, Hingham, Hinsdale, Hobson, Hogeland, Homestead, Hot Springs, Hungry Horse, Huntley, Huson, Inverness, Jackson, Joliet, Joplin, Jordan, Judith Gap, Kalispell, Kevin, Kila, Kremlin, Lakeside, Lame Deer, Larslan, Laurel, Lavina, Ledger, Lewistown, Libby, Lima, Lindsay, Livingston, Lloyd, Lodge Grass, Lolo, Loma, Lonepine, Loring, Lothair, Malta, Manhattan, Marion, Martinsdale, Mc Leod, Medicine Lake, Melville, Mildred, Miles City, Missoula, Molt, Monarch, Moore, Musselshell, Nashua, Neihart, Norris, Noxon, Nye, Oilmont, Opheim, Outlook, Ovando, Park City, Peerless, Pendroy, Philipsburg, Pinesdale, Plains, Plentywood, Plevna, Polebridge, Polson, Pompeys Pillar, Pony, Poplar, Power, Pray, Proctor, Radersburg, Ramsay, Rapelje, Raymond, Raynesford, Red Lodge, Redstone, Reed Point, Reserve, Rexford, Richey, Richland, Ringling, Roberts, Rollins, Ronan, Roscoe, Rosebud, Roundup, Roy, Rudyard, Ryegate, Saco, Saint Ignatius, Saint Regis, Saltese, Sand Coulee, Savage, Scobey, Seeley Lake, Shawmut, Shelby, Shepherd, Sheridan, Sidney, Silver Star, Somers, Stanford, Stevensville, Stockett, Sula, Sunburst, Sun River, Superior, Sweet Grass, Terry, Thompson Falls, Three Forks, Toston, Townsend, Trout Creek, Troy, Turner, Twin Bridges, Two Dot, Valier, Vaughn, Victor, Vida, Virginia City, Volborg, Warm Springs, Westby, West Yellowstone, Whitefish, Whitehall, White Sulphur Springs, Whitetail, Whitewater, Wibaux, Wilsall, Winifred, Winnett, Winston, Wisdom, Wise River, Wolf Creek, Wolf Point, Worden, Wyola, Zortman
For more information, see Montana wiki