25+ Pros And Cons Of Living In Montana (Explained)

Montana is a state located in the northwest part of the United States. The state is bordered by Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia to the north, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, and Idaho to the west.

Out of all the 50 states, Montana ranks 42 in terms of population and 4 in terms of size. The name of the state comes from the Spanish word ‘montaña’, which in turn is derived from the Latin word ‘montanea’, meaning “mountain”, or a broader sense of the term, “mountainous country”.

Benefits Of Living in MontanaDrawbacks Of Living in Montana
Plenty of outdoor adventuresExtreme weather conditions
Good education choicesPolitical divisions
Plenty of space Non-existent public transport
Exciting winter sportsWeak real estate market
A chance to live like cowboysNeed to be self-sufficient
Cheap rents and low cost of living
Thriving beer industry
Warm and friendly people

Advantages of Living in Montana:

Montana provides you with plenty of enjoyable outdoor adventures

Montana is renowned for its natural beauty. With the state’s population density being the third-lowest in the country, there is so much empty land that everyone can get to camp, hike, and hunt whenever possible.

Montana will give you a chance to get a decent education

Both the Montana State University and the University of Montana are highly regarded public institutions of higher education. One of the best ways to take advantage of this benefit is to retire early here and make use of the Lifelong Education Status available in Montana by taking classes. 

With low population density, there is plenty of space

If you like taking long road trips then driving through Montana can seem like it takes forever with more than 500 miles of interstate highway to diverse while you make the east-to-west journey across the state.

Also, with low population density, you can settle down in a house where your nearest neighbor will be several miles away if you like to live alone. 

Winter sports in Montana are a big thing

Wintertime in Montana creates the most lucrative tourism opportunities with winter sports being a huge thing in the state. There are currently more than 15 ski resorts in the state, including the 5,800-acre Big Sky Ski Resort, which will give you access to world-class but affordable runs. 

Montana provides you a chance to live a cowboy lifestyle

If your desire is for a farming, ranching, cowboy-style life, then Montana is ideal for you. The agriculture industry here contributes about $4 billion per year to the overall economy with livestock sales making 50% of this overall figure. There are over 28,000 farms and ranches presently operational in the state. 

Cost of living and rent is cheaper than most other states

Rent is pretty low in Montana. Studio apartments cost $800 per month, one-bedroom apartments cost $850 and two-bedroom rentals are under $1,000 per month. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average bill for homeowners in the state is less than $87 per month which is almost $30 lower than the national average.  

Montana has a big beer industry

Like most other Western states, Montana supports a large craft brewing industry. There are currently more than 50 licensed breweries operating which contribute more than $60 million each year. Of you love to taste various beers, Montana will be like a dream come true. 

Montana has very warm and friendly people

People living in Montana are warm and friendly in general. Strangers will wait for you while you cross the road and neighbors rely on one another to make it through the difficult times. The general perception and attitude here are to encourage the community to uplift everyone so that each household receives the same chances to succeed.

Disadvantages of Living in Montana:

Montana has extreme weather conditions

Temperature can be pretty extreme in Montana. Summers are hot unless you live up in the mountains and there are severe thunderstorms from spring to autumn. Winter brings freezing temperatures as early as October sometimes.

You can experience 100-degree swings and temperature from week to week, going from -50°F to 50°F above in between November and March.  

The state is divided into political lines

Political divides are pretty much evident in the state. The most notable difference happens between urban and rural voters here. Urban households vote Democrats and rural areas vote for Republicans. 

Public transportation does not exist in the state

Except for Helena, there is no public transport available in Montana. So you must own a private vehicle if you want to live here because the winters are extreme here and most of the rural roads are still of gravel. 

The state has a very weak real estate market

The real estate market is not very strong in Montana. Affordable housing does not exist throughout much of the state.

Even after securing a job in the city, most people commute to work from a rural home because they cannot afford a property in the urban areas. Though the average cost is just $99,500, there are some places where you can’t find a property for less than $600,000. 

The state needs you to be self-sufficient

A storm can cause a power outage for several days in rural areas and your car battery might freeze due to harsh conditions in winter. You must keep basic survival supplies needed for at least a week handy with you all time to survive in Montana. It will also help to keep at least three days’ worth of supplies in your vehicle.

Some people view Montana as a mountainous wonderland filled with numerous outdoor adventures available throughout the year. At the same time, it is clear how Montana can be mistaken only as a place for farming, ranching, and leading a rural lifestyle without any urban development.

The state is huge and there are difficulties to face if you consider living here, but those who call it home would say that you are a stronger and better person if you can manage those problems.

For some, living here helps them discover exciting new opportunities to explore while for others, it brings them peace.

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