Expansive, beautiful, and exquisite are just a few words to describe this incredible state, and they still don’t do it justice! Montana to many is the perfect holiday destination, with vast and expansive natural areas, ideal for exploring and camping, beautiful, long summer days, and many possibilities for activities that all involve being outside, and breathing in that fresh northern air.
It comes as little surprise that Montana is very mountainous, which enhances some of the many attractions that the state has to offer. It is hard to argue with the beauty on display in Montana, which over the past several years has led to an influx of tourism and people deciding to call the Treasure State their new home, with over 12.6 million visitors in 2019 alone.
With the abundance of activities on offer and places to visit, we really are not short of interesting facts about Montana. So, we have compiled a list of all the amazing qualities Montana possesses, past and present, including a comprehensive economic and business facts section that may surprise you!
If you would like to skip straight to the Montana Economic Facts, click on the link to take you there, or scroll down the page.
27 of the Most Interesting Facts About Montana
1. The origin of the name Montana stems from the Spanish word, “Mountainous”. A pretty fitting name for the state considering how many mountain ranges there are! Mountains are such a big part of the state that much of the state seal is covered by them.
2. Montana’s population size is small in comparison to many other states, with the total state population only just exceeding a million people. This ranks the Treasure State 44th in size in the U.S. However, in terms of landmass, Montana is at the other end of the spectrum, with the size of the state ranking 4th out of 50 for land size, which gives its residents a bunch of breathing space.
3. Montana as a state is vast and expansive, two undeniably positive qualities. This is supported through the 28 million acres of public land.
4. Home to 56 counties, with 46 of them being considered “frontier counties”. Each county holds an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.
5. Yellowstone, Montana is the first national park to be discovered in the United States.
6. The official state flower is the Bitterroot, and the official state tree is the Ponderosa Pine.
7. There are more cattle in Montana than there are people.
8. Montana shares its borders with 4 other U.S. states; Wyoming to the south, Idaho to the west, North and South Dakota to the east, as well as a few Canadian Provinces bordering from the north.
9. Montana was the first-ever state to elect a woman to Congress. In 1916 Jeannette Rankin won this historical election which would change the landscape of politics throughout the state.
10. If you wanted to, due to the sheer size of the state, you could literally fit 6 other U.S. states into Montana; District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
11. The famous animator and producer Brad Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana. He worked on projects such as “Rugrats”, “The Simpsons”, “The Incredibles”, and “The Incredibles 2”.
12. Montana is home to the largest Elk herd in the nation!
13. Ironically, the city with the highest population in Montana isn’t the capital. The city boasting the highest population is “Billings”, with over 100,000 people. The capital city is actually Helena, which has a population of around 75,000.
14. It may come as no surprise to hear that Montana’s wildlife population is thriving in this abundant and clean environment. This is evident when you look at the Grizzly Bear population, with over 800 bears living in the state, which is more than any of the other lower 48 states.
15. Montana, unlike many other states has proper seasons! With the state experiencing cold, frosty winters, and warm, sunny summers!
16. Fishing and hunting are prevalent within the state. Many residents will hunt and cook their own food.
Economic Montana Facts About The State
There are many things to consider when analyzing the business and Montana economic facts as there is a lot to dissect. The Treasure State has been perceived by some as having a weaker economy than most, however, this could not be further from the truth.
Montana has become increasingly popular over the years with business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs, and there is no sign of this slowing down! When you compare the state’s GDP, median income, and college education system with the population and cost of living, the state boasts an almost perfect business environment for many and highlights the economic strength of the state.
Montana Economic Facts
- Montana’s GDP is around $48 billion!
- Montana has a progressive state income tax, with the highest rate being 6.9%.
- When considering infrastructure, Montana has the 6th best energy system out of all 50 states (US News & World Report).
- According to US News & World Report, Montana has the 5th best renewable energy usage in the country.
- Montana has a superb education system, which is emphasized by 41% of the population being college-educated.
- Montana finds itself sitting in 19th in the U.S. for its economic health rank (Wallethub).
- The minimum wage in Montana is $8.75 per hour.
- Montana’s most dominant industries are; agriculture, forestry, mining, and energy production.
- Coal, petroleum, and natural gas are some of the main resources found in Montana.
- The median income in Montana is $29,428.
- The average house price in Montana is $313,261, however, this number is seasonally adjusted. To see the latest house prices in Montana, take a look at Zillow’s website.
- Small businesses are taking over the country, for the greater good! And Montana’s number of small businesses is rising each year, there are currently over 123,000 small businesses.
- These small businesses account for over 99% of all Montana businesses.
- There are over 246,000 small business employees in Montana.
- The number of small business employees makes up over 65% of all employees in the state.
- Montana is home to over 1,210 small business exporters.
- There is no sales tax in Montana, meaning that the base sales tax rate is 0%!
All of these economic facts about Montana provide the reasons for people deciding to move to the state for business and work opportunities, and it’s difficult to argue with any of them!
10 Interesting Facts About Montana
Here are the final 10 that round out our interesting facts:
17. There is no other state that has as many mammal species as Montana.
18. The small town named Loma, Montana has the record for the most dramatic temperature change within a 24 hour time period. Going from -54 degrees Fahrenheit, and reaching a staggering 49 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a remarkable 103-degree increase!
19. The Roe River, situated near the Missouri River and Great Falls is the shortest river in the world, only flowing 200 feet. Made official by The Guinness Book of World Records.
20. Montana’s state abbreviation is surrounded by some controversy. Usually, when a state adopts a two-letter postal abbreviation, the abbreviation is simply created through the first and second, or maybe the first and last letters of the word. But not Montana, Montana’s abbreviation is made up from the first and fourth letters of the name, “MT”.
21. Montana has the most bookstores per capita than any other state.
22. The largest-ever recorded snowflake was in Montana, which had a huge 15-inch diameter.
23. Annually, each spring almost 10,000 white pelicans migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to Medicine Lake, which is a National Wildlife Refuge located on the heavily glaciated rolling plains of northeastern Montana.
24. In 1888, there were more millionaires per capita living in Helena than in any other city in the world. Most of these millionaires made their riches through mineral exploits, specifically gold!
25. The famous Glacier National Park is the most visited place in Montana, known as the crown jewel of the continent, the national park lies along the state’s northern border.
26. The fastest speed you are able to travel in Montana is 80 mph; however, driving at this speed is only allowed when traveling along rural highways.
27. Montana is home to 9 glorious national park service areas where you can explore everything from historic battlefields to natural wonders across all corners of Big Sky Country.
Thanks for taking a look at our 25+ interesting facts about Montana! If you have some facts and fun information regarding Montana’s past and present that we have not covered, make sure to comment below.