• Four Montana cities make the list of 2023's Best Small City

  • One Montana city was ranked among the top 1% of cities.

  • Cities were compared based on popular categories like affordability and safety.

Wallet Hub's 2023 Best Small Cities in America is one of the latest studies to rank Montana's small cities and features both familiar and unfamiliar favorites. Given the parameters--that the city was defined as having a population between 25,000 and 100,000--Billings was not included in the study, though Billings has been acknowledged as a top city for disability-related healthcare. That would also eliminate other small towns with populations lower than 25,000 from inclusion on the list.

Which Montana Cities Made the List?

Taking population size into account, it might be easy to guess which Montana cities made the list, though some did better than others. The four cities were compared using metrics that included aspects of affordability, economic health, education and health, quality of life, and safety.

Great Falls Montana

Great Falls

Percentile: 28th

Affordability: 543

Economic Health: 872

Education and Health: 840

Quality of Life: 307

Safety: 1,204

Great Falls was the lowest-scoring of the four Montana cities landing overall in the 28th percentile.

Helena Montana


Percentile: 70th

Affordability: 656

Economic Health: 311

Education and Health: 335

Quality of Life: 110

Safety: 1081

It's not often Helena appears in these kinds of lists. Yet, of the 1,300 cities, Helena is in the top 8% for Quality of Life.

Related: These 6 Montana Towns Have the Best Downtowns

Missoula Montana


Percentile: 75th

Affordability: 971

Economic Health: 385

Education and Health: 236

Quality of Life: 51

Safety: 1041

Missoula is in the top 4% of cities that have a high Quality of Life.

Bozeman Montana


Percentile: 99th

Affordability: 1041

Economic Health:10

Education and Health: 71

Quality of Life: 36

Safety: 426

Bozeman is in the top 1% of all small cities in this study with the highest indicator being Economic Health where it's in the top 1% as well. A number of factors contribute to measuring Economic Health, including population growth and the share of the population living in poverty, and the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce points out that the economy "is one of the strongest in the State of Montana."

Given Bozeman's success, it may not be a "small city" for much longer.

LOOK: Best public high schools in Montana

Stacker compiled a list of the best public high schools in Montana using 2023 rankings from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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