Part of Montana's appeal has always been the blue, pollution-free skies, and the copious opportunities to get out and recreate. With Montana's focus on agriculture, too, it's easier to eat whole foods grown locally than in many other places in the U.S.

These aspects, and more, help make two Montana cities rank among some of the healthiest cities in the country. These cities were also ranked high for health last year so let's look at how these cities ranked in 2023 vs 2024.

Montana's Healthiest Cities 2023

In 2023, WalletHub looked at "healthcare, food, fitness and greenspace" according to our coverage last year. With those parameters in mind, this is how Missoula and Billings ranked overall:

Missoula - #36

Billings - #56

READ MORE: Montana's Healthiest Cities 2023

Montana's Healthiest Cities 2024

The WalletHub study considered the same parameters in 2024, but one Montana city ranked slightly better while the other Montana city ranked slightly worse.

Missoula - #33

Billings - #58

In 2024, Missoula ranked very well for health care at #13, improving from #17 in 2023. It also was ranked #21 for greenspace, which includes things like hiking trails and recreation access which makes a lot of sense. Overall, Missoula improved by 3 spots.

Billings, in 2024, dropped 2 spots overall. The best category ranking was food, as opposed to fitness in 2023, and Billings came in at #43. The food category was broken down into variables like farmer's markets and how many healthy restaurants the city has.

For both 2023 and 2024, San Franciso remained the healthiest city in the country.

One aspect of both studies in the health care category was two measures of mental health, one that looked at the reporting of mentally unhealthy days, the other looking at counselors per capita.

Montana is known for having one of the highest suicide rates in the country, and Billings, Montana, is known for being one of the most depressed cities in the country. Given the data on depression and suicide, I do wonder, if these variables had been part of the methodology, would they have affected how Montana cities ranked?

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. More information is available at

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