There's no question that people are moving both in and out of Montana, but data suggests that there's an interesting pattern in who is moving where.

We recently wrote about the fact that Montana is the #3 state for net migration, meaning it's where most people who are moving, are moving to. When we drilled down, we found that it's not Californians who are moving here most. It's people from Washington. 

Read More: Montana is #3 for People Moving In: Where They're Coming From

Arguably, people from Washington might want to move to Montana because it's cheaper to live here. But something very interesting happens when you look at the top 10 places that Montanans are moving. Take a look:

LOOK: 10 Places where people in Montana are moving to most

Stacker compiled a list of states where people from Montana are moving to the most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Montana and Washington Are Switching Places?

The fact that Montana is cheaper than Washington may not matter after all. It's fascinating to see that Washingtonians are going to Montana, and Montanans are going to Washington!

Go deeper: Like me, you might wonder why this might be happening. Here's something to consider.

  • The data showing Montanans are moving to Washington is from 2019
  • The data showing Washingtonians are moving to Montana is from 2021

Ideally, for a comparison like this, we would have data from the same year. But given what was happening in the world between 2019 and 2021, is it possible that, thanks to the pandemic, some of the people who moved from Montana to Washington in 2019 then moved back to Montana in 2021?

There of course could be other reasons why people move between Montana and Washington:

  • Both Washington and Montana are states that participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program.
  • Jobs: with Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft being in Seattle that could explain the Montanans moving West.
  • People may have family in both states.
  • Then, there's the theory that Missoula is the next Seattle and people move back and forth depending on what size city they're looking for.

What other reasons might there be for a moving pattern like this? Message us on our app.

LOOK: The 25 least expensive states to live in

Here are the top 25 states with the lowest cost of living in 2022, using data Stacker culled from the Council for Community and Economic Research.

Gallery Credit: Aubrey Jane McClaine

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