Just as we were starting to hope that Montana's 15 minutes of fame were over, they seem to just be starting, and the trend in people moving to Montana only seems to be continuing.

A new study using the most recent census data shows that Montana's net migration rate makes it one of the most popular states for people to move to. According to Storage Cafe, Montana had 17.91 new residents per 1,000 residents. Vermont was ranked number 2 with 23.99 residents per 1,000 residents. Idaho was ranked number 1 with 23.54 residents per 1,000 residents.

Surprising Statistic: Average Household Income

Anecdotally, and based on features written by major publications, many of the out-of-staters who moved to Montana at the beginning of the pandemic were doing so because they could stretch their income farther in Montana. That still seems to be the case as Californians, for example, can save $320,000 on average if they decide to buy a house in Montana, according to Storage Cafe.

However, you would think that people arriving would have a higher household income than current residents, but that's not the case. According to the data:

  • Average Household Income Per State - Montana: $94,510.
  • Average Household Income of Newcomers: $74,800.

For all of the top three states--Idaho, Montana, and Vermont--the income of newcomers was less than that of those who already lived in the state.

Surprising Statistic: Biggest Generational Group

You might think that baby boomers were the group most often moving to Montana, with the idea that maybe they would be looking for a place to retire, or even just buying a second home. But it was actually millennials who were moving to Montana the most.

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Where They Are Coming From

Montanans often assume that it's Californians who are moving to Montana, and they were one of three states with people moving to Montana, but newcomers from Washington were actually the largest group coming to Montana. California was ranked second and Colorado was ranked third. Part of the reason they may be coming is people from these states do have higher incomes, $145K, $134K, and $108K respectively, but as we saw above, the average household income is lower, which includes the incomes of other transplants, not just those from the top three states.

'Once in a Lifetime' Montana Ranch for Sale

The Grey Wolf Ranch in Seeley Lake, Montana is an impressive property with a long history and classic, Montana features.

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