Montana has had many towns boom and bust over the last few centuries. From the discovery of gold and other rare metals to the expansion west, Montana has seen many towns rise and fall. But, in the modern era, what would you consider a Montana boomtown?

Montana boomtowns sprung up in every corner of the state. Even before it officially became a state. Places like Bannack rose after the discovery of gold. Or places like Butte? Which for a moment was the largest city west of the Mississippi River. Many towns boomed simply because the railroad set up shop in certain locations across the rugged Montana terrain. Other towns emerged simply because of an abundance of jobs.

The construction of Fort Peck Dam was a massive undertaking following the Great Depression. People were hungry for a good paying job and relocated their entire family to the prairies of northeastern Montana.

According to Montana PBS

Communities popped up along the Montana prairie around the Fort Peck Dam project site. Tiny homes brimmed with families willing to lend a hand to new neighbors in the growing towns. With names like Wheeler and Delano Heights these towns, while temporary, were proud to make an existence as part of the massive dam project.

Fast forward to 2023 and Montana is quickly transforming into a technological and cultural hub. While mining and agriculture still thrive in Montana, technology may be the new gold rush that takes Montana families to the next level.

Where is Montana's modern-day "Boomtown?"

Montana towns have seen rapid growth since the pandemic. Yet, one town has truly boomed. Both in population growth and size.

The website analyzed the data for "boomtowns" across the country. They looked at the one-, five-and eight-year changes in population, occupied housing units, and owner-occupied housing units of cities with a population of more than 25,000 but less than 500,000.

The result not surprisingly shows that the town of Bozeman is the fastest-growing boomtown in Montana.

Just take a look at the data from


  • Change in population:
    • 1 year: 6.71%
    • 5 years: 23.50%
    • 8 years: 35.00%
  • Change in owner-occupied housing units:
    • 1 year: 6.88%
    • 5 years: 23.87%
    • 8 years: 38.06%
  • Change in owner-occupied housing units:
    • 1 year: 12.36%
    • 5 years: 28.78%
    • 8 years: 30.43%

As Bozeman continues to grow, where will Montana's next boom take place? Could the continued flow of families relocating to Montana cause other Montana towns to see rapid growth? Will technology and industry create better-paying jobs for more Montana families? We will have to wait and see what 2024 has in store for us.

LOOK: 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

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Gallery Credit: Brian Lee

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