DEMOGRAPHICS OF MONTANA


Montana ranks 44th in population; only six states (Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont and Delaware) have fewer people. As of 2008, Montana has an estimated population of 967,440, slightly less than either Rhode Island or Hawaii, which is an increase of 65,245, or 7.2%, since the year 2000 and a 21.1% increase since 1990. Growth is mainly concentrated in Montana's seven largest counties, with the heaviest growth in Bozeman's Gallatin County, which saw a 78% increase in its population since 1990. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 94.8% of the population aged 5 and older speak English at home. The center of population of Montana is located in Meagher County, in the city of White Sulphur Springs.

While German ancestry is the largest reported European-American ancestry in most of Montana, residents of Scandinavian ancestry are prevalent in some of the farming-dominated northern and eastern prairie regions. There are also several predominantly Native American counties, mostly around each of the seven Indian reservations. The historically mining-oriented communities of western Montana such as Butte have a wider range of ethnic groups, particularly people of Eastern European and Irish ancestry, as well as people who originally emigrated from British mining regions such as Cornwall. Montana is second only to South Dakota in U.S. Hutterite population with several colonies spread across the state. Many of Montana's historic logging communities originally attracted people of Scandinavian, Slavic, and Scots-Irish descent. Montana's Hispanic population is particularly concentrated around the Billings area in south-central Montana, and the highest city.

Luciano Mende

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