The Top 10 Wealthiest Counties in Montana (and Who Lives There)
Montana is the fourth-largest U.S. state by area, but the eighth-least populous. As for wealth, Montana ranks low compared to other states. Its median income in 2021 was $63,249, placing it all the way down at number 35 for U.S. states by income. Nevertheless, some of Montana’s 56 counties are quite wealthy compared to the rest. This article explores the 10 wealthiest counties in Montana, including their largest employers and notable people who live there. The ranking is by overall wealth index, which factors in median income, investment income, and median home value. Four counties on this list are also some of the fastest-growing counties in Montana.
1. Gallatin County
Gallatin County is located in southwest Montana. Its population is 124,857, making it the second-most populous county in Montana.
Its top employers are Montana State University, Bozeman Health, Bozeman School District, Simms Fishing Products, and Mystery Ranch Backpacks. Some notable people from Gallatin County are Brannon Braga, a writer and producer for the Star Trek films and television series, and Gary Cooper, the actor.
2. Flathead County
Flathead County is located in northwest Montana, a region also known as Glacier Country. Its population is 111,814, making it the fourth-most populous county in Montana.
Its top industries are healthcare, technology, manufacturing, tourism, and air service. Some notable people from Flathead County are the actresses Michelle Williams and Margaret Qualley.
3. Missoula County
Missoula County is located in northwest Montana. Its population is 121,041, making it the third-most populous county in Montana.
Missoula County’s top employers are the University of Montana, St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula County Public Schools, Community Medical Center, and DirecTV Customer Service. Some notable people from Missoula County are Jeannette Rankin, the first woman in U.S. Congress, and David Lynch, the filmmaker.
4. Park County
Park County is located in southwest Montana. Its population is 17,790, making it the 11th-most populous county in Montana. Its top employers are Livingston Healthcare, Livingston Public Schools, and Printing for Less. One notable person who lived in Livingston was Dan Bailey, a conservationist who owned a fly shop for fly fishing in Livingston.
5. Madison County
Madison County is located in southwest Montana. Its population is 9,265, making it the 24th-most populous county in Montana. Madison County’s top industries are education, government, construction, and tourism.
6. Jefferson County
Jefferson County is located in southwest Montana. Its population is 12,826, making it the 16th-most populous county in Montana. Jefferson County’s top industry is agriculture.
7. Ravalli County
Ravalli County is located in western Montana, in the region known as Glacier Country. Its population is 47,298, making it the seventh-most populous county in Montana.
Many residents of Ravalli County commute to Missoula to work. A notable person who lived in Ravalli County was Willy Burgdorfer, a scientist who discovered the cause of Lyme disease.
8. Carbon County
Carbon County is located in southern Montana, a region also called Yellowstone Country. Its population is 11,179, making it the 20th-most populous county in Montana. Carbon County’s top employer is the Red Lodge Mountain Resort ski area.
9. Stillwater County
Stillwater County is located in southern Montana, also known as Yellowstone Country. Its population is 9,177, making it the 25th-most populous county in Montana. Its top employers are Stillwater Mining Company and Montana Silversmiths.
10. Lewis and Clark County
Lewis and Clark County is located in southwestern Montana. Its population is 73,832, making it the sixth-most populous county in Montana.
Lewis and Clark County’s top employers are St. Peters Hospital and Carroll College. Additionally, the government is a top industry since Lewis and Clark County is home to the state capital. One notable person who lives there is Greg Gianforte, the governor of Montana.
Summary of the Wealthiest Counties In Montana
|Rank||County||Median Income||Investment Income||Median Home Value||Overall Wealth Index|
|10||Lewis and Clark||$66,486||$23,509||$426,700||25.47|