Montana Education and State Information

Oct 20, 2021

Information for Montana

Montana is the fourth largest state in the U.S., in terms of land area. Based on 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Montana had a population of just over 1.06 million people. The word 'Montana' derives from the Spanish word for 'mountain', and the name is quite apropos, with the main chain of the Rockies in the western part of the state. To the east, the land falls away into plains.

Outdoor pursuits are big in Montana, and many people take advantage of the state's unspoiled nature to fish, climb, hike and camp. Parts of Yellowstone and Glacier national parks are located in Montana, and the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument near Billings, the state's largest city, draws more than 300,000 visitors each year. Additionally, the largest Northern Native American gathering, the Crow Fair and Rodeo, is held each August near Billings, while the yearly Northern Cheyenne Powwow is held in Lame Deer.

Montana Educational Opportunities

Montana State University in Bozeman is the state's largest postsecondary school, with nearly 17,000 students as of Fall 2019. The Montana State University System also has campuses in Billings, Havre and Great Falls. Missoula is home to the University of Montana's main campus, with additional campuses located in Dillon, Butte and Helena.

Montana also hosts more than a half dozen tribal colleges, including Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Blackfeet Community College in Browning and Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, as well as three public community colleges: Dawson Community College in Glendive, Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell and Miles Community College in Miles City. Private schools in Montana include Carroll College in Helena, ranked the best regional college in the West by U.S. News & World Report in 2020, and Rocky Mountain College in Billings, ranked the region's 37th regional universities in the West by U.S. News.

Montana Economy

Forestry and mining play significant roles in Montana's economy, as does tourism. With a variety of craft breweries, Montana also hosts a vast number of microbreweries. These include Big Sky Brewing company in Missoula, Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish and Canyon Creek Brewing in Billings.

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