Cost of Living in Montana Cities: These Are the Top 5

Updated On October 6, 2023
Montana Bannack Hotel Meade

Montana is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the United States.

The fourth-largest state by area, it ranks 44th place in the population.

This state has rich deposits of minerals, including gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, coal, and oil.

That is why Montana earns its name as the Treasure State.

Montana will take your breath away with its perfect, natural beauty.

Also, Montana is so much more than stunning scenery — from businesses to sports and literature.

Furthermore, this state is home to vibrant college towns, a burgeoning tech industry, and business-friendly communities.

Before you move to this state, though, it’s an excellent idea to have a sense of the cost of living here.

Check out the actual cost of living in this state and determine which cities are the top five most expensive for living in Montana.

The Cost of Living in This State

As home to stunning national parks and a quiet atmosphere, Montana is attractive to property buyers.

But while many of the local counties offer small-town lifestyles, the cost of living in Montana looks more similar to what you’d expect in a big city.

The prices for homes in this state are between $120,000 and $380,000.

That and other factors have resulted in Montana holding a $250,000 average home value as a state.

The average studio rent in the state is $600, or approximately $300 less than the national mark.

A one-bedroom apartment is $630, and a two-bedroom apartment is around $790.

But, in some of Montana’s bigger cities, the rent prices can get a bit more expensive.

In Missoula, for example, the studio average rent is $700, while the one-bedroom median is $850, and the two-bedroom median is almost $1000.

Despite these rates being above the state average, they are far below most of the rest of the country.

Utility Costs

When we speak about the cost’s living, we have to continue with one of the notable factors of living costs – utilities.

The average monthly energy bill in Montana is $97.00.

That is not definitely the lowest energy bill across the 50 states, but it’s certainly within the top ten.

Transportation Costs

Throughout the state of Montana, public transportation is absolute well organized.

There are exceptions, of course, as bigger cities typically have public bus services.

In Missoula, the Mountain Line bus service is currently zero-fare.

Generally speaking, though, Montana is a driving state.

So, a gallon of gas in Big Sky Country goes for an average of $3.00, which is just below the $2.92 national mark.

Food Costs

When it comes to food prices, definitely, Montana is above average for a U.S. state.

The average single Montana resident spends around $3.600 on food or roughly $300 per month.

For a four-person family with two working adults and two children, these costs nearly triple to $10.000 per year.

So, these food costs sound relatively reasonable compared to other states, or around 2% above the national average.

On the other side, if you prefer the restaurant meal and dining out, you will likely need to add a considerable amount to your budget.

A diner for two in a mid-range restaurant in this state is $65 up.

The Top Five Expensive Cities in This State

The cost of living in Montana varies a lot depending on where in the state you live.

Nevertheless, if Missoula is an expensive place, there are more affordable options that you can choose.

Here are the top five most expensive cities in this state.


Billings is a city full of rich history, passion for food, specialty shops, and natural beauty.

However, the most expensive things in this city are food, housing, and childcare.

For example, a small bottle of water is $3.40, and a gallon of milk in supermarkets is $3.30.

Furthermore, a loaf of bread is $3.50, a dozen eggs are $3.00, and a pound of bananas is $2.50.

The average monthly rent in Billings is from $1.000 to $1.350, which is really a high price.

As for utility costs, the average price of a utility bill, per month, for one person in an apartment of 45m2 is $100.


If you are thinking about moving to this city, then you have to identify the costs for housing, healthcare, and utilities on monthly basics.

The average home value in Missoula is $290,700, which is a very high price compared to other cities in Montana.

As for healthcare, the average cost is $125, or $15 more than in the whole of Montana.

Utilities on monthly basics are basically the same as in Billings – $105.

Great Falls

This city seems to be the most expensive place for living in Montana.

The average cost of living in Great Falls is $1950, which is in the top 20% of the most expensive cities in the world.

The cost of living in Great Falls is 14% higher than the state average.

Although healthcare is lower than Missoula’s averages, you can expect to pay more for food, utilities, local transportation, and your housing costs.

The average price of a home in Great Falls is $330.000, while the average cost of rent is $1,400 per month.

Food is another daily expense of living in this city.

One hamburger can cost you much more than $7.50, while chicken (2 pcs) is $4.90.

A loaf of bread in the local supermarket is $4.9.


Bozeman, Montana, is often named as one of the best places to live in this state.

This small scenic little town has a population of just under 49,000 people.

It is famous as a city with a sleepy outdoor paradise with excellent food.

In this city, the price for renting a one-bedroom apartment Downtown is enormously $1.590.

A local transport ticket for one way is $4.10, and a monthly pass for local transport is $100, which is an enormous price.

As for prices in restaurants, we can note that dinner for two people will cost you from $55 to $80.

Toward prices for food in supermarkets, 1L Milk is around $2.72, and a loaf of fresh bread is $3.70.


Helena is the state capital of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County.

The average cost of living in Helena is $2000, which is in the top 15% of the most expensive cities in the world.

At this point, a lunch menu for one person in a restaurant could cost you $22, while dinner in a restaurant for two people is from $55 up.

We can also say that renting prices are so high.

E.g., one-bedroom apartments cost from $800 to enormously $1200, depending on which region in this city is.

As for other prices, they are almost the same as previously mentioned cities.

That is why this city is considered one of the most expensive cities for living in Montana.

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1 Comment on Cost of Living in Montana Cities: These Are the Top 5

  1. These costs are waaaaayyyy lower than real costs to date. This website is not updated

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