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Missoula Measures - Population Growth


Why this topic?

We are seeing large population increases throughout the region, particularly in those counties in which recreation and tourism play a major role. Ravalli County is one of the fastest growing counties in the Rocky Mountain West. As the population of the United States grows older, and as more individuals and businesses access markets electronically or through airline and other shipping/delivery services, the trend of increasing population migration to rural areas with high quality of life is expected to continue. Many Montanans, as well as newcomers, dream of living in a secluded home in the woods.

This population trend and its related development directly challenges community and environmental quality in many ways. This kind of growth impacts agricultural lands, water quality, forests, wildlife and habitat.

While many choose to live in this area for open space and natural habitats, development to provide their homes and businesses can diminish open spaces and reduce natural areas for native plants and animals.  Those living on the fringes of towns, within close proximity to native areas tend to forget that they will have to contend with the threat of wild fires and wildlife conflicts.  This puts strain on the very reasons they choose to live here.


City and County Populations

In the 2000's it was estimated that our population is growing at the rate of about 3% per year.

Missoula County City of Missoula
95,802 - 2000 57,053 - 2000
109,299 - 2010 66,851 - 2009 estimate

US Census Bureau

U.S. Census Data Methodology

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Related Measures



Related Websites

Missoula Downtown Master Plan

Census & Economic Information Center, Mt. Dept of Commerce  - great source for Montana county data.

Urban Initiative - Missoula Office of Planning and Grants

Missoula Online Statistical System - Missoula County demographics and community indicators.

Montana Dept. of Commerce - Fastest growing Montana counties


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