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Gallatin County grows as Montana sees more outbound movers statewide

Posted at 1:51 PM, Jan 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 19:05:07-05

BOZEMAN – According to a study done by United Van Lines, 55% percent of moves in the state of Montana in 2018 were outbound.

In the same study, Montana ranked #9 on the most outbound states in the nation. Yet even though more people are moving away from than moving to the Treasure State, Gallatin County continues to grow.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Gallatin County is the fastest growing small county in the country and is expected to grow by more than 50,000 by 2045.

Bozeman Chamber of Commerce President Daryl Schliem said even though business is booming in the valley and Bozeman, this wasn’t always the case. When the recession took a toll locally in 2009, Schliem said the local leaders had to come together to get the city back on track.

“So is it a surprise that it works?” said Schliem. “Yes. To a lot of people, its like we didn’t want to have this. And the hard part about it is, you can always jump-start a community. But how fast it grows is up to the community itself. We can’t control that dial.”

Even though the growth is hard to manage, Schliem would rather be growing too much than where the city was a decade ago.

“I tell you, it is a lot more fun now that people are making money,” said Schliem. “Yes, they are a little more tired but at least they have at the end of the day enough money to pay their bills, own their business and set something aside for retirement.”

But with the expansion does come growing pains. Schliem said with almost a zero percent unemployment rate the city has to deal with issues such as affordable housing, keeping the minimum wage jobs filled, and employee retention.

According to the study, the top 10 most outbound states in 2018 are:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. Connecticut
  4. New York
  5. Kansas
  6. Ohio
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Iowa
  9. Montana
  10. Michigan

Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News