With a population of nearly 110,000 residents, Billings is Montana’s largest city. Its strong economy is driving rapid growth that exceeds the rest of the state, thanks in part to the abundant hotel accommodations that drive tourism from a five-state radius for concerts, sporting events, conventions and other major happenings. Low commute times, pleasant weather and access to outdoor recreation make this the ideal small city for many American families. In fact, Sperling’s Best Places named Billings one of the least stressful cities and it is ranked as one of the ten safest small cities in a study by Farmers Insurance.
Billings Economy and Industry
Although Billings was originally a railroad city, an economic renaissance in the early 21st century brought new businesses, shopping centers and an increased emphasis on preserving the area’s historic heritage. While median income and other economic indicators of the city are generally in line with national numbers, the unemployment rate in Billings is below the national average and visitors and residents enjoy no sales tax.
Billings Life and Culture
The existence of seven nearby mountain ranges makes Billings a popular destination for hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and other active endeavors. The extensive Heritage Trail System makes it one of the nation’s most walkable and bikeable cities.
Billings is home to five public school districts as well as Rocky Mountain College, Yellowstone Baptist College, and Montana State University Billings. The city also has its own symphony orchestra, studio theater, art museum, and heritage center.
Buying a Home in Billings
The median home price in Billings is $239,700 as of the first quarter of 2019, which is slightly above the national average and the average for Montana. The city proper is divided into 11 neighborhoods, many of which are named after nearby geographic features such as The Rims and The Heights. Currently, Midtown and the West End are seeing major growth, with new housing developments and retail that make them the hottest neighborhoods to purchase real estate in Billings.