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Montana covers 145,552 square miles, with a 2017 estimated population of 1,050,493 people – 680,900 living in rural Montana (USDA-ERS). Helena, the capital, is located in the western region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls. According to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 89.1% of the state’s population is white, 0.6% is African-American, 0.8% is Asian, 6.7% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 3.8% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Montana Rural Healthcare Facilities

Montana Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 50 hospitals in Montana (Kaiser, 2016). The state has 48 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 7/2018). There are 56 Rural Health Clinics in Montana (CMS, 2017), and 17 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 65 sites in the state (NACHC, 2017).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Montana

7% of Montana residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2016). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for Montanans in 2016 was $42,947, although rural per capita income lagged at $41,634. The ERS reports, based on 2016 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Montana is 14.1%, compared with 11.9% in urban areas. 7.4% of the rural population has not completed high school, and 6.6% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2012-2016 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Montana is 4.3%, while in urban Montana it is 3.6% (USDA-ERS, 2017).

For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.

Data Sources
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Rural Health Clinic List; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; National Association of Community Health Centers: Key Health Center Data By State; U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets


Montana Office of Rural Health
Phone: 406.994.6001
Works to improve access to quality healthcare for rural Montana residents by providing leadership and resources to healthcare and community organizations. Focuses on recruitment and retention of health professionals into rural areas, provides technical assistance and coordinates rural health interests and activities across the state.
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There are more organizations related to Montana in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 7/30/2018