Over the last several years people from all over the nation have been moving to Montana.  For many, this isn't good news, in fact, lots of locals don't want folks moving here and changing the "old ways".

The idea of Big Box Stores and other non-local retailers is viewed as a threat by many. Throw in the fact that the cost of living has increased significantly and there is some genuine concern about the state's future.

It's been an ongoing battle for a long time, however, in the last few years, it seems like it's heated up a bit, especially since the pandemic that saw thousands of people flocking to Big Sky Country.

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So when it comes to transplants vs. locals, who's winning the war?

Well, that depends on the area of the state.  Places like Gallatin, Flathead, and Missoula Counties have a large mix of transplants, in fact, according to new data from the Montana Free Press and the US Census Bureau transplants outnumber locals in all three counties. Gallatin County leads the way with almost 60 percent of it's population being born outside of the state, followed by 53 percent in Flathead County and 51 percent in Missoula County.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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But what about the state as a whole? What is the percentage of Montana-born residents compared to those born in other states?

According to the same data, the locals have it for now with 51 percent of the state's population being born in The Treasure State and 45 percent being born outside of Montana. I would think it's safe to say that at some point that number will change and the transplants will outnumber the locals, but what does that look like?

Well, I think it will probably look like it does right now. More houses, more apartments, more townhomes, more traffic, more people, and more box stores.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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The good news for those against the progress that Montana is going through is that there are still plenty of small Montana towns that embrace the "old ways" and always will. While it's true cities and towns like Billings, Bozeman, Kalispell, and Missoula will continue to grow there's still a whole lot of Montana here and we should all hope that never changes.

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