For those of us that live in Bozeman, we already know how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place. As Bozeman continues to grow, it seems to be getting a lot more national attention. If the rise in annual median home prices tells us anything, it's that Bozeman is a desirable place to live and that people want to move here.

Heartland Forward will soon release its second annual rankings of the Most Dynamic Micropolitans across the United States. Heartland Forward is a think tank focused on economic renewal in the middle of the country and backed by members of the Walton family.

According to the rankings, Bozeman ranks 6th of 515. In 2019, Bozeman was ranked 5th. Bozeman was highlighted in the report due to its technology sector.

The index incorporates various economic metrics from 2017-2018, such as job growth, wage and income gains, and the proportion of jobs at young firms.

The time period analyzed doesn't include the COVID-19 pandemic. The ranking provide a closer look at the state of smaller cities heading into the pandemic.

The data suggests that Bozeman is well-positioned to capitalize on a potential exodus from large cities.

Here are a few key takeaways from the report.

  • Pecos, Texas is ranked #1 for the second consecutive year. Pecos has been at the epicenter of the shale oil exploration boom in the Permian Basin, but the recent collapse in oil prices could harm future gains.
  • Jackson, Wyoming-Idaho (2nd) and Summit Park, Utah (3rd) rank highly for their thriving tourism and recreational draws.
  • The Heartland region had just 33 micropolitans in the top 100—half of what its proportionate share should be. Micros in the Western region, however, made up nearly half (47) of the top 100. 

Missoula ranks 97th, Great Falls is 207th, and Billings is ranked 268th.

The full report is expected to be released next week. We will update this article with more information when it becomes available.

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