We talk a lot about all the changes happening in the Gallatin Valley but have you ever looked at the population growth over the last 100 years or more? It's fascinating to see that we've always had pretty rapid growth. It's nothing new.

Let's take a trip WAY back to see Bozeman's population growth, decade by decade. (The following numbers were garnered from census data and Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, FYI.) Our little piece of the world sits on 20.4 square miles!

Year: Population and percent increase

  • 1870: 168
  • 1880: 894 +432.1%
  • 1890: 2,143 +139.7%
  • 1900: 3,419 +59.5%
  • 1910: 5,187 +51.7%
  • 1920: 6,183 +19.2%
  • 1930: 6,855 +10.9%
  • 1940: 8,665 +26.4%
  • 1950: 11,325 +30.7%
  • 1960: 13,361 +18.0%
  • 1970: 18,670 +39.7%
  • 1980: 21,645 +15.9%
  • 1990: 22,660 +4.7%
  • 2000: 27,509 +21.4%
  • 2010: 37,280 +35.5%
  • Estimate. 2019: 49,831 +33.7%

The most recent breakdown of the Bozeman population looks like this: 

  • Males: 24,776 (53.2%)
  • Females: 21,820 (46.8%)
  • Median resident age: 28.1 years
  • Montana median age: 40.0 years
  • Estimated median household income in 2017: $51,373 (it was $32,156 in 2000)
  • Estimated per capita income in 2017: $28,477 (it was $16,104 in 2000)
  • Percentage of residents living in poverty in 2017: 20.7% (that was the most recent number we could find.)

The town of Bozeman was founded in August of 1864 and became incorporated in 1883. Becoming incorporated just means there was some sort of real local government established and in Bozeman's case, it was a City Council. And if you want to see what Bozeman looked like back then, here's the first known photo of the city pre-statehood.

You'll notice not one decade with a contraction of population, which not all all western cities can claim. (Sure, most grew significantly but not all.)

When the 2020 census numbers are released, we'll do a thorough breakdown of what the area looks like now. (As of this writing 80% of Gallatin County had responded to the 2020 Census, BTW.)

Another interesting evolution...that of the town newspaper:

  • Bozeman Avant Courier – published 1871–1905
  • The Republican-courier – published 1905–1913
  • The Bozeman Courier – publisher 1919–1954
  • Bozeman Daily Chronicle (remember when the Chronicle was delivered in the afternoon???)