Montana is among the top 20 best states to live in, according to a Wallethub study. The state was ranked as the 19th best state, and number one in populations aged 25 and up that received a high school diploma or higher education. 

The methodology behind the study compared all 50 states, measuring five key dimensions: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety. Scholars then evaluated the dimensions and were graded on a 100-point letter scale, with 100 being the best living conditions. They then weighed each state’s average from all metrics to calculate the score used to rank each state. 

Affordability measured housing, annual property taxes, cost of living, and homeownership rate. Safety measurements included violent crime rates, traffic-related fatalities, law-enforcement per capita, and property crime rates for each state. Some of the economic measurements include growth in population, income, job opportunities, food insecurity, wealth gaps, and populations living in poverty. 

Education and health measured the quality of public school systems, rate of high school graduates, insured populations, life expectancy, and quality of public hospitals. Other measurements include the percentage of fully vaccinated residents ages 12 and up and the rate of premature death. 

The quality of life dimension measured average commute time and the average of hours worked per week. Other measurements for this dimension included public transportation access, traffic congestion, and the amount of entertainment per capita, like movie theaters, performing arts, restaurants, museums, etc.

Montana was ranked number three for the economy, 28 for quality of life, 39 for safety, and 19 for education and health. The state had an overall score of 53.75. The data gathered for this study used credible sources, including the US Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Center of Education Statistics.