1,000,000 and counting

The western view of the Bear Paws Mountains just outside of Gildford, Montana. → Buy This Print

It was announced on Friday that the population of Montana has officially surpassed 1,000,000 people. It was an inauspicious milestone for many Montanans; in particular those living in eastern Montana, who attribute much of Montana's .7% growth rate to those moving in from California and elsewhere along the west coast.

Many Montanans, it would seem, would prefer to not see the state's population grow much. It ranks 44th among all states according to total population, but is second only to Alaska in terms of population density. Blaine County, Montana, where I photograph many of my cowboy scenes, for example, has 17 times more cows than residents and its size is greater than that of Delaware, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. combined; yet it only has ~6,500 residents.

Time will tell how much of an impact those 7,414 new residents impact Montana, but it probably won't affect the state much, especially the far more rural eastern Montana.