Haymakers Report: Montana’s Economy, Public Lands, and Competitive Advantage

This report summarizes Montana’s economy, analyzing how it has grown and what is driving its performance, including a description of how federal lands help attract people, investment, and businesses.

  • From 2001-2013, Montana’s employment increased by 14% while total real personal income increased by more than a third. Compared to the U.S., Montana’s real per capita income grew nearly three times as fast.
  • As Montana’s economy diversifies, state assets–such as quality education and federal public lands–are increasingly important to attracting businesses and people crucial to the state’s economic future.
  • The top five fastest growing Montana counties during 2003-2012 benefited from nearby public lands and a diversity of growing economic sectors.

A public presentation of this report in Bozeman was sponsored by Business for Montana’s Outdoors as part of the Haymakers Summit to share the new research and facilitate discussions among some of Montana’s leading businesses. The Summit featured panel discussion from various Montana businesses including high tech firms, health care organizations, and realtors.

Download PowerpointDownload Report PDF

Montana Is Growing and Outperforming Rest of the Nation

Chart: Montana vs U.S., percent change, 2001-2013From 2001-2013, Montana’s employment increased substantially while total real personal income increased by more than a third. Compared to the U.S., Montana’s real per capita income grew nearly three times as fast.This growth is driven by an increase in higher quality jobs, and the rapid increase of investment and retirement income in the state.


Map: Total population change by county, 2003-2012

Changes in population growth (births and deaths and net migration) vary widely across Montana. With these changes, seven counties today generate more than two-thirds of all jobs and total personal income in the state.

Text: From 2001 to 2013, montanan's total personal income grew by 35%


Since the start of the 21st Century, Montana’s employment, personal income, and per capita income growth all have significantly outpaced the United States.