Montana is one of the least populated states in the United States. Its sheer size, lower population density, longer commutes, and cold winters with dramatic snowfall make it a beautiful and unique place to live. These factors also add to the financial strain on residents. Montana is a daunting place to be in poverty in comparison to states with warmer weather and generally shorter and safer commutes. Despite the inhospitable environment, the state still manages to have a high rate of people in poverty. Montana’s poverty rate of 14.8 percent is higher than any of its adjacent neighbors. Declining industries, the Great Recession, and factors unique to the state’s large Native American population exacerbate Montana’s poverty levels. Blaine, Glacier, and Big Horn counties have the ...

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