The US Census released new population numbers that have put Bozeman into the top ten fastest growing small towns in the United States over 2014. For those keeping score, Bozeman scored 6th on the list. Williston and Dickinson North Dakota came in at 1 and 2 because of the local oil booms they have experienced.
The Gallatin County has led the state in economic growth, with Bozeman helping lead the charge for the county overall. The surrounding area's public lands have also been a major reason for the population growth. And with Bozeman's average cost of living equaling national averages and its reputation for high level schools, its easy to see why people continue to move to the area.
According to Chris Mehl, Bozeman City Commissioner, the growth has occurred in part due to a very strong retail and health care sectors, growing tourism, low unemployment and its attraction to senior citizens. Bozeman Deaconess Hospital has started work on a new addition to better address the growing population. High paying jobs and the fast growing technology industry have both attracted many to Bozeman. A small town with a very active airport are also a rare combination, according to Mehl.
Bozeman’s reputation has grown as it has appeared on a variety of national lists over the last year. Bozeman has been ranked a top 25 ski town in the world, has been ranked the 6th most artistically and culturally vibrant small town in the US, has made it into the top most livable cities list along with one of the best places to retire in the United States.
As Bozeman grows, roads, infrastructure, and utilities will be problems that will need to be addressed by the city. All will cost money, but will be necessary to keep Bozeman the attractive town it currently is to so many.