Billings is a city located in Yellowstone County Montana. Billings has a 2023 population of 118,288. It is also the county seat of Yellowstone County.Billings is currently growing at a rate of 0.36% annually and its population has increased by 1.08% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 117,026 in 2020.
The average household income in Billings is $88,416 with a poverty rate of 11.09%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Billings is 37.6 years, 37 years for males, and 38.3 years for females.
It is the only city in the state with a population of more than 100,000, and it continues to show steady growth.
Billings has experienced rapid growth in its population since its founding. The city’s population was just 145 in 1870 and had jumped to over 3,000 in 1900. At the time of 1910 census, the population exceeded 10,000 people. The city surpassed 50,000 residents at the 1960 census. Growth has continued, with the city reaching more than 100,000 people in 2010. Recent estimates show that the population has grown almost 6% since the last census, indicating that Billings still has a lot of population growth in its future.
Billings has a very long history, with the discovery of artifacts showing that the region has been inhabited since at least 2600 BCE. The first known inhabitants were the Crow Indians, who occupied the area beginning in 1700.
The region was originally known as Clark’s Fork Bottom, which served as a hub for hauling freight. In 1877, settlers formed the town of Coulson, the first town in the Yellowstone Valley. A sawmill, general store, and trading post were opened when the town was established. It began to grow, and so other buildings and tents were erected to keep up with the population.
In its earliest occupied years, Coulson was a Wild West Town - their Sheriff's nickname was "Liver-Eating" Johnson and many arguments ended in gunfire and burial in Boothill Cemetery. The residents hoped the land would be near enough to the tracts of land that the railroad would help them grow as quickly as they intended to. The railroad came to the region shortly after and residents in Coulson believed that it would bring significant growth. However, the railroad company decided to create a new town nearby named Billings. The residents of Coulson eventually moved to the town of Billings, leaving Coulson to become part of Billings in the 1930s eventually. The park known as Coulson Park marks the original area of settlement.
The city of Billings was founded officially in 1882. The town only had three buildings but soon had over 2,000 less than one year after it was established. In the early 20th century, Billings’ population grew to over 10,000. The city was one of the fastest-growing in the U.S - and even earned the nickname - "Magic City" - due to its incredible growth rate. Oil fields were discovered in the state, followed by natural gas and coal reserves made the city a center of energy and boosted the economy.
When World War II ended, the city diversified by becoming the center of finance, medicine, and culture. The population continued to grow. Through the 1970s, Billings continued to be a leader in the energy sector. The city also saw significant growth through its downtown area during this time and through the 1980s, including the construction of Sage Tower and Granite Tower.
Billings continued to expand with the addition of shopping centers, malls, business parks, and hotels through the 1990s. This growth has continued through the 21st century as more business parks are open and the downtown area has been updated with new buildings, a transit center, and parking garages. The economy has also remained strong, making Billings a desirable city for many residents.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Billings was:
Two or more races
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 91.18%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 58.95%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
96.07% of Billings residents speak only English, while 3.93% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 1.71% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Billings is Asian, with 27.56% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Billings is Other, with 1.25% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.58%. Among those working part-time, it was 15.14%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 17.55%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Billings
100.25% of Billings residents were born in the United States, with 58.98% having been born in Montana. 0.87% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.