Missoula, Montana Population 2021

76,784
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Missoula is a city located in Missoula County Montana. It is also the county seat of Missoula County. With a 2020 population of 76,784, it is the 2nd largest city in Montana (after Billings) and the 464th largest city in the United States . Missoula is currently growing at a rate of 0.83% annually and its population has increased by 14.97% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 66,788 in 2010. Missoula reached it's highest population of 76,784 in 2021. Spanning over 35 miles, Missoula has a population density of 2,228 people per square mile.

The average household income in Missoula is $68,404 with a poverty rate of 17.52%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $859 per month, and the median house value is $279,700. The median age in Missoula is 32.8 years, 31.7 years for males, and 34.6 years for females.

Over 95% of residents at least 25 years old have at least a high school education, while 45.7% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, exceeding both the state and national averages. The city’s largest employers include Missoula County Public Schools, the city’s hospital and the University of Montana.

Missoula Population Growth

Missoula started quite small, with a population of just 400 in 1870. This number decreased further in 1880. However, the community jumped by over 887% in 1890, bringing the population to over 3,400. Though the city never saw growth quite this substantial again, it has seen continuous growth throughout its history. In 1950, the city’s population exceeding 22,000. This number rose to over 57,000 in 2000. Recent estimates show that the population has risen 7.9% since the last census was taken in 2010.

Evidence shows that the area that is now Missoula was first inhabited about 12,000 years ago. In the 18th century, the city was primarily occupied by native tribes including the Shoshone, Blackfeet, and Salish.

The first citizens of the United States came to the area during the expedition of Lewis and Clark of the 19th century, where they camped nearby during their westbound trip and their return. In 1860, Hell Gate Village was established by Frank Worden and Christopher Higgins. It was originally located about five miles west of the current-day downtown area, but the need for a water supply led to relocation just four years later.

Missoula Mills was established in 1866 and was the county seat. Fort Missoula was created during the next decade to offer protection for settlers. The area continued to grow when the Northern Pacific Railway arrived, and during the same year, Missoula was designated as a town. Many sawmills were opened during this period because of the need for lumber to construct bridges and railways. This launched the city’s lumber industry, which was an essential part of the economy through the 20th century.

Logging was a primary industry throughout the mid-20th century with the opening of the Hoerner-Waldorf pulp mill, although the pulp mill severely impacted the air quality. However, the lumber industry was affected by a recession in the 1980s, which led to the city focusing on other sectors.

Today, education and health care are the primary drivers of the economy. The University of Montana is a higher education institution that has been expanded and renovated significantly in recent years. The city’s hospital, St. Patrick Hospital, and Health Sciences Center, was founded in 1873 and has since gone through several expansions.

Missoula Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Missoula was:

  • White: 91.07%
  • Two or more races: 3.90%
  • Asian: 2.17%
  • Native American: 1.57%
  • Black or African American: 0.84%
  • Other race: 0.36%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Missoula, Montana is 76,784 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 74,882.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 66,788.

Missoula, Montana Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2021121,5209600.79%
2020120,5609600.80%
2019119,6009600.80%
2018118,6408060.68%
2017117,8341,4851.26%
2016116,3492,2271.91%
2015114,1221,3211.16%
2014112,8019010.80%
2013111,9008580.77%
2012111,0427970.72%
2011110,2457780.71%
2010109,4670.00%

Missoula Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White67,13091.07%
Two or More Races2,8723.90%
Asian1,5992.17%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,1591.57%
Black or African American6220.84%
Some Other Race2660.36%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander620.08%
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Missoula Population by Race

Missoula Population Pyramid $2021

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Missoula Median Age

32.8


Total

31.7


Male

34.6


Female

Missoula Adults

There are 60,584 adults, (9,437 of whom are seniors) in Missoula.

Missoula Age Dependency

44.1

Age Dependency Ratio

18.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

25.7

Child Dependency Ratio

Missoula Sex Ratio

Female

36,290

49.23%

Male

37,420

50.77%

Missoula Population by Age

Missoula Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Missoula Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married76%24%
Male55.4%44.6%
All47.4%52.6%
Female38.8%61.2%
Non Family28.2%71.8%

47.4%

Rate of Home Ownership

Missoula Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All32,3132.1847.4
Non Family16,7231.4328.2
Married11,6993.0376
Female2,7072.8838.8
Male1,1842.9355.4

2.91

Average Family Size

2.18

Average Household Size

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Missoula Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade5241.10%
9th to 12th Grade1,2382.60%
High School Graduate8,89518.65%
Some College10,21621.42%
Associates Degree3,9658.31%
Bachelors Degree13,68828.70%
Graduate Degree9,17519.23%
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Missoula Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Missoula Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White42,86041,43720,763
Hispanic1,4201,267593
Asian1,3871,280858
2+ Races1,1041,099509
Native American758711115
Black336303150
Other Race22117965
Islander626214

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 61.86%.

Missoula Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,448$32,277$30,507
Less Than 9th Grade$17,054$23,529$14,028
High School Graduate$24,558$27,421$21,503
Some College$27,109$26,805$27,414
Bachelors Degree$32,023$32,487$31,586
Graduate Degree$56,319$66,212$51,750

$31,448

Average Earnings

$32,277

Average Male

$30,507

Average Female

Missoula Earnings by Educational Attainment

Missoula Language by Age

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Missoula Language

94.78% of Missoula residents speak only English, while 5.22% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other Indo-European, which is spoken by 1.71% of the population.

Missoula Language

Missoula Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White63,02010,82317.17%
Multiple2,79470725.30%
Hispanic2,60041315.88%
Native1,04335233.75%
Asian1,51816911.13%
Other2666925.94%
Black591457.61%

17.52%

Overall Poverty Rate

18.48%

Male Poverty Rate

16.53%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Missoula

The race most likely to be in poverty in Missoula is Native, with 33.75% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Missoula is Black, with 7.61% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.53%. Among those working part-time, it was 29.60%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 23.11%.

Missoula Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade35.93%
High School17.22%
Some College15.02%
Bachelors or Greater6.97%

Missoula Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed42.72%
Male Unemployed36.03%
Male Employed15.66%
Female Employed13.63%

Missoula Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Missoula Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$47,426$68,404
Families$71,554$94,400
Married Families$85,871-
Non Families$30,451$42,466
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Income by Household Type

Missoula Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

38.9%

Overall Marriage Rate

38.9%

Male Marriage Rate

39.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Missoula Married by Age and Sex

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Missoula Marriage

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.

Missoula Marital Status by Race

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Missoula Marital Status

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4,447

Number of Veterans

4,029

Male Veterans

418

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam1,381
Second Gulf War1,158
First Gulf War1,020
Korea194
World War II140

Missoula Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 541,386
65 to 741,110
75+749
18 to 34664
55 to 64538

Missoula Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White4,1297.42%
Hispanic20610.72%
2+ Races1317.25%
Other Race6828.10%
Black4311.44%
Native American424.46%
Asian342.29%

Missoula Veterans by Race

Missoula Veterans by Education

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10.32%

Veteran Poverty Rate

25.22%

Veteran Disability Rate

Missoula Veterans by Education

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73%

Labor Force Participation

69.4%

Employment Rate

4.9%

Unemployment Rate

Missoula Employment by Age

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Missoula Employment by Race

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Missoula Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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46.40%

Born in Missoula

96.60%

Native Born

3.40%

Foreign Born

1.60%

Non Citizen

1.79%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

96.60% of Missoula residents were born in the United States, with 46.40% having been born in Montana. 1.60% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Missoula Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202176,7846340.83%
202076,1506340.84%
201975,5166340.85%
201874,8828051.09%
201774,0771,2981.78%
201672,7791,4872.09%
201571,2921,0651.52%
201470,2277401.06%
201369,4876100.89%
201268,8777991.17%
201168,0786120.91%
201067,46610,4131.69%
200057,05314,1352.89%
199042,9189,5672.55%
198033,3513,8541.24%
197029,4972,4070.85%
196027,0904,6051.88%
195022,4854,0362.00%
194018,4493,7922.33%
193014,6571,9891.47%
192012,668-201-0.16%
191012,8698,50311.42%
19004,3669402.45%
18903,4260.00%

Missoula Population by Year