Commuter traffic is increasing – and the parking lots are more full across the valley at shopping centers, office complexes and recreational trailheads. We’ve officially hit 100,000 and are among the fastest growing counties in the country.
Gallatin County growth rate ranked 24th in nation | County hits 100,000 residents
By Eric Dietrich Chronicle Staff Writer Mar 30, 2016
Population figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau this month have again ranked the Bozeman area among the fastest-growing counties in the nation, estimating Gallatin County’s July 2015 population at 100,739 people — a 3,500-resident increase over a year prior.
The rate of population growth in 2014-2015, 3.6 percent, is also up nearly a full percentage point from the 2013-2014 rate, 2.8 percent.A Census Bureau ranking of counties by growth rate, including only areas with populations of at least 10,000, puts Gallatin County at 24th in the nation, with only three counties in the Northern Rockies growing faster.
Wasatch and Morgan counties in Utah, bordering Salt Lake City, are reported at 5 and 4.2 percent growth, respectively. Broomfield County, Colorado, grew at 5.2 percent, ranking fifth.
Of the 23 areas ranked ahead of Gallatin County by growth rate, 10 are in Texas.
Montana’s Richland County, just barely populous enough at 12,000 people to make the inclusion cut-off, was the only other county in the state to join Gallatin on the Census Bureau’s top-100 ranking, at 31st.
The bureau reports that Gallatin County added 3,463 residents between July 1, 2014, and the same date last year. It attributes about a fifth of that increase, 668 people, to the differential between birth and death numbers over the course of the year, and another 2,752 additional residents to net migration.
Other census data, compiled using a different methodology, estimates that 10,000 people are moving into the county and 6,000 people away on an annual basis, enough net migration to give the county a 4 percent population growth rate without accounting for births and deaths. That data also indicates that 59 percent of people moving into Gallatin County are coming from another state or country.
None of Montana’s other counties are growing at a comparable rate to Gallatin, according to census population estimates. Flathead County, spanning Kalispell, is reported at 1.5 percent growth, Missoula County is reported at 1.3 percent and Yellowstone County, spanning Billings, is reported at 0.9 percent.