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Yellowstone County among tops in state for growth

Posted at 6:19 PM, May 09, 2021

Last month, 2020 census data revealed Montana will regain a 2nd congressional district for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Recently released county estimates reveal where the growth is in the state.

Gallatin County has grown 30 percent since 2010.

Yellowstone County grew 10 percent and is one of eight counties in the estimated 10 to 16 percent range in the last decade.

Economic consultant and University of Montana professor Dr. Bryce Ward says oil, coal, agriculture and outdoors contributed to growth in Billings and other parts of eastern Montana.

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"It's kind of a bridge between what I call old-style Montana growth, which is kind of natural resource industry-dependent, you know, jobs first people follow," Ward said. "And new style growth which is kind of the story that's more of your western Montana, which is people first, jobs follow. But Billings has a bit of both."

Ward says this population growth has been the norm for several decades.

He expects the Census Bureau to release more accurate numbers in the Fall.