Were You Born In Montana? You’re Slowly Losing Your Own State
Being a true "Montanan" can mean a lot of things. To most of us, it means being born and raised in the Big Sky state. Even more so if you're parents or grandparents have the state seal on their birth certificate.
Growing up in a small town, pretty much everyone was born here. I guess that would explain why the town itself was so small. Communities like that are the backbone of Montana. Think of all the farms, ranches, and small businesses that are passed on from generation to generation. For a lot of us, it's really all we knew, but as it turns out we are only about half of the Montana state population.
In 2019 the United States Census Bureau conducted a survey of "in-state-born residents", and as it turns out, there aren't as many of us as we thought. Now keep in mind this is pre-covid before we really started seeing a huge influx of out-of-staters moving here from California, Texas, Florida, Washington, etc. I can only imagine how much this number has shrunk now.
With an "in-state-born-resident" percentage of 53.8% (2019) that means not only are many out-of-staters moving into Montana, but many of our born and raised population are moving out. Cost of living and low wages are large contributing factors. Just look at the rising prices of living in Bozeman and Missoula alone, and how much they have skyrocketed in the last few years.
To me, keeping Montanans in Montana is very important. In order for this to happen, we need to provide better opportunities for work, more affordable housing, and much better pay, but you already knew that.
To all my born and bred Montana homies, stay strong, and keep fighting the good fight. This is your home.