By Martin Kidston/Missoula Current

Missoula continues to grow at a steady pace, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates that show the city added nearly 5,000 new residents since 2010.

That brings Missoula's estimated population to 71,024 people, up from 66,788 residents reported in the official U.S. Census conducted seven years ago and the 69,190 residents estimated in 2015.

The latest figures are through July 1, 2016.

Released last week, the latest figures are on pace with those projected in Missoula's new growth policy, which foresees 18,000 new residents and the need for 9,000 new households by 2035.

The Missoula Organization of Realtors will release its annual housing report this week, one that's expected to show a tight housing market and a continued increase in prices.

An early report released in February found that home prices had increased nearly 7 percent over 2016 and that home sales reached an all-time high. That early report did not include the cost of rent, though the report coming Thursday will.

According to the 2016 census estimates, the media age of Missoula residents stands at 32.5 years, though the largest single age group was 20 to 24, comprising 11.3 percent of the population. The median household income in Missoula was roughly $42,800.

Missoula County saw similar population growth. The 2010 census placed the county's population at 109,299 residents, though the latest estimates now place the population at 116,130, making it the second most populous county behind Yellowstone and its 158,437 residents.


Only Missoula, Yellowstone and Gallatin counties have populations over 100,000 people, according to the census data.

Montana also continues to grow, with a population now estimated at 1,042,520 people in the year that ended in July 2016.


10 Most Populous Montana Counties as of July 1, 2016

  1. Yellowstone County: 158,437
  2. Missoula County: 116,130
  3. Gallatin County: 104,502
  4. Flathead County: 98,082
  5. Cascade County: 81,755
  6. Lewis and Clark County: 67,282
  7. Ravalli County: 42,088
  8. Silver Bow County: 34,553
  9. Lake County: 29,758
  10. Lincoln County: 19,259