It's official, one million people now call Montana's Big Sky Country home announced Governor Brian Schweitzer today.
"Montana is starting the new year off with a bang," said Governor Brian Schweitzer. "People from all over the world recognize that Montana is the best place to start and grow a small business, raise a family and build a community."
Experts with the Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) at the Montana Department of Commerce estimate Montana hit the one million resident mark sometime between November and December, 2011. The milestone was met based on analysis of growth trends between the 2000 and 2010 Decennial Census counts, recent population estimates from the US Census Bureau, and estimates from two other independent projection firms.
Montana's most recent Census "snapshot" taken on April 1, 2010, placed the number of Montana residents at 989,415. In comparison, the 2000 Census counted the number of Montana residents at 903,773. That's an increase of 85,642 residents.
The census is taken every ten years and is a count of everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens. People should be counted where they live and sleep most of the year. Hitting a million does not have a significant impact for Montana for funding or other programs other that the psychological aspect. Census estimates show six states (Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming )and the District of Columbia are likely still under the one million population mark.
Census data shows the rate at which Montana's population grew was faster during the middle of the last decade but has slowed in recent years.
The Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC), in the Montana Department of Commerce, is Montana's lead agency in the U.S. Census Bureau's State Data Center (SDC) Program. Since 1979, CEIC has provided training and technical assistance in accessing and using Census data for research, administration, planning, and decision making by the government, the business community, university researchers, and other interested data users.