Fast Facts

Helena; 26,353
147,042 square miles (380,838 square kilometers)
Per Capita Income:
U.S. $24,906
Date Statehood Achieved:
November 8, 1889
Illustration: Montana Flag

Only Texas has more land devoted to agriculture than Montana, which celebrated its statehood centennial in 1989. In the Rocky Mountains—scene of a gold rush before statehood—mining of copper, gold, and silver is still profitable. Montana has 50 billion tons of strippable coal, one-third of the nation's reserve, but strip-mining arouses opposition from ranchers and environmentalists. Some 16 million acres of national forest land bristle with fir and pine trees in Big Sky Country. Conservationists press for stricter logging limits.


  • Industry: Forest products, food processing, mining, construction, tourism
  • Agriculture: Wheat, cattle, barley, hay, sugar beets, dairy products

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Related Features

  • Picture of wildflowers and carved mountaintops seen from the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana

    National Parks Road Trip: Northern Rockies

    Explore the three crown jewels of the Northern Rockies on this tour spanning some of the continent’s most stunning alpine scenery.

  • Picture of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, Montana

    Best Trips 2013

    Today Lewis and Clark wouldn’t recognize most of their route from St. Louis to the Pacific. But there’s one place they’d know in a heartbeat: a 149-mile stretch of the Missouri River in north-central Montana.

  • Photo: Two sorrels belonging to Buster and Helen Brown have gone AWOL in the snow.

    Riding Out Another Season

    Harsh isolation didn't deter homesteaders from making a life along northern Montana's Hi-Line. Their tight-knit descendants show no less resolve.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities

2015 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of a tree under night stars in Deadvlei, Namibia

    See the Winners

    Explore the top photos, share your favorites, and browse all entries.