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Montana's population grew, even as deaths outnumbered births in most counties

Infographic map titled: 'Where counties are growing: Percent change in population by county 2020 to 2021.' The map shows that counties in much of the West saw a change in population growth between .6 percent and greater than 1.6 percent. Much of the midwest shows a decrease in population.
U.S. Census Bureau
Where counties are growing: Percent change in population by county 2020 to 2021.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday show half of Montana counties reported more deaths than births from April 2020 to July 2021.

The population estimates show that 36 of 56 of Montana’s counties experienced a natural decrease in population because deaths outnumbering births. However, for the most part, enough people moved into those counties to offset those population losses.

Most Montana counties had a net increase in population during that period, and the state’s population grew overall by more than 20,000 people.

Nationwide, the census estimates also showed micro areas, including Kalispell and Bozeman, gained population from mid-2020 to mid-2021.

Micro areas are defined as having a core city of less than 50,000 residents, and Kalispell and Bozemen ranked number 2 and 3, respectively, in the nation for growth. That growth was driven mainly by people moving in.

Kristine de Leon covers Butte and Southwest Montana for MTPR. Before barging onto the radio, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Butte and eastern Oregon. She’s also had stints working as a digital producer for a TV news station and moonlighting as a coder/web developer.
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