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State Highlights
  • Total Latino Population


  • Median Age of Latinos


  • Median Income of Latinos 16+


  • # of Latino Registered Voters


  • Latinos Without Health Insurance


  • Latino Homeownership


  • Latinos as % of All Under 18



From 2000 to 2014, the Latino population in Montana increased by 94.4% and accounted for 14.3% of the state’s total population growth. 1

In 2014, Montana’s Latino population totaled 35,362 and constituted 3.5% of the state’s total population. 2

Much of the Latino population is concentrated in Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls. 3 The two counties with the largest Latino populations were Yellowstone and Missoula. 4

In 2014, Montana’s Latino citizen voting age population numbered 16,000. 5

Furthermore, Latino registered voters totaled 11,000 and constituted 2.2% of all registered voters in the state. 6

Approximately 72.7% of Latino registered voters cast ballots during the November 2014 elections. 7


Montana District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock struck down most of a 2012 law (MT LR121) that enabled government officials to perform immigration checks on people applying for social services. Sherlock argued that,“…state agents are unqualified and unauthorized to make independent determinations of immigration status… [and that s]uch determinations amount to immigration regulation that is preempted by the United States Constitution.” 8

Montana was one of twenty-six states that filed a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that President Obama’s suspension of immigration laws was unconstitutional. 9

92.1% of Latinos were citizens of the United States (85.2% were native born and 6.9% were naturalized). 10

14.8% of Latinos were foreign born. 11

23.5% of Latinos 5-years of age and older spoke Spanish. 12

Of Latino Spanish-speakers 5-years of age and older, 73.6% spoke English “very well”, 8.2% spoke English “well”, 12.2% spoke English “not well”, and 5.9% spoke English “not at all.” 13

The median age of Latinos was 22.5 years compared to 41.6 years for Whites. 14

38.0% of Latinos were under 18 years of age compared to 20.5% of Whites. 15

Latinos comprise 5.9% of all persons under the age of 18. 16

Of Latinos 25-years of age and older, 16.1% had less than a high school diploma (compared to 6.7% of Whites), 32.2% had a high school diploma, GED, or alternative credential (compared to 30.3% of Whites), 31.4% had some college or an Associate’s degree (compared to 32.5% of Whites), 12.2% had a Bachelor’s degree (compared to 20.4% of Whites), and 8.1% had a Graduate degree (compared to 10.2% of Whites). 17

Median household incomes totaled $36,281 for Latinos and $47,651 for Whites (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars). 18

23.5% of Latinos lacked health insurance compared to 11.8% of Whites. 19

44.4% of Latino households were owner occupied (compared to 68.2% of White households) and 55.6% were renter occupied (compared to 31.8% of White households). 20

4.7% of Latinos were unemployed compared to 4.4% of Whites. 21

The number of Latino-owned businesses grew 55.6% over a 10-year period, going from 964 in 2002 to 1,500 in 2012. 22 23

In 2012, receipts for Latino-owned businesses totaled $277,670, representing an increase of 72.8% from 2007. 24 25

In 2012, Latino-owned businesses employed 2,566 people with an annual payroll of $51,421. [footnote]U.S. Census Bureau, 2012, Preliminary Statistics for All U.S. Firms by Sector, Gender, Ethnicity, and Race for the U.S. and States: Hispanic, All Firms (SB1200CSA01), Survey of Business Owners.

In 2015, the Latino purchasing power in Montana totaled $836.0 million. 26]Humphreys, Jeffrey M, 2015, “Table 13: Hispanic Buying Power by Place of Residence for United States and the States, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2015, and 2020 (millions of dollars).”The Multicultural Economy: 2015, Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia./note]

From 2000 to 2014, Montana’s immigrant population increased 45.7%, growing from 16,396 in 2000 to 23,882 in 2014 (immigrant share of 2.3% in 2014). 27

In 2014, 48.0% of immigrants living in Montana entered the U.S. before 1990, 15.4% entered between 1990 and 1999, 23.4% entered between 2000 and 2009, and 13.2% entered after 2010. 28

According to a U.S. Census Bureau 2014 estimate, 16.6% of immigrants living in Montana were born in Latin America, 26.3% were born in Asia, 32.7% were born in Europe, 2.7% were born in Africa, and 21.7% were born in other regions. 29

53.1% of all immigrants in Montana were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2014. 30

In 2012, 10,500 people (or 1.9% of all registered voters in Montana) were newly naturalized citizens or U.S. born children of immigrants. 31

In 2014, foreign-born workers totaled 10,376 and made-up 2.4% of Montana’s workforce. 32

Between 2009 and 2013, 2,057 undocumented immigrants held permanent jobs in Montana. 33 In 2008, The Perryman Group found that removing undocumented immigrants from Montana would result in a $96.3 million loss in economic activity and a $42.8 million loss in gross state product, as well as a loss of 720 jobs. 34

Undocumented immigrants in Montana paid $3.2 million in state and local taxes in 2012. 35Gardner, Matthew, Sebastian Johnson, and Meg Wiehe. 2015. “Table 1: State and Local Taxes Paid by Undocumented Immigrants, 2012.” Undocumented Immigrants’ State & Local Tax Contributions. Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

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