From antelope-speckled, short grass prairies in the east to snow-capped mountain ranges and free-flowing rivers in the west, it’s no wonder Montana has been dubbed “the last best place.” Inspiring landscapes and easy-going, friendly towns combine to form Montana’s six distinct regions.
In fact Montana has several nicknames, none official, including: "The Treasure State" and "Big Sky Country", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently, "The Last Best Place".
The state ranks fourth in area, but 44th in population, and accordingly has the third-lowest population density in the United States.
Montana is well known for its mountainous western region, most of which is part of the Northern Rocky Mountains. About 60% of the state is prairie, part of the northern Great Plains.
The economy is primarily based on services, with ranching, wheat farming, oil and coal mining in the east, and lumber, tourism, and hard rock mining in the west. Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Montana's total state product in 2003 was $26 billion.
Montana is a relative hub of beer microbrewing, ranking third in the nation in number of craft breweries per capita.
Montana's personal income tax contains 7 brackets, with rates ranging from 1% to 6.9%. Montana has no sales tax.
In presidential elections, Montana was long classified as a swing state, though in recent years, Montana has been classified as a Republican-leaning state, as the state supported Republican presidential candidates in every election from 1996 to the present.
The Montana State University Department of Animal and Range Sciences estimates that in the State of Montana are between 150,000 and 180,000 horses.
Montana is home to one herd of wild horses which is located in the Pryor Mountains south of Billings along the Montana-Wyoming border. For more than a century, the Pryor Mountains have been home to free-roaming bands of wild horses. In 1968 Montana set aside 31,000 acres in the Pryor Mountains as a public range for the wild horses living there. The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range is unique in both its setting and for the wild horses that inhabit it. Many of the horses have primitive striping on their backs, withers, and legs and are reputed to be descendents of "colonial" Spanish horses.
|Horse Population: Between 150,000 and 180,000horses|
|Land area: 145,552 sq. miles|
|Highest Point: Granite Peak 12,807 feet|
|Lowest Point: Kootenai River 1,800 feet|
|Geographic Center : In Fergus Co., 11 mi. W of Lewistown|
|10 largest Cities :|
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