Subscribe for 17¢ / day
Billings skyline

Billings, it may be time to loosen your belt. Again. 

According to the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are now at least 109,059 people living in the city.

That's a growth of 1,980 people from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013 and of 4,889 residents since 2010.

Respectively, those are 1.8 and 4.68 percent increases.

This latest set of data, which was released two weeks ago, puts Billings at the top of the pack in terms of growth for cities of similar size.

Out of 718 cities throughout the country with populations over 50,000, Billings lands at about the 86th percentile, meaning there are only roughly 100 similar-sized cities that are growing faster.

In relation to the rest of the state, however, Billings doesn't come out on top.

In cities with more than 30,000 people, that spot belongs to Bozeman, with Billings coming in on its heels. 

Since 2010, Bozeman has seen 2,580 more people and has sprouted 6.92 percent.

Following Bozeman is Billings with a 1.8 percent increase; Missoula with a .83 percent increase and 571 more people; Great Falls at .62 percent; and Butte at a modest .17 percent.

Out of all cities in Montana, Wibaux and Sidney have seen the fastest uptick. Wibaux is up 6.36 percent from last year, and Sidney has grown at 5.2 percent.

While Wibaux added just 39 people, however, Sidney has increased by 309. And since 2010, Sidney has increased its population by 20.46 percent, adding 1062 people, making it the fastest grower in the state relative to population size.

Although Billings isn't the fastest-growing city, it should come as no surprise that it remains the biggest, with Missoula's population of 69,122 people a distant second. 

Montana as a whole gained 9,671 people since 2012 and 25,750 since 2010, an increase of .96 and 2.6 percent, respectively. When stacked up next to the rest of the country, Montana is the 18th fastest-growing state. 

To the east, North Dakota, again, is the fastest-growing state in the country, spiking 3.4 percent from 2012.  

Our neighbor to the south, Wyoming, is about the 13th-fastest-growing state, with Casper, Wyo., as the sixth-fastest-growing metro area in the country.

In a March press release, the Census Bureau attributed that growth to the energy boom. 

The newest data estimates 316,128,839 people to live in the United States.

The U.S. Census Population Estimates data are released annually at different points in the year for different population details. It's used largely to gauge the needs of communities.

City-level data will be released again in May of 2015. 



Nick is a general assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette