MSU students know that Bozeman is a great place to live. Now everyone else knows it too. Recently,schools.com posted a list of the top twenty-five small college towns in the US. Bozeman was given the prestigious ranking of number four, beaten only by Fargo, North Dakota, Aberdeen, South Dakota and Bloomington, Illinois.
The rankings were determined by a series of specifications: population, percent of people 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree, unemployment rate and median annual rent. Bozeman has a population of 41,660 not including the surrounding Gallatin Valley, 30.8 percent of people over 25 have a bachelor’s degree, the unemployment rate is 3.5 percent and the median annual rent is $8,712. Bozeman’s vibrant atmosphere includes many amenities usually found in larger cities. There are more than 14 restaurants per 10,000 people, four museums, multiple art galleries, an opera company, ballet and several community theater groups. Bozeman is also located close to two major ski resorts, and has miles of hiking and biking paths. Having such a large college of around 15,000 students in the town adds to the young, hip atmosphere that Bozeman gives off.
Executive Director of University Communications Tracy Ellig welcomed the ranking. “We are pleased that Bozeman has been ranked as one of the best small college towns. We certainly believe it is worthy of that designation for many more reasons than schools.com used for its rankings. The residents, the business and the leadership of Bozeman embrace our students every year and make them feel welcome. We’re very grateful for the warmth the community shows toward the university.”