Nearly 50,000 people moved to Montana last year. Where did they move from? Washington State topped the list, followed by California. According to a report in The Missoulian, that is an 8.1% increase over 2021.

50,000 people may not sound like a big number to folks in other states, but in a state like Montana that only has a little over a million people- that's a big number. It's also worth putting in perspective that while Montana gained nearly 50,000 people in 2022, The Missoulian notes that more than 38,000 people also moved out of Montana in 2022 "for a net population gain of less than 10,000."

It should be no real surprise why so many folks from Washington, Western Washington especially, and California are fleeing those liberal havens for states like Montana. California is an absolute train wreck right now. And Seattle has gone off the deep end.

Helen Raleigh has a great piece for The Federalist where she calls out California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) for being the "useful idiot" to Communist Chinese leader Xi Jinping during his recent junket in China. To make matters worse, Raleigh writes, Newsom's policies are destroying California.

California has become one of the most challenging states to do business in and to live in. According to the Hoover Institute, “California is ranked 48th in terms of regulatory burdens… California’s cost of living is 50 percent higher than the national average.” For example, Californians have been paying the nation’s highest gas prices under Newsom, mainly due to the governor’s unsustainable green policies. Newsom’s green policies became a national laughingstock last year when the state asked residents not to charge their electric vehicles to conserve energy, merely days after announcing a ban on new gas-powered cars by 2035.


No doubt, there are political refugees fleeing states like California and Washington and moving to Montana. The response I've heard overwhelmingly from Montanans is: don't bring the mess with you. Don't vote for the same garbage in Montana that caused you to leave those other states in the first place.

By the way, The Big Sky Business Journal's Evelyn Pyburn and I discussed these numbers and more business news earlier in the week. Click below for audio of that conversation.

Californians: What To Know When Moving to Montana

If you're moving to Montana from California, here are a few things that might make you rethink your decision.

Gallery Credit: Jesse James

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