Cost Of Living In Bozeman, Montana (Taxes, Housing & More)

Mary Newman
by Mary Newman

Bozeman, Montana is a city of just over 46,500 residents located an hour north of Yellowstone National Park. Surrounded by mountains and nature, Bozeman is the dream destination for anyone who loves camping, hiking, skiing, fishing, and more. If you’re interested in the outdoors, Bozeman is the place to be!

However, with a cost of living index at a staggering 212.6, it costs more than twice the national average to live and work in Bozeman. Many people consider Montana a cheaper place to reside because it is a “flyover” or “tourist” state. However, Bozeman proves them so very wrong.

Is Bozeman right for you? Maybe – but think carefully. Despite its natural beauty, it can be a very expensive place to call home.

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Median Home Value in Bozeman, Compared

LocationMedian Home ValueHomeownership Rate
United States$320,00065.8%

With a housing cost of living index at a staggering 187.8, Bozeman is nearly twice as expensive to live in as the rest of the United States. This is very clearly shown above, with the median home value being over $200,000 more than the national average. These prices obviously mean that the homeownership rates in Bozeman are much lower than the rest of the state and the country.

Median Home Prices in Bozeman, Montana

Value of HomePercentage of Homes
$1.026 Million and Above5.2%
$684,000-$1.026 Million11.2%
Sub $136,9997.1%

40.6% of housing in Bozeman is single-family, with 19.6% being smaller apartment buildings, and 20.4% being larger apartment complexes. This checks out, when you consider just 40% of people own their own homes.

Surprisingly, 40.2% of homes in Bozeman were built after 2000. 36.9% were built between 1970-1999, and just 23% were built previous to 1970.


Housing SizeBozemanBozeman MetroMontanaUnited States
1 Bedroom$683$683$641$930
2 Bedroom$898$898$823$1148
3 Bedroom$1298$1298$1144$1537
4 Bedroom$1577$1577$1373$1791

The housing cost of living index may be high in Bozeman, but rent is consistently cheaper than the national average. However, it doesn’t come close to the average prices of rent within the state itself, which are lower by far. With so many people in the state renting, it makes sense that prices are a little more reasonable – otherwise, no one could afford to live there at all.

It is important to keep these housing numbers in mind when you consider that the median household income in Bozeman is just $46,422.


Sales tax in the state of Montana is 0%! Montana is only one of five states in the US that have zero base sales tax, and is a huge draw for many people looking to move. Within Bozeman, and Gallatin County, there is zero ‘extra’ sales tax… when you see something on a shelf for $1, you just pay that $1.

Property Taxes

In Gallatin County, where Bozeman is located, the average county tax rate is just 0.790%, significantly lower than the national average of 1.070%. This is also slightly lower than Montana’s average, which is 0.830%.

For a home purchased at the median home value, which is $529,032, the average resident would pay $4,179 annually in property taxes.

Income Taxes

While the income tax rates in Montana are progressive, no resident will ever pay more than 6.9%, and this only applies to the top earners in the state. That isn’t bad when you consider how low the property tax rates are in Montana, and that there is zero sales tax. Overall, tax rates in Bozeman, Montana are very reasonable when compared to the rest of the US.


The utility cost of living index in Bozeman is 87.7, making it slightly cheaper than the typical American household. For an apartment that is approximately 915 square feet, a Bozeman resident can expect to pay about $154/month for all of their basic utilities. This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage. The average high-speed internet bill for a Bozeman resident is approximately $62/month.

The average residential electricity rate in Bozeman is just 10.75¢/kWh, which is less than the national average of 11.88¢/kWh. However, this is more expensive than the state’s average for residential electricity, which comes in at 10.08¢/kWh.


Food in Boseman, MontanaCost
Average Meal for 1$15-$18
Mid-Range Meal for 2$60-$65
Gallon of Milk$3.50-$4
Loaf of Fresh Bread$2
12 Eggs$2-$2.25
1lb of Chicken$4.25-$4.75
1lb of Bananas$0.85-$1

The grocery cost of living index in Boseman is 107.6, which makes it just above the national average. This is reflected pretty fairly in the prices you see above, which are just over standard for the typical American city.

If you’re trying to budget, experts recommend approximately 11% of household income go towards food and groceries. The average household income in Bozeman is $46,422 a year, which gives families about $5,106 annually to spend on groceries. This works out to be $425/month, or just over $100/week.


The average resident of Bozeman spends 14.6 minutes one-way commuting to work, significantly lower than the national average of 26.4 minutes each way. In Bozeman, 71% of residents take their own car to work, while 8.1% carpool. Just 0.7% of residents in Bozeman take the mass transit options.

The transportation cost of living index is 71.3 in Bozeman, the lowest cost of living index Bozeman has. It’s no one with how inexpensive it is to get around, that residents choose mostly to drive themselves to work. Luckily, gas prices in Bozeman are below the national average.

United States$2.62

The average Bozeman resident pays $1,615 annually for their car insurance coverage, slightly below the national average, which is $1,674 annually.

Public Transpiration

Bozeman, Montana is serviced by Streamline Bus System, a program of HRDC. HRDC in Bozeman is a community involvement project that provides services for those struggling financially within the area.

Streamline is a comprehensive bus line that runs through downtown Bozeman and is available at zero cost to any resident. Really – public transportation is completely free, all the time. Age, disabilities, and income are not considered at all.

There are 5 routes that run through downtown Bozeman during the week, 4 routes on Saturday, and 1 combined route on Sunday. There are also limited late-night services that run from 7:45 pm to 2 am.


There are 24 elementary schools, 13 middle schools, and 7 high schools within Bozeman. 20 schools total are public district schools, and 34 are private schools. In total, the schools in Bozeman serve over 4,700 students annually.

Bozeman public schools consistently rank within the top 5% of Montana’s public school system and are considered excellent. Bozeman public schools have an average math proficiency score of 59%, compared to the state’s average of 41%, and average reading proficiency of 70%, compared to 50% statewide.

The student: teacher ratio in Bozeman public schools is 16:1, which is higher than Montana’s average of 14:1.


Like the rest of Montana, Bozeman is known for its many outdoor activities. You don’t have to spend a dime if you have sturdy shoes and a water bottle! Locals love the hike to get to Palisade Falls, Gallatin Canyon, and Gallatin River. Walking through downtown Bozeman is also free, and there is plenty of local art installations or small shops to visit.

The Museum of the Rockies is also in Bozeman and boasts the biggest Tyrannosaurus skull ever. Adults are $14.50/ticket, seniors are $13.50/ticket, and children aged 5-17 are $9.50/ticket. The American Computer and Robotics Museum is also in Bozeman, the oldest continually operating museum of its kind. Tickets are just $7.50 for adults, or $4 for children 10-17 and seniors aged 65+.

Finally, let’s be honest – there is a good chance if you’re visiting Bozeman, you’re there to see Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is just 90 miles south of Bozeman, and a 7-day vehicle pass for private use is $35. An annual pass is $70.


Item of ClothingPrice
1 Pair of Name-Brand Jeans$55
1 Summer Dress (From a Chain Retail Store)$65
1 Pair of Name-Brand Shoes$92
1 Pair of Dress Shoes$125

As you could have guessed, you pay a premium for a lot of things in Bozeman – clothing is just another one of those things. These prices are above the national average, but not obscenely so. With no sales tax, it does make the higher cost easier to swallow for many!

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Related Questions

Is Bozeman a good place to retire?

Bozeman is not a great place to retire due to the high cost of living. The city friendly to retirees, but mortgage rates and monthly rentals are expensive in Bozeman.

Does it snow in Bozeman, Montana?

Bozeman gets an average of 72″ of snow per year due to the elevation. The mountains surrounding Bozeman are generally capped with snow. On the low end, Bozeman residents can expect 63″ of snow per year.

Summing It Up

Bozeman, Montana is a beautiful city that is very close to nature. If you value being outdoors, experiencing nature, and hiking, Bozeman should be top on your list. However, it does come with a high cost.

Living in Bozeman is not cheap, and you should make sure you can make that financial jump. The good news, though, is that Bozeman residents are generally very happy, and crime has been on a steady decline for several years, even as Montana as the US has seen a flatline.

Should you move to Bozeman? Maybe! If you have a secure job in the area, or you’re looking for somewhere beautiful but slightly remote to call home, Bozeman could be great. But take off those rose-colored glasses, because living here will cost you.

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Mary Newman
Mary Newman

Mary Newman thought that home improvement was all painting and putting down throw rugs... until she bought a fixer upper, and realized it's so much more. With a passion for helping others NOT make the mistakes she did, Mary seeks to always improve her home - and yours, too!

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