The Native Montanan?

Montanan’s truly are notorious for their kindness. If you’ve never lived in or spent any significant time in another state, you know this is true.  But for some reason, usually around election time, we start hearing that if you’re not a native born Montanan, somehow, you probably shouldn’t be running for office.  With it comes some implications that non-natives are somehow not worthy of serving, and thus, perhaps inferior, for some reason, to a native Montanan.


How does this relate to health, wellness and fitness?  Well, it does, frankly, because such messages can truly make one feel less than welcome, even in a state where being kind and accepting is a way of life. So, this infographic is for the “non-natives” among use… and for the natives who may feel a little imposed upon by the influx of “non-natives.”

Born in___Montana_Revised

When Montana became a state, only 24% of the people had been born in what was known as the Montana Territory.  A full 28% were born in another country altogether at the time of statehood, making a good portion of the founders of Montana, foreigners. None of these numbers include Native Americans by the way because they weren’t “made” citizens of the U.S. until 1924.  At some point in the recent past, every “native Montanan’s” ancestors were the outsiders.


Over the last century, Montana has been a state of in-migration and out-migration though we tend to add more people than we lose as between 2010 and 2014, Montana added 20,500 people more than moved out (  In 2012, most of those in-migrants were from California and Washington State (6% and 4% respectively). People born in “other Western states” made up another 10% of our population.  But more surprising is that in 2012, only 54% of Montana’s population had been born in Montana.  Of that 54%, 7% were Native Americans.  So, about half of us aren’t Native Montanan’s. In 2015, only 2.1% of Montanans were born in another country. Where do most of them come from?  Canada, eh? (26.7%)


Since Montana is only 128 years old, and in reality, every non-Native American living in the Montana Territory came from elsewhere, the question for those running for office in Montana:  Do you really want to make the distinction between native Montanans and non-natives when looking for votes?  And for those of you who aren’t native.  Well, you’re in good company.

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