Thanks to information from the Butte Local Development Corporation, we have a lot of knowledge about the demographics and people of Butte. When choosing to work or live in a specific location, it is important to understand the culture and community. Coming from an interesting history of riches and to becoming the community it is today, we believe that understanding the history and current status of the Butte community will open your eyes and allow for an experience of Butte you wouldn’t have had otherwise. The Butte community is great, and here are a few of the numerical reasons why.
Butte’s Demographic History
Before we dive into the community, Butte has a unique culture worth unearthing. Well known for its rich (quite literally) mining days in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Butte made its mark early on.
Supplying over 25% of the copper used in the world, one can only imagine the money that was flooding in. At the peak of Butte’s mining boom, there were over 100,000 people living there. Not only was the population at its highest, the people working there were making insane amounts of money. At one point the copper mines were employing over 8,000 men with a payroll equal to $44,000,000 per month in today’s dollars, earning Butte its title of “The Richest Hill on Earth.” Soon, Butte produced more mineral wealth than any other mining district in the world until the middle of the 20th century. In its tenure, “The Richest Hill” on Earth managed to produce around 48 billion dollars of wealth.
Not only did this money bring in more miners searching for riches, but it attracted immigrants from all over the world. When coming to America they would often come straight to Butte with intentions of opening restaurants, selling goods, and working as hired hands for the mining families. This influx of immigrants brought an exciting mix of cultures, foods, and languages to the center of Montana which is very unique for the state.
As the fifth-largest city in Montana, Butte has right around 34,000 citizens. The number of citizens and city ranking might come as a surprise to someone from another state. For example, California, where the fifth largest city is Fresno and has over 15 times more people. Because of these numbers, Butte has a small-town community feel with resources similar to bigger cities. Like most communities, Butte is made up of almost exactly 50% men and 50% women. When it comes to land area, Butte is the seventh-largest United States (716.2 sq. mi). Because of the large area and modest population, Butte is perfect for large-scale projects and businesses that still desire the small-town feel.
Home to Montana Tech, the state’s premier STEM university, it is not surprising that over 15% of the population is between the ages of 20 and 29, approximately 5,283 people. In fact, Montana Tech may attract even more young people in the coming years. The university was recently voted one of the top 25 U.S colleges that pay off the most in 2020. Additionally, Montana Tech was voted the #1 Top College in Montana for Highest-Paid Graduates in 2021, and also the #1 University for Advancing America’s Economy.
Just under 25% of the population is under 20 years of age, 35% of the population is between 30 and 59 years old, and about 25% are older than 60. With 50% of the population within typical working age and an excellent university educating many of the citizens, Butte has a great workforce.
Butte is home to over 15,000 households and almost 9,000 families. The average household income is just under $68,000. This is a huge leap from just $46,000 in 2019. The average of $68,000 is significantly above the state median, which is around $53,000. The median home price is about $164,000, making Butte a very affordable place to live. Compare this to the national median home price of $291,000, and you will realize Butte residents typically save more money than those who live in states like Texas or California. Additionally, home appreciation in Butte-Silver Bow is up 10.8%. Meaning, buying a home in Butte will reward you with a great return on your investment. With affordable housing and many families invested in the community, there is definitely something special about Butte, Montana.