By RACHEL ANDERSON and HANNAH BALLANTYNE/Montana State News
The Last Best Place is filled with a westernized ideal of cowboys wrangling horses, ranchers herding cattle and miles of endless countryside supported by major industries of mining, lumber and farming-paints a masculine portrait.
Is it really MANtana? The perception that the state is male dominated has an element of truth to it.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the state of Montana had a total population of 989,415 residents. Males made up 50.2 percent of the state population while females were close with 49.8 percent.
Bozeman city’s population was 37,280 people. Bozeman had 52.6 percent males and 47.4 percent females. There were 1,968 more males then females in 2010.
In the fall semester of 2013, Montana State University’s undergraduate enrollment was even more male dominated with 54 percent males and 46 percent females.
Brian Clark, an MSU senior, relocated to the state nearly a decade ago from New Jersey.
“I was drawn to Montana because of my outdoor interests,” said Clark. “I wanted to escape the congestion of the city.”
After maintaining a long distance relationship for several years, Clark became a single bachelor in his new home state.
“I always heard my guy friends complaining of the lack of girls, but it didn’t directly affect me at the time,” said Clark.
With 1,282 more males enrolled at MSU as of this past fall, the testosterone levels are high on campus. With more males in each class, the only female-led student category for full and part-time students is second degree students.
“I do find myself in outdoor situations with more guys,” says Clark, “… but that just makes the girls more hardcore.”
With the statistics shown, MANtana may have more men, but every individuals chose Montana for one reason or another.
Maggie Henderson, a Junior at MSU has certainly noticed the male to female ratio on campus.
“There are definitely more guys in most of my classes,” said Henderson, and she isn’t afraid to admit that she doesn’t mind this.
“One of the components of me choosing to move to Montana for college is because I’d heard it there were a lot of rugged, outdoorsy guys here. Not going to lie!” Henderson said. She said doesn’t think that tag of MANtana is a bad thing.
“Even though there may be more guys here, the women are definitely keeping pace in the outdoor activities department. I think Montana just draws a certain type of person, male or female,” Henderson said.
Though it may seem like the lower population of women could be disappointing for guys, for some, like Tay Bower who lives and works in Bozeman, it’s a good thing.
“There may be less of them, but the women you do meet are pretty interesting and impressive people. Most the gals I know don’t seem too worried about being outnumbered,” Bower says.