By MERRIT GEARY/Montana State News
Rapid population growth in the greater Gallatin County area has the seasoned residents of the community concerned.
Bozeman is one of the fasted growing counties in the US. With a population increase of 4.6 percent (about 2,000 people each year), Bozeman is taking off, According to Bozeman Chamber of Commerce.
Taylor Wilson, a Yellowstone Club Employee and Montana native says buying a house isn’t even an option for her right now. “I work so hard at the YC but affording a house in Bozeman or Big Sky is just out of the cards.”
The Main Street district has seen new construction since the boom. Multiple apartment complexes now face the historical downtown. Most apartments priced well over $550,000. Montanan’s who have been here for generations cannot believe the housing prices.
Jade Weiss, a sophomore at Montana State University and a Portland, Oregon, native, says she could see herself staying in Bozeman for the rest of her life. “Bozeman is home now, I can only see more opportunity and more diversity coming through. I don’t know if I ever plan to leave.” Weiss currently lives off campus but says it is really difficult as a student to find affordable housing.
Many Bozeman natives are choosing to live outside of Bozeman city limits due to the rapid increase of population. Many say the traffic on 19th Ave and on Main Street is far too much for an everyday commute.
This community will continue to grow rapidly with a mixture of Bozeman natives and people moving to the area to enjoy the many benefits the region offers.
– edited by Zachary Coe