The Community

Billings is the largest city in the US state of Montana, and is the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area with a population of 165,361. It has a trade area of over half a million people.

Billings is located in the south-central portion of the state. The city is experiencing rapid growth and a strong economy; it has had and is continuing to have the largest growth of any city in Montana. Billings has avoided the economic downturn that affected most of the nation 2008–2012 as well as avoiding the housing bust. With the Bakken oil play in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, the largest oil discovery in U.S. history, as well as the Heath shale oil play just north of Billings, the city's already rapid growth rate is escalating.

Billings was nicknamed the Magic City because of its rapid growth from its founding as a railroad town in March 1882. The city is named for Frederick H. Billings, a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. With one of the largest trade areas in the United States, Billings is the trade and distribution center for most of Montana, Northern Wyoming and western portions of North Dakota and South Dakota. Billings is also the retail destination for much of the same area. With more hotel accommodations than any area within a five state region, the city hosts a variety of conventions, concerts, sporting events and other rallies.

Area Attractions

  • Pompey's Pillar
  • Pictograph Cave
  • Chief Plenty Coups State Park
  • Zoo Montana
  • Yellowstone Art Museum.

Within 100 miles are:

  • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Red Lodge Mountain Resort
  • Beartooth Highway


The education needs of the City of Billings are served by three school districts: Billings Public Schools, District 3, and Elder Grove School District. Billings Public Schools consists of 22 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 3 high schools (Senior High, Skyview High, and West High). There are around 15,715 students enrolled and 1,850 people employed full-time by the district. District 3 consists of one elementary school, Blue Creek Elementary School. Elder Grove School District also consists of only one elementary school, that being Elder Grove Elementary.



Billings has a semi-arid climate with hot summers, and cold, dry winters. In the summer, the temperature can rise to over 100 °F (1 to 3 times per year) while the winter can bring temperatures below zero, with 17 to 18 such nights per year. The snowfall averages about 57 inches a year, but because of warm Chinook winds that pass through the region between December and March, the snow does not usually accumulate heavily or remain on the ground for long. The first freeze of the season on average arrives by October 4 and the last is May 7. Spring and autumn in Billings are usually mild, but brief. Winds, while strong at times, are considered light compared with the rest of Montana and the Rocky Mountain front.