List of counties in Montana
|Counties of Montana|
|Location||State of Montana|
|Populations||485 (Petroleum) – 155,634 (Yellowstone)|
|Areas||718 square miles (1,860 km2) (Silver Bow) – 5,543 square miles (14,360 km2) (Beaverhead)|
|Subdivisions||cities, towns, townships, unincorporated communities, Indian reservations, census designated place|
Montana has two consolidated city-counties—Anaconda with Deer Lodge County and Butte with Silver Bow County. The portion of Yellowstone National Park that lies within Montana was not part of any county until 1978, when part of it was nominally added to Gallatin County, and the rest of it to Park County.
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify counties, is provided for each county. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.
||FIPS code||County seat||Est.||Origin||Etymology||Population||Area||Map|
|Beaverhead County||001||Dillon||February 2, 1865||Original County||Beaverhead Rock in the Jefferson River, which is shaped like a beaver's head.||9,345||5,543 sq mi
|Big Horn County||003||Hardin||January 13,1913||Rosebud County, Yellowstone County||Bighorn sheep in the area.||13,282||4,995 sq mi
|Blaine County||005||Chinook||February 29, 1912||Chouteau County||James G. Blaine (1830-1893), United States Secretary of State and presidential candidate.||6,619||4,226 sq mi
|Broadwater County||007||Townsend||February 9, 1897||Jefferson County, Meagher County||Charles A. Broadwater (1840-1892), a pioneer in the area and colonel in the United States Army.||5,667||1,192 sq mi
|Carbon County||009||Red Lodge||March 4, 1895||Park County, Yellowstone County||Coal deposits in the area.||10,399||2,048 sq mi
|Carter County||011||Ekalaka||February 22, 1917||Fallon County||Thomas Henry Carter (1854-1911), a U.S. Senator from Montana.||1,169||3,340 sq mi
|Cascade County||013||Great Falls||September 12, 1887||Chouteau County, Meagher County||Great Falls of the Missouri River.||81,366||2,698 sq mi
|Chouteau County||015||Fort Benton||February 2, 1865||Original County||Jean Pierre Chouteau (1758-1849) and his son Pierre Chouteau, Jr. (1789-1865). They were part of the Chouteau fur-trading family.||5,894||3,973 sq mi
|Custer County||017||Miles City||February 2, 1865||Original County||Originally Big Horn County, renamed February 16, 1877 for George Armstrong Custer||12,092||3,783 sq mi
|Daniels County||019||Scobey||August 30, 1920||Sheridan County, Valley County||Mansfield A. Daniels (1858 - 1919), an early rancher and storekeeper||1,793||1,426 sq mi
|Dawson County||021||Glendive||January 15, 1869||Unorganized lands||Andrew Dawson, a trapping official and major in the United States Army||9,518||2,373 sq mi
|Deer Lodge County||023||Anaconda||February 2, 1865||Original County||Deer Lodge Valley, which in turn was either named for the Native American name "Lodge of the White-tailed Deer" or a salt lick where deer came in droves||9,150||737 sq mi
|Fallon County||025||Baker||December 9, 1913||Custer County||Benjamin O'Fallon, a Federal Native American agent||3,108||1,620 sq mi
|Fergus County||027||Lewistown||March 12, 1885||Chouteau County, Meagher County||Andrew Fergus (1850 - 1928), one of the first settlers in the county||11,442||4,339 sq mi
|Flathead County||029||Kalispell||February 6, 1893||Missoula County||Flathead Native Americans||103,806||5,099 sq mi
|Gallatin County||031||Bozeman||February 2, 1865||Original County||Albert Gallatin (1761-1849), the United States Secretary of the Treasury at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition||114,434||2,507 sq mi
|Garfield County||033||Jordan||February 7, 1919||Dawson County||James A. Garfield (1831-1881), the twentieth President of the United States||1,309||4,668 sq mi
|Glacier County||035||Cut Bank||February 17, 1919||Teton County||Glacier National Park, which borders the county||13,696||2,995 sq mi
|Golden Valley County||037||Ryegate||October 4, 1920||Musselshell County, Sweet Grass County||Probably named in a promotional attempt to lure settlers to the area||852||1,175 sq mi
|Granite County||039||Philipsburg||March 2, 1893||Deer Lodge County, Missoula County||Named for the granite rock which is common in the area's mountains and also held the area's rich gold and silver ore; the old mining town of Granite shared the name.||3,209||1,728 sq mi
|Hill County||041||Havre||February 22, 1912||Chouteau County||James J. Hill (1838-1916), a leading railroad tycoon||16,596||2,896 sq mi
|Jefferson County||043||Boulder||February 2, 1865||Original County||Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third President of the United States||11,558||1,657 sq mi
|Judith Basin County||045||Stanford||December 10, 1920||Cascade County, Fergus County||The Judith River which was in turn named by William Clark for Julia "Judith" Hancock, whom he would later marry||1,991||1,870 sq mi
|Lake County||047||Polson||May 11, 1923||Flathead County, Missoula County||Flathead Lake||29,099||1,494 sq mi
|Lewis and Clark County||049||Helena||February 2, 1865||Original County||Originally Edgerton County), renamed March 1, 1868 for Meriwether Lewis and William Clark||69,432||3,461 sq mi
|Liberty County||051||Chester||February 11, 1920||Chouteau County, Hill County||The sentiment of the inhabitants when the county was formed soon after World War I||2,359||1,430 sq mi
|Lincoln County||053||Libby||March 9, 1909||Flathead County||Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), the 16th President of the United States||19,125||3,613 sq mi
|McCone County||055||Circle||February 20, 1919||Dawson County, Richland County||George McCone (1853 - 1929), a Montana state senator who helped create the county||1,694||2,643 sq mi
|Madison County||057||Virginia City||February 2, 1865||Original County||James Madison (1751-1836), the fourth President of the United States and the Secretary of State at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition||7,820||3,587 sq mi
|Meagher County||059||White Sulphur Springs||November 16, 1867||Chouteau County, Gallatin County||Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867), an acting Governor of the Montana Territory||1,853||2,392 sq mi
|Mineral County||061||Superior||August 7, 1914||Missoula County||Many mines and mining prospects within the county||4,316||1,220 sq mi
|Missoula County||063||Missoula||February 2, 1865||Original County||Supposedly a contraction of the Flathead word, "im-i-sul-e-etiku", meaning "by or near the place of fear or ambush", a reference to Hell Gate Canyon, in which Flathead Native Americans were sometimes attacked by Blackfeet||119,600||2,598 sq mi
|Musselshell County||065||Roundup||February 11, 1911||Fergus County, Meagher County, Yellowstone County||The Musselshell River, named in turn by the Lewis and Clark Expedition presumably due to mussels found on its banks||4,651||1,867 sq mi
|Park County||067||Livingston||February 23, 1887||Gallatin County||Nearby Yellowstone National Park||16,606||2,656 sq mi
|Petroleum County||069||Winnett||November 24, 1924||Fergus County||The production of petroleum at Cat Creek||513||1,654 sq mi
|Phillips County||071||Malta||February 5, 1915||Blaine County, Valley County||Benjamin D. Phillips (1857 - 1926), a leading rancher and early pioneer in the county||4,074||5,140 sq mi
|Pondera County||073||Conrad||February 17, 1919||Chouteau County, Teton County||Originally pend d'oreille, French words meaning "ear pendant"; the name was changed to a form resembling the phonetic spelling to avoid confusion with the lake and town of the same name in Idaho and of a county in Washington.||5,972||1,625 sq mi
|Powder River County||075||Broadus||March 7, 1919||Custer County||The Powder River, named in turn for the gunpowder-like sand on its shores||1,716||3,297 sq mi
|Powell County||077||Deer Lodge||January 31, 1901||Deer Lodge County||Mount Powell, which in turn was named for John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), the early environmentalist and explorer||6,968||2,326 sq mi
|Prairie County||079||Terry||February 5, 1915||Dawson County, Fallon County||The county's location on the Great Plains||1,087||1,737 sq mi
|Ravalli County||081||Hamilton||February 16, 1893||Missoula County||Anthony Ravalli (1812 - 1884), a Jesuit missionary who came to the area in 1845||43,806||2,394 sq mi
|Richland County||083||Sidney||May 27, 1914||Dawson County||Named so as to depict fertile soil, in an attempt to lure in settlers||10,913||2,084 sq mi
|Roosevelt County||085||Wolf Point||February 18, 1919||Sheridan County||Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th President of the United States||11,059||2,356 sq mi
|Rosebud County||087||Forsyth||February 11, 1901||Custer County||The Rosebud River, which was named for the many wild roses along its banks||9,063||5,012 sq mi
|Sanders County||089||Thompson Falls||February 7, 1905||Missoula County||Wilbur Fiske Sanders (1834-1905), a pioneer, vigilante, and U.S. Senator from Montana||11,844||2,762 sq mi
|Sheridan County||091||Plentywood||March 24, 1913||Valley County||Philip Sheridan (1831-1888), Civil War general||3,424||1,677 sq mi
|Silver Bow County||093||Butte||February 16, 1881||Deer Lodge County||Silver Bow Creek; there are multiple theories explaining how the creek was named||34,915||718 sq mi
|Stillwater County||095||Columbus||March 24, 1913||Carbon County, Sweet Grass County, Yellowstone County||Stillwater River, ironically named for its very fast current||9,534||1,795 sq mi
|Sweet Grass County||097||Big Timber||March 5, 1895||Meagher County, Park County, Yellowstone County||The abundant sweet grass in the county||3,710||1,855 sq mi
|Teton County||099||Choteau||February 7, 1893||Chouteau County||The Teton Range which is in turn named for the French word for 'nipple', teton.||6,162||2,273 sq mi
|Toole County||101||Shelby||May 7, 1914||Hill County, Teton County||Joseph Toole (1851 - 1929), the first and fourth Governor of Montana||4,853||1,911 sq mi
|Treasure County||103||Hysham||February 7, 1919||Rosebud County||Named promotionally to attract new settlers||679||979 sq mi
|Valley County||105||Glasgow||February 6, 1893||Dawson County||Much of the county lies within the valley of the Milk River||7,437||4,921 sq mi
|Wheatland County||107||Harlowton||February 22, 1917||Meagher County, Sweet Grass County||The many wheat fields in the county||2,236||1,423 sq mi
|Wibaux County||109||Wibaux||August 17, 1914||Dawson County, Fallon County, Richland County||Pierre Wibaux (1858-1913), a pioneer and cattleman||1,034||889 sq mi
|Yellowstone County||111||Billings||February 26, 1883||Custer County||The Yellowstone River, named in turn for the yellow rocks found along its shores||161,300||2,635 sq mi
- St. Charles County, Missouri Territory created October 1, 1812, moved 1813
- Vancouver County, Oregon Territory created August 13, 1848, renamed Clarke County, Oregon Territory September 3, 1849
- Clarke County, Washington Territory created March 2, 1853
- Walla Walla County, Washington Territory April 25, 1854
- Spokane County, Washington Territory created January 29, 1858, abolished January 19, 1864
- Missoula County, Washington Territory created December 14, 1860, abolished May 26, 1864
- Shoshone County, Washington Territory created January 9, 1861, abolished March 3, 1863
- Stevens County, Washington Territory created January 20, 1863
- Shoshone County, Idaho Territory created February 4, 1864
- Edgerton County, Montana Territory created February 2, 1865, renamed Lewis and Clark County, Montana Territory March 1, 1868.
- Big Horn County, Montana Territory created February 2, 1865, renamed Custer County, Montana Territory February 16, 1877.
- "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". EPA.gov. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- National Association of Counties. "NACo - Find a county". Archived from the original on 2005-04-21. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Selected Age Groups by Sex for the United States, States, Counties, and Puerto Rico Commonwealth and Municipios: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". American FactFinder. U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- Muntmyler, L. E. (April 1914). "An Enjoyable Water Trip?". Hunter-Trader-Trapper. Columbus, Ohio: A. R. Harding: 52.
- Greene, Jerome (2008). Stricken Field: The Little Bighorn Since 1876 (Hardcover). Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-8061-3791-9.
- Hill, Thomas (1915). The Open Door To Independence. Chicago, Illinois: Hill Standard Book Company. p. 225.
- Fay, Robert; Branson, Carl (1959). "Oklahoma Geological Survey" (PDF). Ogs.edu.
- Guidebook … Annual Field Conference (13): 143. 1962.
Townsend, Montana lies in the central part of Townsend Valley at an elevation of 3833 and is the county seat of Broadwater County. The town was named for an official of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The county was named for Colonel Charles A. Broadwater, an early pioneer.Missing or empty
- "Carter County Montana". www.cartercountymt.info. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- Big Horn County, Montana Territory was not the same county as present day Big Horn County, Montana.
- "Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman". Montana Place Names Companion Website. Montana Historical Society and Montana State Library. Retrieved 31 October 2015.