Just over 50,000 people live here
We’re Not All That Crowded
The Bitterroot Valley is about 90 miles long and a dozen miles wide, but has fewer residents than most small cities.
This makes for low density living, which is one of the main attractions of the Bitterroot Valley.
The population is divided among several small communities, agricultural lands, remote cabins, and homes with acreage outside of the developed towns of the Bitterroot Valley.
It’s a relatively small population spread across a relatively large area.
It’s growing, but it still feels like there’s plenty of room for everyone.
We Counted Everyone by Zip Code
Most of the Bitterroot Valley lies in Ravalli County, but the north end of the Valley is in Missoula County.
Many people cite the population of Ravalli County as the total population of the Bitterroot Valley.
But that excludes some of Florence and all of Lolo’s population, both of which are located in the Bitterroot Valley, so that number is a little misleading.
As well, much of the Bitterroot Valley’s population lives outside of its incorporated cities, so we didn’t want to just cite the combined population of the cities and towns.
We needed a way to count everyone.
The US Census Bureau provides population estimates based on Zip Codes in their ACS data.
This seems to be a pretty good fit for determining the total population of the Bitterroot Valley as each community has its own Zip Code that covers the town and its surrounding area.
We’re not Census experts around here, but this seems to be a straightforward way to represent the total population of the Valley, so we used the most recent 2020 ACS data for this article.
Total Population Estimate is 50,346
We added up the population totals from the 10 Zip Codes in the Bitterroot Valley and we came up with a total population estimate of 50,346.
Here’s the population breakdown by Zip Code and Community from the US Census Bureau American Community Survey for the year 2020.
That’s a Good Question
An estimated 50,346 people live in the Bitterroot Valley according to the 2020 American Community Survey.
Hamilton, MT has the largest population in the Bitterroot Valley with an estimated 13,966 residents living in the 59840 Zip Code.