What Is the Capital of Montana?

The state capital building in Helena, Montana.
The state capital building in Helena, Montana.

Montana is a state in the northern part of the United States. The state capital is Helena.


Helena was originally named “The Last Chance Gulch” and it was founded by four gold miners as they were searching for more gold in the year 1864. The place was flooded by gold miners making the city densely populated. Later, a Scotsman, John Summerville, proposed the name Helena. In the year 1875, Helena became the capital of Montana territorial and Montana gained its statehood in 1889. In 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in Helena, fueling its growth both economically and demographically.


According to the census carried out in the year 2010, the population of Helena was approximately 28,200 people. As of 2010, the median age in Helena was 40 years. 20% of the residents in the city were under the age of 18 years, 12% were between 18 and 24 years, 23% were between 25 and 44 years, 29% were between the age 45 and 64, and the other 15% were over 65 years of age. In 2010, men composed 48% of Helena's population, and women took the remaining 52%. The population of the city has been increasing since 1864 when the city was originally founded.

Geography and Climate

Helena is located in west-central of Montana, in the foothills of Big Belt Mountains. The city is located between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, and is 4,090 feet above sea level. The city is semi-arid with a continental climate changing between warm, dry summers and cold, moderately snowy winters. Snow is observed every month of the year in the city but absent from May to September. During the month of November to February, the temperatures drop to -5.7°C or below. The temperatures start to rise from March, 26°C, to October, when the average temperature is 31°C. Showers of rain begin to fall as from April through July.


Helena is a wealthy city which has enjoyed a record of economic stability. Due to its rich deposits of gold and silver, the city has embraced its interest in mineral production and processing. Helena has low unemployment rate of 3.6%. The income per capita is $29,090, and the median household income is $50,889. The other main economic activity in the city includes refinery and metal smelting, manufacture of paints, and machine parts.


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