chapter  3
24 Pages

The Emergence of a Competitive Core: Bifurcation Dynamics in Billings, Montana Mark D. Hardt

Billings Montana is a small metropolitan city, having approximately 90,000 residents and an additional 35,000 in surrounding communities. Despite its small size, Billings was the first of three Montana cities to achieve metropolitan status, and is the state's largest city. Originally settled as a railroad town, the city's business and industrial core was long oriented in the vicinity of the rail terminal and was surrounded by residential neighborhoods. Since 1980 the city has had substantial population growth, with rates of increase during the decade (21.5 percent) nearly equalling its growth in the previous two decades (25 percent). The rate of growth has remained consistent through the first half of the 1990s, and estimates indicate a continuance of growth.