Key findings

  • Helena has a Livability Score of 59/100, which is considered below average
  • Helena crime rates are 87% higher than the Montana average
  • Cost of living in Helena is 2% higher than the Montana average
  • Helena real estate prices are 5% higher than the Montana average
  • Rental prices in Helena are 7% higher than the Montana average

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Compare Helena, MT Livability

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      Helena Real estate & Rental prices

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      Top Rated Schools in Helena

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Four Georgians SchoolPK - 551662%
      Jefferson SchoolPK - 527360%
      Smith SchoolPK - 529857%
      Broadwater SchoolPK - 527857%
      Kessler Elementary SchoolPK - 526955%
      C R Anderson Middle Schooll6 - 899649%
      Helena Middle School6 - 868748%
      Hawthorne SchoolPK - 522947%
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      Helena Reviews

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      Review Helena
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      Attractions0/10
      Community0/10
      Nightlife0/10
      Dining0/10
      Shopping0/10
      Try Butte or Great Falls. Low wages, high crime, very unfriendly

      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      I lived here for three torturous years. The people, oddly enough, are very elitist and snooty...I don't know why because it's basically a lousy place to live. Extremely hostile to 'outsiders', especially Californians. Many old, rundown houses. Air quality bad due to wood burning fireplaces/stoves; many days you are banned from using them.......but you must to keep from literally dying of the cold. It is cold, but gets Chinook warming. Roads are poorly maintained and snow plowing slow/absent. One mall of 'OVER 30 STORES'! A few decent restaurants, a few nice hotels. About 4,000 ft elevation. Road from the west is very steep and mountanous. Road to Spokane one of the worst in the US. Road south to Butte is good. My son-in-law upon visiting, asked if there was any grass at all in Montana. Nope. Some nice rivers/streams for fishing close. The Bob Marshall wilderness is awesome as is the Smith River for fly fishing. Go to Ennis for the best fly. The salaries are attrocious here; less than 1/3 of what I made in Washington state or California. Really, really, really horrible economic outlook. To the south one hour on a good highway is the Continental Divide and Butte, MT. It is a truly ugly mining town which has always been a union town. Salaries are 3-4 times higher and housing is 3-4 times cheaper than Helena. Still good access to recreation, some pretty areas. HOWEVER, these are the VERY nicest, welcoming, fun, honest, and genuine people I have ever met ANYWHERE. If I go back Mintana, I would definitely choose Butte/Silver Bow again.
      • 1 -3
      So thankful I don't live here.

      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      We just got back home to a different state and I can't tell you how good it is to be home. I've never been to Helena before and was so disappointed. The drivers are crazy and so grumpy. We ran into a few nice people but I felt like I had to kill them with kindness. Helena has horrible roads with rocks everywhere. We live in a snowy town and have rocks but they clear them out quickly. It's just a dreary depressing place.
      • 0 0
      Medical care in Helena

      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      Terrible, terrible hospital (the one and only local option, St. PETER'S Hospital) that squashes any provider that resists them. Horrible billing department too. They have run off too many good and caring medical providers to count.I am so grateful to have moved to another community that provides excellent medical care in Montana. For so many reasons, I am so happy to have moved away from Helena. Some of the worst neighbors too. Folks are crabby here (stress of low wages, gloom??). Happy to move on!!
      • 1 0
      Helena Is Depressing and Boring

      Attractions9/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining2/10
      Shopping1/10
      My family and I really regret moving here and we want to get the hell out of here. People here are very cliquee, judgemental, and won't except anyone new. It's very hard to make friends here and people act like they don't want anything to do with you. This is a very depressing town to live in. There aren't really any good places to get clothes except Shopko and Target. The J.C Penny's just went out of business so that really sucks because I used to get alot of my clothes there. We don't get any other good stores. The resturants are fine. It's hard to find a good house to rent or buy. There is nothing to do except hike, and you get bored living here. There is nothing good about this town. Like I said this is a very depressing town and I do not recommend moving here or traveling here because you will be dissapointed, become depressed, go crazy, and want to get the hell out.
      • 3 0
      Dumpy town

      Attractions3/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife3/10
      Dining3/10
      Shopping3/10
      Helena is a dirty town. It isn't as liberal as people believe. They roll up the streets at 5:00 pm, the restaurants close at 9:00. Walmart has displaced all of the mom and pop stores. The mall has four stores down from 20 a few years ago. The air quality is awful. It is a high crime city. It's not safe to walk downtown after dark. I lived there for 30 yrs for my job and am glad I left. There is a caste system with Carroll College graduates at the top, then the rest of us. There are no outdoor activities unless you count shoveling snow for 8 months of the year. A very depressing town.
      • 0 0
      Never come here

      Attractions4/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife4/10
      Dining4/10
      Shopping6/10
      Helena sucks! Its litterally the worst place I have ever lived in my life. Dont live here because all thats going to happen is depression and being miserably cold all the time. Oh and did i mention everyone is a complete ass. Don't even waste your money coming here it's a complete disaster all you're going to see is gray clouds and harsh conditions. Missoula and Bozeman are a little bit better but never come here. In addition its so hard to make friends here and everybody is very hypocritical if you are not like them it's very hard to be excepted.
      • 0 -1
      Leftie, Not Impressed

      Attractions3/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife3/10
      Dining3/10
      Shopping6/10
      I moved here because I married someone who owned a home here. That's pretty much it. Helena is by far one of the most disappointing places I have ever lived. Ever. Some of the architecture downtown is very interesting and I like the walking mall, and recently the shopping has really improved. A lot of the local businesses have gone out of business, there is no nightlife, the restaurants are abysmal, I am not sure I remember what "community" even means, and attractions, what are those? If you move here from anywhere else you will have to listen to all the natives gripe about how you've ruined it by existing and read everyone's "go back to California" bumper stickers.

      And the crime. Oh my goodness. I'm not kidding when I say that some of my neighbors have been in shootouts with the police and killed. What is this place? I can't even figure it out. I don't even live in a bad part of town but all the "Helanans" seem to be on meth.
      • 0 0
      What Was Once Amazing is Now Fading Away..

      Attractions6/10
      Community4/10
      Nightlife3/10
      Dining3/10
      Shopping3/10
      I am a fifth generation Helanan and I weep for what my once amazing town has become.

      I am going to be quite honest and I am sure this will ruffle more than a few feathers. The REAL reason Helena is less than desirable is the influx of transplants from California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. They moved here because of how wonderful the town, people and scenery were and have brought what they were trying to get away from with them. Helena does not have a smog problem but instead it has a serious smug problem.

      The new Helena and it's transplant residents have tried to make it "quaint". In fact you will actually hear that word used a lot in regards to Helena while there. The Neo-Helanans have brought a very liberal mindset to the town as well. Since the city government believes that you don't know how to live your life properly, they will tell you how. You like to have a cigarette? Forget it! You want to drive your car downtown? No way! It's for bicycles and walking. You are looked at like a childkiller and possibly yelled at if you should impede a cyclist or pedestrian with your gas guzzling motor vehicle by driving through a green light with the right of way. Speaking of vehicles, you will notice an abundance of hybrids and Subaru Outbacks all with "Keep It Wild" bumper stickers.

      In other words, if you are of the left bent mentality you are going to love it here.

      There is a very limited amount of night life, grocery stores, and shopping. There are an over abundance of casinos and churches though. Make up your own jokes with that information.

      Jobs are few and far between except in health care and government. Rent is becoming almost unaffordable.

      The scenery is still amazing but that too is slowly being eaten away by the locust like transplants buying and building on the land. The history of Helena is also being erased as the Neo-Helanans can buy out the locals and turn the old buildings into some urban nightmare they deem "quaint." They can't see that they are destroying what lured them there in the first place.

      The popular mind set has shifted drastically as well. Helena has gone from a polite, easy going, golden rule living town to a self-entitled, me first, population.

      I am glad and yet sad that I no longer live in Helena. I have banned myself from visiting because when I have I have gotten physically ill from what has happened to this once gem of a town.
      • 0 -1
      My 6 Days In Helena, MT

      Attractions7/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping7/10
      I recently visited Helena, Montana with my husband on a business trip. I have never had the opportunity to experience going to Helena, but glad I finally did. Although the city was not a place I would ideally take for vacation, I found that there was plenty to do to entertain myself.

      I would highly recommend anybody visiting Helena to visit the Parrot Confectionery Company. They are famous for their old fashioned candy and soda from the soda fountain. I liked the treats there so much that I visited the store 4 times on a trip that lasted 6 days. The staff was very friendly. I found out that the company is family owned.

      I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the state capitol campus in Helena. This was a very good experience. I was able to go on a tour of the Original Governor's Mansion. There are several tours that are offered throughout the day.

      I found the nightlife in Helena to be lacking, now this might have been because I am from Miami and I am used to glamorous parties every night of the week. There was one restaurant or bar that we found called, Mike's Place. The beer was cheap and the staff was nice.
      • 1 -1
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Helena, MT data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).