Montana (/mɒnˈtænə/ (listen)) is a state in the Northwestern United States. Montana has several nicknames, although none are official, including “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State”, and slogans that include “Land of the Shining Mountains” and more recently “The Last Best Place”.
Montana is the fourth-largest in area, the 8th least populous, and the third-least densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. The western half of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller mountain ranges are found throughout the state. In all, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains. The eastern half of Montana is characterized by western prairie terrain and badlands. Montana is bordered by Idaho to the west, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the north.
The economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic resources include oil, gas, coal, hard rock mining, and lumber. The health care, service, and government sectors also are significant to the state’s economy.
The state’s fastest-growing sector is tourism. Nearly 13 million tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Highway, Flathead Lake, Big Sky Resort, and other attractions.