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Polson, Montana

nčmqnétkʷ
kwataqnuk
Polson and Flathead Lake
Polson and Flathead Lake
Location of Polson, Montana
Location of Polson, Montana
Country United States
State Montana
County Lake
Area
 • Total 4.70 sq mi (12.18 km2)
 • Land 4.53 sq mi (11.74 km2)
 • Water 0.17 sq mi (0.44 km2)
Elevation
2,927 ft (892 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 5,148
 • Density 1,136.42/sq mi (438.50/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP code
59860
Area code(s) 406
FIPS code 30-58750
GNIS feature ID 0775341

Polson (Montana Salish: nčmqnétkʷ, Kutenai: kwataqnuk) is a city in Lake County, Montana, United States, on the southern shore of Flathead Lake. It is also on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The population was 5,148 at the 2020 census. It is the county seat of Lake County. In 1898 the city was named after pioneer rancher David Polson. It was incorporated in 1910.

Geography

Polson is located at 47°41′17″N 114°9′24″W / 47.68806°N 114.15667°W / 47.68806; -114.15667 (47.688089, -114.156766).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2), of which, 4.14 square miles (10.72 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,132
1930 1,455 28.5%
1940 2,156 48.2%
1950 2,280 5.8%
1960 2,314 1.5%
1970 2,464 6.5%
1980 2,798 13.6%
1990 3,291 17.6%
2000 4,041 22.8%
2010 4,488 11.1%
2020 5,148 14.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,488 people, 1,991 households, and 1,150 families living in the city. The population density was 1,084.1 inhabitants per square mile (418.6/km2). There were 2,506 housing units at an average density of 605.3 per square mile (233.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.7% White, 0.2% African American, 15.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 8.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.

There were 1,991 households, of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.2% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 40 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.5% were from 45 to 64; and 19.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.

Climate

Polson experiences a continental climate (Köppen Dfb).

Climate data for Polson, Montana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 58
(14.4)
66
(18.9)
74
(23.3)
84
(28.9)
91
(32.8)
98
(36.7)
104
(40)
101
(38.3)
93
(33.9)
83
(28.3)
71
(21.7)
62
(16.7)
104
(40)
Average high °F (°C) 32.6
(0.33)
38.2
(3.44)
46.7
(8.17)
57.2
(14)
65.8
(18.78)
73.5
(23.06)
81.5
(27.5)
81.2
(27.33)
70.0
(21.11)
56.6
(13.67)
41.1
(5.06)
33.1
(0.61)
56.46
(13.588)
Daily mean °F (°C) 26.6
(-3)
30.9
(-0.61)
37.7
(3.17)
46.1
(7.83)
53.9
(12.17)
61.1
(16.17)
67.5
(19.72)
67.4
(19.67)
57.6
(14.22)
46.6
(8.11)
34.6
(1.44)
27.4
(-2.56)
46.45
(8.028)
Average low °F (°C) 20.5
(-6.39)
23.5
(-4.72)
28.7
(-1.83)
34.9
(1.61)
41.9
(5.5)
48.6
(9.22)
53.5
(11.94)
53.5
(11.94)
45.2
(7.33)
36.5
(2.5)
28.1
(-2.17)
21.6
(-5.78)
36.38
(2.431)
Record low °F (°C) −30
(-34.4)
−27
(-32.8)
−10
(-23.3)
−1
(-18.3)
17
(-8.3)
26
(-3.3)
37
(2.8)
31
(-0.6)
16
(-8.9)
1
(-17.2)
−21
(-29.4)
−25
(-31.7)
−30
(-34.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.11
(28.2)
0.88
(22.4)
1.04
(26.4)
1.33
(33.8)
2.32
(58.9)
2.14
(54.4)
1.31
(33.3)
1.32
(33.5)
1.30
(33)
1.07
(27.2)
1.15
(29.2)
1.18
(30)
16.15
(410.2)
Source #1: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000)
Source #2: The Weather Channel (Records)

Education

Polson School District educates students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Polson High School's team name is the Pirates.

North Lake County Public Library is located in Polson.

Infrastructure

A hydro-electric concrete gravity-arch dam, Kerr Dam, was built in 1938 in Polson at river mile 72 of the Flathead River. Since 2015, the dam is officially known as the Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ Dam and is operated by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Polson Airport is a public use airport located one mile west of town.

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