A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Libby, Montana
(Lincoln County)

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Census Data for Libby ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2019 and it gave Libby a population of 2,798 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Libby a population of 2,628 people.

The city of Libby is located in Lincoln County. The 2010 Census gave Lincoln County; a population of 19,687 people. This means that Libby had 13.35% of the county's total population, making it Lincoln's most populous community.

At the same time, Montana had a population of 989,415 people, meaning that Libby had 0.27% of the total population of Montana - making it the state's 27th most populous community.

Area ...

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Libby has a total area of 1.95 square miles [5 km²]. Of this total, 1.91 square miles [4.9 km²] is land, with the balance (1.8%) being water (0.04 square miles [0.1 km²]).

Lincoln County has a land area of 3,612 square miles [9,357.4 km²]. At 1.91 square miles [4.9 km²], Libby has 0.05% of the county's total land area.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Libby, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.
    • Things like population, area and housing for Libby reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Libby might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
    • Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
    • Lat:   48° 23' 11"   (or 48.39°)
    • Lon:   -115° 33' 24"   (or -115.56°)
    • More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Libby had 1,416 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 2,628 people, this averages 1.86 people per Housing Unit.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • The 2010 Census shows Libby had a land area of 1.91 square miles [4.9 km²]. This translates to 727 Housing Units per square mile [280.9 housing units/km²].
    • From the Census of 2000: Libby had 1,264 Housing Units, a population of 2,626 people and a land area of 1.27 square miles [3.3 km²]. This gives a density of 2.08 people per Housing Unit and 992 Housing Units per square mile [383.2 housing units/km²].
    • Note: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2010 Census and the 2000 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Libby and you need to be careful when comparing results between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Lincoln County ...

The community of Libby is located in Lincoln County<4> and is the County Seat for Lincoln County.

The county had a population of 19,687 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 2,628 people, Libby represented 13.35% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Libby has a population density of 1,350 people per square mile [521 people/km²], Lincoln County averages 5.45 people per square mile [2.1 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Lincoln County.

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Libby, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Libby. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • Although we don't have specific information about the shape of the polygon for Libby or how it changed has over time, there is some information that can give us some hints. For example, since the shape of the sampling area is directly related to the shape of the polygon, any change to area probably indicates a new shape for the polygon.
    • If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Libby, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Libby.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
    • Lat:   48.386437°   (or 48°23'11" N)
    • Lon:   -115.556678°   (or -115°33'24" W)
    • For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
    • Lat:   48.388128°   (or 48°23'17" N)
    • Lon:   -115.553707°   (or -115°33'13" W)
    • The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 947 feet to the southwest<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
    • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2410831) to Libby. This identifier also marks a GPS point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Libby. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
    • Lat:   48.387203°   (or 48°23'13" N)
    • Lon:   -115.555980°   (or -115°33'21" W)
    • The GPS location given for the 2010 Census lies 326.4 feet to the southwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Libby. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Libby.

Miscellaneous Information for Libby ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Lincoln County or the city of Libby:

  • The GNIS Codes ...
    • The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Libby:
    • GNIS ID for Libby: 2410831
    • GNIS ID for Lincoln County: 1720038
    • GNIS ID for State of Montana: 767982
  • The FIPS Codes ...
    • An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):
    • State Code: 30 (Montana)
    • County Code: 053 (Lincoln County)
    • Place Code: 43450 (Libby)
    • State & County Code: 30/053 (Montana / Lincoln County)
    • State & Place Code: 30/43450 (Montana / Libby)
  • Misc. Census Codes ...
    • Libby is located in Census Region #4 (the West Region) and Division #8 (the Mountain Division).

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Libby.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Visit our Community Index for Montana

About Lincoln County

About Montana

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website for Libby:

The official website for Lincoln County:

The official website for State of Montana:

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2019.
<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.
<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).
<4>If you're interested in how the shape of Montana's counties, including Lincoln, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 130 degrees and a distance of 947 feet.
<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 148 degrees and a distance of 326.4 feet.






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This page was last modified: 27 Apr 2022