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Montana

The US state of Montana is located in the Western Region of the United States. The west region of Montana comprises many mountain ranges, whereas smaller "island ranges" can be found within the central part of Montana. In total, there are 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the name of the state, derived from the Spanish word montana, which translates to mountain. The state of Montana has various nicknames, none official, such as: "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans which consist of "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently, "The Last Best Place." Montana ranks fourth in area, but 44th in population, and accordingly has the third-lowest population density within the nation. The economy is mostly based on services, with wheat farming, ranching, oil and coal mining in the east, and lumber, tourism, and hard rock mining within the west. Each and every year, millions of visitors visit Glacier National Park, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

The total state product of Montana has been estimated during the year 2003 to be around $26 billion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. During 2003, the per capita income ranked 47th in the nation at $25,406. Nonetheless, this number is rapidly increasing.

Montana's land area is presently 380,850 km2 or 147,046 square miles, that is somewhat smaller as opposed to the country of Paraguay, but is slightly larger compared to Japan. The state of Montana is the largest state in the union behind the larger states of Alaska, Texas, and California, and is the US' largest landlocked state. To the north, Montana shares a 877 km (545-mile) border with three Canadian provinces: Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta. Towards the east, the state borders South Dakota and North Dakota. Towards the west and southwest is Idaho and to the south lies the state of Wyoming.

The state has numerous beer microbreweries, in reality, Montana ranks third in the nation in per capita craft breweries. Within the state, there are lots of major industries for lumber and mineral extraction; the state's resources consist of silver, gold, coal, talc, and vermiculite. Ecotaxes on resource extraction are many.

The economy of the state is dependent upon Tourism each year, with millions of visitors coming from all around to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, the Missouri River headwaters, which is the location of the Battle of Little Bighorn. The state of Montana also features three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.