Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now
CBEA banner

Wyoming

This page illustrates Wyoming data on 1) population, 2) workforce, 3) education, 4) housing, and 5) poverty. Most figures on this page are interactive. For example, hovering over the labor force participation curve will display the percent of the working-age population participating in the labor force for a given year. In addition, for each figure, the data can be downloaded by clicking on "Get the data", an option listed under each figure. 

1. Population 

Wyoming’s population experienced growth during the energy boom in the 1970s-1980s, then declined during the energy bust in the mid-1980s. The state's "boom and bust" economy causes population fluctuations as workers enter and exit the state. Wyoming’s population most recently peaked in 2015 and has steadily dropped in tandem with the decline of the fossil fuel economy, as seen in the figures below using data from the Census Bureau. 

 

 

Wyoming's most populated counties are Laramie, Natrona, and Cambell counties while its least populated counties are Niobrara, Hot Springs, and Weston Counties. County-specific information can be found for each of Wyoming's 23 counties on their respective pages. 

 

Wyoming’s population pyramids for both 2010 and 2019 can be described as stationary population pyramids with equal percentages across cohorts that taper off toward the top. This shape is indicative of a geography with little population growth. Note the Gen X dip between the "baby boom" generation and the "millennial" generation. Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 while Gen X was born between 1965 and 1979-80. Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1981 and 1994-6. 

 

2. Workforce 

The labor force participation rate (LFPR) is the percentage of the population over the age of 16 that is a member of the labor force (either employed or would like to be employed). According to data from FRED, Wyoming’s LFPR from 1976-2020 averaged 69.7%. This is slightly higher than the national average over the same period, 64.9%. However, Wyoming’s LFPR is also more volatile than the nation average which is likely due to the state’s "boom and bust" economy. Additionally, note that LFPR has been declining in the US and Wyoming since 2009. This is possibly a result of the "baby boom" generation entering retirement and leaving the workforce.

According to data from FRED, Wyoming’s unemployment rate has generally been lower than the US unemployment rate since 1976. Trends in Wyoming’s unemployment rate typically track the same trends in the national unemployment rate, but with dampened effects. The average unemployment rate for Wyoming from 1976-2020 was 4.9% while the US unemployment rate over the same period was 6.4%. 

 

3. Education

According to the Census Bureau, the percent of people in Wyoming over 25 with a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) is generally lower than the US average. From 2010-2019, an average of 26.4% of the state’s population over 25 had a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) while over the same time period, an average of 29.8% of the US population received the same level of education. 

The percent of people in Wyoming over 25 with a high school education is generally higher than the US average. From 2010-2019, an average of 29.4% of the state’s population over 25 had the highest education level of a high school diploma (or equivalent) while over the same time period, an average of 27.6% of the US population received the same level of education.

The percent of people in Wyoming over 25 who have not completed high school is less than the National average. From 2010-2019, an average of 7% of Wyoming’s population had no high school diploma (or equivalent) whereas over the same time period, 11.9% of the US population over 25 had not received a high school equivalent education.

 

4. Housing

The home ownership rate is approximated by the percentage of homes that are owner-occupied. Using data from FRED, Wyoming’s home ownership rate from 1984-2019 averaged 70.6% and from 2009-2019 averaged 71.2%. This rate is relatively high compared to the US average homeownership rate of 65.6% since 1984 and 65% from 2009-2019.

The Housing Price Index measures changes in home prices and is available through the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The index is calculated using repeated sales on the same home over time and accounts for specific house characteristics. The index controls for home quality, so a change in the index does not necessarily mean that prices are increasing due to renovations. Rather, this index should be used as a measure of home price appreciation over time. This also means that a doubling in the housing price index does not equate to a doubling in housing prices. 

 

5. Poverty

According to data from the US Census Bureau, Wyoming’s percentage of the population below the poverty line has been generally lower than the national average from 2010-2019. Over this time period, Wyoming averaged a poverty rate of 11.2% while the US average poverty rate was 14.0%.

According to data from the US Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, poverty rates are relatively evenly distributed across Wyoming. Albany and Niobrara counties have higher poverty rates than average while Teton County has a lower poverty rate than other counties in Wyoming.

 

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon