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This page illustrates Wyoming data on 1) population, 2) workforce, 3) housing, and 4) 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.
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 figure 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 under County Profiles.
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.
The labor force participation rate (LFPR) is the percentage of the population over the age of 16 that is either employed or searching for employment. According to Federal Reserve Economic Data (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 more volatile than the national average. This 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, possibly a result of the "baby boom" generation retiring and exiting the workforce.
Further, according to data from FRED, Wyoming’s unemployment rate has been consistently lower than the US unemployment rate since 1976. The Wyoming unemployment rate typically tracks the national unemployment rate, but with dampened effects. The state average unemployment rate from 1976-2020 was 4.9% while the US unemployment rate over the same period was 6.4%.
Using data from FRED, Wyoming’s homeownership rate from 1984-2019 averaged 70.6%. This rate is relatively high compared to the US average homeownership rate of 65.6% since 1984.
The Housing Price Index measures changes in home prices and is available through FRED. The index is calculated using repeated sales of the same home over time and accounts for specific house characteristics. Therefore a change in the index does not mean that prices are increasing due to renovations or an increase in housing quality. Rather, this index is a measure of home price appreciation over time.
According to data from the US Census Bureau, the percentage of the Wyoming population below the poverty level 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%.
Further, 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.