Why is Wyoming population so low?

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Why is Wyoming population so low? I am often asked this questions by those thinking to move to Wyoming. They want to know if it’s the wind or the snow? Or is it more! Many I know here love the wide open spaces, the lack of crowds and the most amazing people ever. Let’s explore some things that keep our population low…What am I missing!?

Why is Wyoming's population so low?
Wyoming! Wide open spaces, amazing outdoor activities, and very few people. Now I do enjoy my space and my privacy. I also absolutely love pretty much everything about Wyoming. So I have been wondering, “Why exactly is the population here so low?” Hi, I’m Alisha Collins with RE/MAX The Group and the Alisha Collins Real Estate Team.

As a real estate agent, I have to say, I do enjoy it when people move and find a home and property that they love. Especially when they move to the Casper area. That way my team and I can do what we do best, which is to help people find exactly the right Wyoming home. But really, why don’t more people move here. Last week, when I was out showing houses in freezing cold temperatures, I thought that maybe I had the answer to the question. The weather! We just went through an unusually cold week with below zero temperatures and wind chill temperatures well below zero. And I thought to myself, “Yep. This could be one reason our population is so low.” Honestly, as I have covered in some of my other videos, the weather is a little on the tough side some of the time, but I promise you, it is not the worst in the country. I mean, Alaska has very cold weather, no sunshine during the winter, and it turns out that most of the populated areas in Alaska have a higher population density than Wyoming. News flash! Wyoming has the lowest population of any state. To be clear, Wyoming is ranked as having the fifth coldest winter in the US. And yet the four colder states still have higher populations than we do. Okay, so it is possible that some people might not like the weather situation here, but that alone isn’t enough to answer the question.

What about access? How do you get to Wyoming? How do you get through Wyoming? Well, I think the answer to that question may give us another clue as to why our population remains so low. Years ago, as the west was settled, many of the pioneers traveled right on through Wyoming on their way to gold fame and fortune in the West. Okay, so maybe not right on through. The fact that it was tough going is a well documented fact as all the history books show us. With our vast prairies and rugged mountains, our region can make for difficult travel across the land, even with the modern conveniences and advances for our modern world, much less when they made the journey on foot, or by horse, or buggy. Plus people had heard the news of people striking it rich further west, and wanted to make it there where they thought they’d find gold. Most of them didn’t see much value in our golden prairies. Most people kept going right on through our wonderful state. Fast forward to today. Are people still passing right on through to what they think is better? Maybe. Now, instead of hand carts and horses traveling across wagon trails, we have good solid interstates that allow relatively easy travel that is much safer, and we have a decent highway system. But the mountain passes and even some of the roads that cross the wide open prairie, can get a little tricky in the winter. So we do need to be prepared. It is true the harsh terrain could be considered a deterrent for some people who may consider living here.

Speaking of modern transportation, what about airports? I would have to say that Wyoming is lacking in the air travel department. We do have small regional airports, but no large hubs. You may be surprised to learn that our airport is called Casper-Natrona County International Airport. So while we can boast that we have an international airport it is nothing like DIA, DFW, LAX. I do fly in and out of Casper sometimes but there are limited destinations and sometimes cost prohibitive pricing to contend with, especially if you’re traveling with friends, family, or a large group of any kind. I know that I am not the only one who struggles to decide do I drive to Denver to catch a flight, or spend a lot and risk a flight cancellation by flying out of one of our smaller regional airports. It is often less expensive and a safer bet to make the drive to a larger airport, such as those in Billings or Denver.

One of the other reasons for the lower population in Wyoming might be the lack of economic diversity here. This is something Wyoming is working to improve constantly. Traditionally, the population here has fluctuated based on the demand for the natural resources found here, not exclusively, but most notably oil, natural gas, and coal. Their predominant source of income for many in Wyoming is directly or indirectly related to the energy sector. So our population increases when the demand is up. But of course, on the flip side, when demand in the energy sector is down, many people leave to find work elsewhere. As I mentioned a moment ago, Wyoming is working hard to diversify partly to grow and remain strong, but also because economic diversity is so necessary. Growth has been seen in a tourism industry, technology, SynTech, blockchain innovation, and more. Wyoming is strong and through perseverant, strong leadership and the great people of Wyoming, we will continue to grow and diversify our economy. Here’s an interesting fact for you.

Did you know that the federal government owns a little over 48% of the land in Wyoming? This too plays a factor in our lower population. In addition to federal lands in Wyoming, there are numerous, privately-owned, large ranches that are populated, but not by people. Again, these factors aren’t enough to be the only factor contributing to our lower population, but they are definitely part of the equation.

When I look at this list describing Wyoming as having a lack of infrastructure, a lack of economic diversity, a dry formidable landscape, a harsh winter and harsh weather, it really doesn’t sound all that appealing to me. But the great news is I know better. I can look past these potentially negative aspects to see the shining gem that is truly Wyoming, and the Wyoming that I know and love. Beautiful, wide-open spaces with so many activities year round. And yes, perhaps the best part is that while there aren’t that many of us, the people in Wyoming are the friendliest people I have ever met. So even though there aren’t many people who know how great Wyoming is, I want you to know.

Thanks for watching. Be sure to subscribe and follow my channel for more videos about Wyoming. I love it here and I want you to love where you live too. We love that you join us on this channel to watch our videos. We have time for you, and we’d love to chat for you. See you soon.
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