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Wyoming Population Growth for the Last Decade Highest In Energy-Producing Counties

Jeremy Buckingham MLC, flickr

Wyoming’s population growth rate ranked 11th nationally during 2000-2010 and energy producing counties, such as Sublette and Campbell counties, led in population growth, according to a University of Wyoming publication released today (Tuesday).

Sublette County also had the highest percentage of second homes in Wyoming, and three-quarters of all new second homes were in the state’s northwestern corner, according to a second UW publication released today.

The UW Open Spaces Initiative released two new publications that summarize the last decade of population and second home growth in Wyoming. “Population Growth in Wyoming, 2000–2010” and “Second Home Growth in Wyoming, 2000–2010” synthesize the decennial census data to detail growth trends around the state.

The first publication details population change at the state, county and city scale.

“Recognizing changes in population growth patterns at the community, county and state levels is important for identifying growth issues or planning needs,” says Tex Taylor, professor of Agriculture and Applied Economics at UW and the publications’ lead author. “While there’s an overall pattern of growth in Wyoming, different areas are experiencing different rates of population growth or decline.”

The home growth publication shows that nearly one out of every five housing units outside cities, towns and unincorporated communities is currently a second home.

“Wyoming’s spectacular scenic beauty and outdoor amenities unsurprisingly make it a popular place for a seasonal or temporary residence, and most of these residences are located in rural areas,” says Taylor. “The number of second homes in a community can alter community character and challenge local government finances, as residential developments tend to cost more in public services than they generate in tax revenue.”

Download the publications at or request hard copies by calling the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at (307) 766-5080.

These publications are part of the Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative, which improves the effectiveness of Wyoming citizens in maintaining Wyoming’s open spaces through research, education and information dissemination, and decision-making assistance. For more than a decade, the Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative has provided Wyoming citizens with objective information on land-use trends, land-use planning, the effects of rural development and land conservation.

The Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative is a collaboration of the Ruckelshaus Institute, the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center and UW Extension.

The Ruckelshaus Institute also launched a new map library on its website. Maps from Open Spaces and other institute publications are now available for download and use. For example, users can view maps that show county population growth change in Wyoming from 1990–2000 and 2000–2010.

For more information, contact Emilene Ostlind at (307) 766-2604.

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