Census Report: Wyoming (Still) Least Populous State

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Although Wyoming’s population increased by 2.3% over the last decade, it continues to be the least-populated state in the U.S., according to the latest census data.

Data released Monday from last fall’s census showed Wyoming had a population of 576,851. This made it the least-populated state in the nation, with California being the most populous, with 39.5 million residents.

Wyoming’s population increased by 13,225 from 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau data showed.

While this may not seem like a major increase, Wyoming was ranked 44th in the nation for the percentage of growth in its population. The lowest growth rate was seen in Connecticut at 0.9%, while three states — Illinois, Mississippi and West Virginia — actually lost population.

Wyoming also has around 870 residents living overseas, which includes military and federal civilians.

The total U.S. population, not including Puerto Rico, for the 2020 census was 331.4 million.

Because representation in the U.S. House is based on a state’s population, some states saw a change in the number of their congressional seats as a result of the census. Colorado, Montana and three other states will each gain a seat and California, New York and five other states will lose one each. Wyoming will not see a change.

Earlier this year, the Census Bureau reported that Wyoming had one of the worst response rates for the survey, with only about 61.1% of Wyoming’s residents responded on their own to the bureau’s request for information. 

The remaining 38.8% of those counted were approached by Census Bureau workers during the count that extended through the mid-October last year.

The self-response rate puts Wyoming 13th from the bottom of a list of all the states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico had the lowest self-response rate at 35.8%, followed by Alaska at 54.7%.

Among the state’s counties, Laramie County residents did the best job of responding on their own to the Census Bureau’s requests, with 71.9% doing so, followed by Sheridan County at 68.3%.

Teton County had the lowest rate in the state at 39.5%, followed very closely by Sublette County at 39.6%.

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