Sublette Is Fastest Growing County In Wyoming, Crook County Next

A new report from the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division shows Sublette and Crook counties are the fastest growing counties in the state while Carbon and Platte counties saw the largest decreases.

Leo Wolfson

March 16, 20243 min read

Pinedale is the seat for Sublette County, Wyoming's fastest growing county in 2023.
Pinedale is the seat for Sublette County, Wyoming's fastest growing county in 2023. (Dave Bell)

Wyoming had modest population growth in 2023 with only 2,428 more people calling the Cowboy State home than the year before, according to a Thursday report from the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division.

The 0.4% growth bumped Wyoming’s population up to 584,057 residents, a slightly lower rate than the 0.5% national average. The state’s 2022 population was 581,629.

Sublette County had the most growth in the state at 2.5%, followed by Crook County at 2.3%.

Carbon County saw the largest decrease in population, losing 1.4% of its residents. Platte County followed with a loss of 1.2% of its people.

In total, 17 of Wyoming’s 23 counties experienced population increases from July 2022 to July 2023.

Laramie and Natrona counties, the two largest population counties in the state, only grew 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively.

Since 2020, Laramie County has only grown 0.5%, while Natrona County has lost 25 residents since that time. This trend runs in contrast to the growth both communities saw for the decade 2010-2020, with Laramie County adding 8,774 residents and Natrona County 4,505 people.

Both counties had the most deaths and births in the state in 2023.

What’s The Reason?

Wenlin Liu, chief economist for the state of Wyoming, said the growth can be attributed to two factors — natural births and deaths, and net migration.

There were 2,338 more people who moved into the state than moved out from 2022 to 2023. Also boosting the population was 103 more births than deaths.

“After an unprecedented occurrence in Wyoming’s history during the worst time of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the natural change turned to positive, according to Wyoming Department of Health records,” Liu said.

Since 2008, Wyoming has experienced a declining natural growth rate that has only worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half the state’s 23 counties saw negative natural change in 2023, in contrast to 2019 when that number was less than one-third.

People Still Moving In

Net migration is up however after six consecutive years of net-negative migration from 2014-2019, which has been attributed to the energy downturn. Nearly three-fourths of Wyoming’s counties saw positive net migration and Sheridan County led the state with 542 new residents.

Carbon, Sweetwater and Teton counties all saw population loss.

Liu said a large number of higher-income professionals with the ability to work remotely have moved to the state as a result of the pandemic. Since 2020, Wyoming’s population has increased by 7,207, or 1.2%, which exceeds the national growth rate for that time frame of 1%.

“Nationwide, the pandemic-induced migration trend slowed down in 2023, but this movement did not fade much for Wyoming,” Liu said. “People continued to relocate to the state’s sparsely populated areas in the northern region such as Park, Big Horn, Sheridan, and Crook counties, as well as in the western areas including Lincoln and Sublette counties.”

Sheridan and Lincoln counties have had the largest growth rates in the state since 2020 at 5.2% and 6.6% respectively. Sweetwater has lost 2.5% of its population since 2020.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter