Wyoming’s population 544,270 in 2009
Campbell took over Sublette as the county with the fastest annual population growth in the State
by State of Wyoming Department of Administration and Information, Economic Analysis Division
April 5, 2010
CHEYENNE -- Wyoming’s total resident population reached 544,270 in July 2009, and it surpassed the previous year’s record of 532,981, which is a revised figure, according to estimates just released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The annual increase from 2008 to 2009 was over 11,289 persons, or 2.1 percent, and it was the State’s strongest increase since 1982, the last year of the oil boom. This growth rate was also the highest in the nation. "The recession and housing bust have slowed migration throughout the U.S.," said Wenlin Liu, a senior economist with the Economic Analysis Division. "A few years ago, states which ranked in the top of population increase experienced growth rates of around 3.5 percent."
Across the State, counties in the Northeast and Southwest with more mineral extraction, particularly natural gas, experienced both stronger employment and faster population growth, continuing the trend observed in recent years. Platte was the only county that recorded an annual population decline in 2009. Other small and rural counties without much mining exploration also experienced slower increases in population. It was the first time in this decade that Campbell took over Sublette as the county with the fastest annual population growth in the State.
The population estimate is measured at a point in time, not the average of the calendar year. The 2009 estimate refers to the population figure as of July 1, 2009. The change in population between 2008 and 2009 indicates the population change between July 1, 2008 and July 1, 2009. "I suspect that most of the migrants moved into Wyoming in 2008. There was no sign of economic recession back then in the State, and the economy was still adding jobs and the unemployment rate was just over 3.0%. People tend to move to areas where economies are viable. Wyoming was one of only a few bright spots in the nation in terms of job markets in 2008. It was definitely attractive to many devastated employment seekers from other areas of the country, such as Michigan, California, Nevada, and Florida." Liu commented.
According to Liu, "With the rapid loss of jobs and a jump in the unemployment rate since the end of 2008, the State has been facing the worst economic recession since the late 1980s, therefore the in-migration has probably been slower since then. However, unless the national economy recovers much faster than the State’s, Wyoming’s residents should still be somewhat discouraged from leaving."
"These are the last population estimates for counties before the release of 2010 Census counts in March 2011," Liu said.
"The 2010 census count operation is currently underway. Every household is encouraged to fill out and return their census form to help ensure the most complete and accurate census." Census numbers govern the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal funds each year and serve as the baseline for future post-census annual population estimates. "In addition, much of the state funds are distributed to local governments based on the decennial census counts," Liu commented.
The complete figures are available online, http://eadiv.state.wy.us/ or U.S. Census Bureau’s website, http://www.census.gov/