Wyoming’s resident population declined for the first time in nearly 30 years last year, according to Census Bureau estimates released yesterday. This drop marks the first time that the state’s overall population has fallen since 1990.
In July 2016, 585,501 people resided in Wyoming, 1,054 fewer than in 2015
The population drop is likely the result of people leaving the state to find work elsewhere. Falling oil prices beginning in 2014, and the sharp decline of coal production in 2016, resulted in the Cowboy State losing between 8,000 and 9,000 mineral extraction jobs.
In all, Wyoming has lost 16,000 jobs, more than 5 percent of its workforce.
Goshen County suffered the state’s steepest population decline of 1.5 percent followed by a decline of 1.4 percent in Hot Springs, Natrona, and Platte counties, individually.
Some areas of Wyoming, however, increased in population, including Laramie, Lincoln, and Park counties, all individually experienced population growth of at least 1 percent.