Most Wyoming Counties Saw Population Declines in 2016
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — U.S. Census Bureau estimates show that most of Wyoming's counties saw more residents move out than move in between July 2015 and July 2016.
State economists attribute the decrease to the downturn in Wyoming's mineral extraction industry, which resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs.
Natrona County lost 1,600 residents, while Campbell and Sweetwater each lost nearly 1,000. All three counties have major oil, gas and coal operations.
Statewide, Wyoming's population contracted 0.2 percent from July 2015 to July 2016.
Moderate population growth in counties such as Albany, Crook, and Teton were mostly attributed to natural increases instead of migration. On the other hand, many rural counties with low populations but a high proportion of older residents saw declines because of deaths.