Wyoming is one of the north-western states that can boast the 10th largest area and being the 2nd least populated state. Moving to Wyoming is not that popular among the US residents, but still, there are people who manage to appreciate all the benefits of living in this state. The reason for that is a big number of positive sides that outnumber any possible drawbacks of being a resident there.
According to 2019 data, Wyoming has 578,759 residents. The state also has the second lowest population density. About 51% of the population live in the 13 largest municipalities.
The weather, climate, low cost of living, housing cost, and seven national parks, including Yellowstone, ensured that the population was growing for many years. Relocation to Wyoming was common. It became one of the best places to live. But in the last 3 years, there has been a 1% decrease in population each year. Living in Wyoming doesn’t seem to be so promising anymore. However, the latest data indicate that this is changing. Many people are moving in from California and other parts of the US because of the availability of many gas and fuel jobs. The unemployment rate is also low. By 2025, the state’s population is expected to reach 700 thousand.
In fact, many local residents are older than 65 and it may influence the demographics, as the number of deaths is very high here. At the same time, almost every city and town with the population over 5,000 people have experienced growth in population, somewhere by more than 10%. It means that moving to Wyoming becomes a very popular decision, especially if to consider all the benefits it offers.
Should you move to Wyoming?
If you still doubt if one of the most western American states can be a perfect place for living, there are several unquestioned reasons to move to Wyoming.
1. Cost of living
It goes without saying that Wyoming is an affordable place to live, as its cost of living index is only 5% higher than the national average one. However, Wyoming is ranked 15th among the US states for the median family income.
It is natural that in the state with a short growing season groceries and other products will be a bit more expensive than in sunny states. However, the biggest influence on the increase of this index was made by healthcare - it is 33% more expensive in Wyoming than around the US although features an excellent quality. Both utilities and transportation are even more affordable than in other American states. In general, there are counties that are more affordable and Teton and Laramie Counties are the most expensive ones.
2. Home prices
The median home price in Wyoming is $229,200. In California it is more than $700,000. The rent price and the cost of buying property are both considerably lower than CA. Of course, home prices may differ depending on the city where you want to live, but the difference is not very big – about 10%. You will need to pay about $780-$990 for a 1-bedroom house monthly and $1310-$1660 for a 3-bedroom flat. Moving to Wyoming will thus save you money.
3. Low taxes
Wyoming is one of 9 US states that refused from taxing individual income. There are no both personal and corporate income taxes, moreover, retirement income is also untaxed. At the same time, there is a sales tax in the state that is equal to 4%. However, counties may add 1% extra to the state levy.
Moving to Wyoming you should be also ready to pay a property tax that depends on its assessed value. The tax rate is 11.5% for industrial property and 9.5% for residential, commercial and other types of property.
Both inheritance and estate taxes are absent, while local fuel taxes are not that high, so gasoline is rather reasonably-priced here.
4. Employment opportunities
There are many jobs in Wyoming for petroleum engineers, heavy equipment mechanics, health educators, medical transcriptionists, and dragline operators. The state’s jobless rate for August 2020 is 6.6%, which is lower than the national average of 8.4%. Read tips to further improve the chance to get a high-paying job in the state.
5. Beautiful nature
Wyoming is one of few American states that can boast unspoiled nature. Thanks to a small number of population and density, there are many wide open spaces that offer breathtaking views of mountains, plains, valleys etc. Pristine rivers and streams are filled with pure crystal water, while the air is so fresh that you feel it with the first breath. It is a state that can offer its residents unforgettable sunsets and sunrises that are clearly visible from any place. Thanks to zero pollution, another benefit is romantic stargazing.
6. Unique cowboy and rodeo culture
Moving to WY you should be prepared to live in the Cowboy State. It is filled with the spirit of the Old West as the biggest part of the state (91%) is rural and ranching is incredibly popular here. You will probably see many people in jeans, boots, and cowboy hats as nobody follows fashion trends here. Even activities and entertainment are connected with wild west too.
Low population density and wonderful nature create excellent opportunities for different recreational activities. Mountains are perfect for hiking, skiing, sledding, camping, fishing. You can take up climbing, cycling, or kayaking here as well.
There are several world-wide renowned natural sights located in Wyoming. The first one is, of course, Yellowstone National Park, one of the most visited parks in the world that attracted over 40 million tourists in 2017. Another popular natural monument is Devil’s Tower, a laccolithic butte made of igneous rock and being 867 feet in height. You also cannot miss Jackson Hole, a beautiful valley with luxurious ski resorts, as well as many other destinations worth your attention.
8. Tasty food
Moving to Wyoming it is important to listen to the advice to taste the local cuisine. It is a heaven for meat lovers as local residents consume it very often and can be called carnivores. In addition to traditional fish and chicken, you will be able to taste bison and elk. Without a good fried steak, it is impossible to feel full here. However, they eat burgers, trout, jerky too and the house specialty is Rocky Mountain Oysters. If you thought that it is a sea gift, remember that you are going to eat fried bull testicles instead.
9. No traffic
It is natural that little population with a low density has fewer vehicles to move along the roads. Cars are used not that often, so you can easily see long stretches of open road without a single driver. It means that driving is safe here, but our advice is to choose more powerful cars with bigger wheels that will not get stuck in the first snow.
10. Low crime rate
Whether it is a small number of the population again or the fact that almost everyone knows each other in this state, but the crime rate is rather low here. The number of violent crimes is almost twice lower than the national median index, while property crimes constitute 18.3 per 1000 residents that is lower than on average around the US (24).
11. Friendly people
Wyoming reminds one small town where almost everyone knows you and you got used to seeing the same faces on a daily basis. Knowing each other, people always stop to discuss news or find out anything new from others. They are friendly and sociable as well as hard-working. Nobody feels ashamed here because of a necessity to work at non-prestigious jobs. Moreover, local residents will never leave a person in trouble and would stop if they see that your car broke down, so there is no need to fear moving to WY.
Reasons not to move to Wyoming
Naturally, Wyoming is not a paradise, so this state has a number of negative sides that might prevent people from relocation to it. That is the reason to avoid seeking advice and analyze all the things to know before moving to Wyoming to make your final decision right.
The state has a rather diverse flora and fauna that is rarely touched by people. It is not surprising to see wild animals crossing the highway or approaching ranches located in rural areas. Many of them including some insects are dangerous for people’s health and life. It is enough to remember that the state mammal of Wyoming is bison, a huge animal that weighs over 2,000 pounds and can easily blow off a human to make it angry.
Being one of the most western states, local geography makes a huge impact on the local climate. Despite the fact that strong oceanic winds are blocked by mountains most often, it does not make the state very warm. Of course, you can clearly feel four seasons here with the average summer temperature of 85-95° F that falls down greatly with the bigger elevation. There is a rather short growing season that starts at the end of spring and lasts by the beginning of fall only. At the same time, local people often suffer from extreme temperatures and sometimes unbearable cold in winter. Together with heavy snowstorms, the local population has to withstand other weather surprises like thunderstorms and tornadoes as well.
3. Bad fatality statistics
Business Insider created a list of the "Most Dangerous U.S. States to Work in 2018" and Wyoming has topped it. The reason for that is the biggest number of workplace fatalities in the country as well as the biggest number of deaths caused by cattle or moose. It may be the result of numerous jobs in the dangerous extractive industries as well as agriculture.
4. Located far away from any US point
Despite several big airports, local population always complains that they need hours or even days to get anywhere. Naturally, some people have to drive for hours to get to the closest city from their rural area and do the minimum shopping. The same is with other states: Wyoming is located in the west, so it will take much time to get to the eastern or southern states even by plane as well as vice versa, cope with moving to WY.
5. Only small scarcely populated cities
It sounds unbelievable but the largest city in Wyoming, Cheyenne, has only 65 thousand people of the total population. In other states, destinations with such a small number of people are even not called cities, these are usually towns or settlements. In general, moving to Wyoming, it is better to choose among six biggest cities, as all the other towns have 15-thousand or less population.
6. Challenges with healthcare delivery
Since many people live in rural areas of Wyoming there are problems with the delivery of medical services. The state has only 65 primary care physicians per 100 thousand people and it is one of the lowest indexes in the country. Moreover, the lack of doctors and care lead to a bigger number of deaths, especially because of alcohol and drugs. The state featured a 14% increase among drinking people and 67% increase in deaths because of drug addiction.
How to move to Cowboy State
When you have come to the conclusion why move to Wyoming is the only right decision, it is time to decide how to get to your new place of living. Of course, Wyoming is located rather far away from other American states, so it will take long hours or even days to be able to drive or go by train there from southern or eastern states. It is also possible to board a plane and deliver all your belongings in such a way, but it will cost a fortune too.
The most comfortable way to deliver all your valuables to Wyoming is to order the services of a moving company. California Movers has been providing different relocation services for several years already and helped hundreds of American families to start a happy life in the new cities and towns. Take care of your belongings and entrust our careful and strong movers with the task they are best at so that your moving could be smooth, organized, and scheduled.
Where to live
If you want to move to Wyoming, the first thing you should decide whether you want to live in the urban or rural area. Not everyone is ready to settle in the middle of nowhere, so we will shed you some light on the best destinations to live in the state.
The capital of the whole state is the largest and most populated city in Wyoming. The biggest number of people are employed in the government sector in this city, however, such fields as a military force, railroads, retail, energy production etc. are also highly developed there. It is a beautiful green city with parks, a botanical garden, an activity center and many other places for recreation and indoor activities.
Named after the valley it is located in, Jackson features a strong economy that is based on tourism, recreation, food service, arts, construction, retail, healthcare, and education. The city is very picturesque and appreciates its historic heritage as well as features several great resorts.
Being the second largest city, Casper has a nickname “The Oil City” due to the developed oil field located there. The city is focused much on the Cowboy culture and was ranked 8th by Forbes among “the best small cities to raise a family”. There are several museums and a great ski area, while the main industries developed here are banking, commerce, energy industry.
One more scenic city Laramie is also located in the valley on the bank of the river with the same name. It is home to the University of Wyoming, several museums, concert hall, libraries as well as a nice place to take up many outdoor activities. It is one of the best cities for retirement according to Money Magazine.
Moving to Wyoming small city Cody would be appreciated by those, who would like to live not far from Yellowstone National Park. The population of the city is only 10,000 people, but the Cowboy spirit is everywhere here. It is the “Rodeo Capital of the World” that has a good economy thanks to the well-developed tourism industry, while other important industries are furniture production and extractions.
Relocation to Wyoming can be connected with some challenges, so you need to be prepared for any unpredictable situations to happen on your way. Here is the list of resources that might help you to cope with any challenges of moving to WY.
- Relocation advices - http://www.wyo.gov/relocation.
- Places to visit - https://www.travelwyoming.com.
- University of Wyoming - http://www.uwyo.edu.
- Utilities - https://www.wyomingmi.gov/About-Wyoming/City-Departments/Treasurer/Utilities.
- Jobs - https://www.indeed.com/m/jobs?l=Wyoming.