Wyoming has the fourth fastest-growing population in the nation. That’s according to recent U.S. Census estimates from July 2011 to July 2012.
Statewide, Wyoming's numbers are up 1.6% after a couple years of slow growth following the recession. Senior State Economist Wenlin Liu says Wyoming is experiencing two types of growth.
"That 1.6 percent was over 9 thousand people," says Liu, "And that 9 thousand people, about 1/3 or 3,000 people, was from natural change."
Natural change refers to birth rates versus death rates. The other reason Wyoming’s population grew is because more people moved to Wyoming than left.
Liu says growth occurred mainly in the Central, Northeast and Southwest parts of the state.
"That’s mainly because the extraction industry recovered pretty well. That’s why counties like Converse, Natrona, Sublette, Sweetwater and Campbell counties are growing faster."
Liu says rural areas without mineral extraction continued to experience slower growth or decline.