The official child poverty rate in Wyoming—and around the country—may be too high. That’s according to a report released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report says the measure created 50 years ago fails to account for the impacts of social programs and tax policy on poverty. It says a newer index—the Supplemental Poverty Measure—better measures the success of anti-poverty programs.


1 in 4 Native Americans lives under the poverty level--it’s the worst poverty rates in the U.S. of any racial group. But one group is improving its economic outlook on the reservation: Native women. They’re taking managerial jobs and pursuing higher education more than ever before and are often the primary family breadwinners. In fact, at the Wind River Casino--the largest employer in Fremont County--the female workforce is now almost 60 percent.

When Delinda Burning Breast started with the Wind River Casino ten years ago, it wasn’t even a casino--it was just a bingo hall.

401(K) 2012

Wyoming’s poverty rate fell in 2013. That’s according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The national poverty rate remained around 16%, while Wyoming’s rate fell from 12.5% to about 11%.

Wyoming’s median income also climbed by over 5% during that period. State economist Wenlin Liu says that dramatic rise is due to a recovery in natural resource prices, which had fallen in 2012.

Tony Alter / Creative Commons

A new report shows that Wyoming’s obesity rate dropped slightly in the last year.

For years, Eastern Wyoming has struggled with poverty and it appears things have not changed. 

 The Center for Rural Affairs says that 2010 census numbers confirm that poverty in Eastern Wyoming is at a rate that is actually higher than many urban areas, especially for children.  Report Author Jon Bailey says that part of the problem is that federal subsidies for large farms is harmful to rural development. 

A new report from the Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance says between 2005 and 2010, the number of children living in poverty jumped from 11 percent to 14 percent. Marc Homer is with the Children’s Action Alliance. He says the biggest spike came in 2009 and 10 when the nations recession began to catch up to the state, and childhood poverty jumped from 13 percent to 19 percent.

“Certainly I think it’s the recession that’s hit the United States and its impacted Wyoming,” says Homer. “So we’re seeing a slowing of the economy and this trickles down to families in our communities.”