Wyoming Population Boom

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Wyoming Population Boom

The population of a state is a seemingly simple number but one that has many complex and interesting implications. It can affect the economic, social and environmental success either short term or long term. In July 2006, Wyoming’s total resident population reached a record level of 515,004. This number may seem small when looking at the population of an entire state in comparison to other states, but for Wyoming, it really is the record number in the history of this state. The population growth shown between 2005 and 2006 was 6,206 persons. This is a 1.6 percent increase in one year! (State of Wyoming- Department of Administration and Information) There are many reasons that contribute to a change in population including the birth rates, death rates and migration.

In order to understand the current population, we must first look at the history of Wyoming’s population. The population of Wyoming increased by more than 50 percent between 1970 and 1983, but then decreased by more than 10 percent from 1983 to 1990. According to the 2000 census, Wyoming’s population went up by 8.9 percent between 1990 and 2000. Those numbers would be 453,588 to 493,782. It is interesting to compare that in ten years from 1990 to 2000 the population increased by 8.9 percent, which is roughly .89 percent increase per year, and an increase of 1.6 percent from 2005 to 2006. If the population keeps expanding at a rate of 1.6, in ten years that will be a total population increase of 16 percent! The 8.9 percent increase from 1990 to 2000 had a major impact on the state’s economic and social structure. Imagine was a 16 percent increase would do to the state of Wyoming! (Population Change in Wyoming)

Now that we have seen the population pattern written out in numbers we can begin to analyze the reasons for the changes. The first important reason would be the relationship between birth rates and death rates. This involves births into a population, and deaths from a population. These two factors come together to show the natural increase is the combined effects of births and deaths. The number of births in Wyoming has gone down throughout the 1990’s, from 6,974 (in 1990) to 6,254 (in 2000.) On the other hand, the death numbers have climbed during that same ten year period. In 1991 the lowest number of deaths was recorded at 3,152 and the highest level was up around 4,038 in 1999.
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