Casper has lost about 1% of its population in a year, while the state as a whole has grown | Regional News

Casper lost about 1% of its population between July 2020 and 2021, one of the largest losses in the state, according to new data from the US Census Bureau.

Gillette experienced the largest population decline in Wyoming during this time, losing 1.7% of its approximately 33,000 residents.

The state as a whole grew by 1,536 people during this period, an increase of 0.3%. This exceeded the national average growth of 0.1% from July 2020 to 2021.

That year, 1,368 more people moved to Wyoming than left, according to a report by state economist Dr. Wenlin Liu.

Two-thirds of Wyoming municipalities with populations over 2,000 added residents during this time.

Natrona County saw its total population decrease by 0.8% during this period. Evansville and Bar Nunn lost 0.4% and 0.5% of their residents, respectively, while Mills reported the county’s only population gain at 0.4%.

Just under half of Wyoming residents live in cities of 10,000 or more people. The state has just 11, with Cheyenne as its largest metropolis and Cody as its smallest with about 10,200 as of July 2021.

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“The COVID-19 virus has hit power generation and distribution areas particularly hard as energy demand plummeted and the industry’s rebound was painfully slow in early 2021,” Liu said in a statement. press release released Thursday.

A New York Times report from last year found that Gillette, a hub for coal and oil workers, was one of 10 metropolitan areas in the United States whose population decline was the more accelerated in the first year of the pandemic. While the county seat of Campbell lost 1.7% of its population, the county also saw a loss of 1.5%.

Other counties that rely heavily on the energy industry also saw declines – Sweetwater County with a 1.3% drop, Weston with 0.9%, Natrona with 0.8% and Converse with 0.4%. Sublette and Hot Springs counties also saw declines.

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“People have chosen to move to less populated and lower cost areas during the pandemic as work-from-home policies have made it possible to live and work anywhere,” Liu said in a statement Thursday.

Laramie saw the largest overall influx of residents, with 346 more people in 2021 than in 2020 (a 1.1% increase). But on a per capita basis, Afton and Buffalo grew the fastest with increases of 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively.

Lovell grew by 2%, and Lyman and Sheridan each saw their populations increase by 1.5%.