By Ernie Over


I was browsing on the Internet a little bit ago and learned that Wyoming’s population, even though it grew by 0.3% over the past decade, is still the least populated state in the U.S. Yep, we’re number 50 and proud of it.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Decennial count pegged Wyoming’s population at 576,851. With the state’s land area at 97,088.8 square miles, that means there are now 5.9 folks per square mile here. Of course, a lot of our square miles have no one living there, except wildlife. And this year has been a tough one for the critters we like to spot from the highway. Mortality this year in our wildlife population is going to be very high.

While the state grew by 0.3 percent, Fremont County only grew by 0.1 percent. Almost stable.

According to the 2021 American Community Survey, Riverton is the state’s 10th most populated municipality, and the largest in the county, with 10,619 souls. Lander comes in 13th in the state at 7,551. The Arapahoe community is 42nd on the list with 1,665 folks while Fort Washakie is right behind with 1,647 and Ethete is pegged at 1,561. Dubois is tied with Cowley for the 73rd spot, both with 688 people while Shoshoni comes in with 664. Hudson is listed with 411 residents, while the Boulder Flats Community outside Lander has 363 people. Pavillion comes in at 109th on the list at 254 residents. The Johnstown Valley was pegged at 218 residents while Crowheart had 138 folks. Jeffrey City came in in the 182nd spot with 24 residents.

Cheyenne remains the most populated city in the state with 64,610 folks while Casper was the runner-up with 58,547. The least populated town? It’s Lost Springs with two residents. Arvada is next to last with five people.

If you are interested in the entire list, you may view it at

I was thinking about population recently when my thoughts began to turn to fishing this spring and summer. We are particular folks here in Wyoming. If we’re out on a stream, or lakeshore, it bothers us if there is some other fisherman within a quarter mile or so. Or at least it bothers me. Fishing is to be done in solitude. The exception is when you have a fishing buddy with you. Then it’s OK to be close. Then there are those times when I don’t care if I catch a fish at all – just being outside streamside or lakeside is enough. So I always bring a book with me, and binoculars just in case the fish aren’t biting.

Have a good week.

Ernie Over is an employee owner and a staff member of The Ranger, Lander Journal and Wind River NewsHe’s also the news director of the five-station WyoTodayMedia Radio Network in Fremont and Hot Springs counties, and the editor of the award winning Internet local news site.