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The U.S. Census Bureau has announced it's ending the 2020 count a month early, a move that's likely to have a big impact on Indigenous communities in the West.


The U.S. Census is underway, and many communities of color across the nation are vulnerable to being undercounted this year.

According to a new analysis from Headwaters Economics, more than 700,000 people of color are at risk of being undercounted in the Mountain West alone.

U.S. Census Bureau

Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution mandates the government count the people living in this country. That count helps to shape aspects of our lives at the national, state and local levels, including local funding for our communities. So far, Wyoming's self-response rate is 55 percent. But Wyoming Economic Analysis Division principal economist Amy Bittner said that isn't a reason to worry right now. Bittner spoke to Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler about how Wyoming's response rate is stacking up against the rest of the country.

The U.S. Census Bureau had just begun field operations when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now, as the agency is preparing to restart, it’s focusing on rural and tribal communities.

U.S. Census Bureau

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes have both mounted outreach efforts to ensure their members have the tools to complete the 2020 census. But the COVID-19 pandemic could get in the way of a complete count on the Wind River Reservation.

U.S. Census Bureau

You probably got a letter in the mail recently from the U.S. Census Bureau asking you to fill out its survey. And maybe you're thinking, I don't have time for this! I just lost my job and I don't know how I'm going to pay my mortgage in the next couple of months! My kids are home and they're driving me crazy!

As outreach efforts ramp up ahead of the next U.S. census, many people are confused about what the census means or how they can participate, according to a new report.


The 2020 census count is coming, and it will determine where funding goes for things like schools, emergency services and health care. For the last several census counts, though, American Indians and Alaska Natives were the most undercounted ethnic group, limiting their access to funds.


The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday over whether the Census may include a question about citizenship.

The battle over a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 census may have profound economic implications for the Mountain West.

The U.S. Census Bureau says Wyoming’s minority population has increased since 2010, but Wyoming is still among the whitest states in the country ranking 41st in minority population. 

Economist Wenlin Liu says Wyoming’s total population increased 3.6 percent, but it was driven by a growth in the number of Hispanics and other minorities coming to the state in an effort to find jobs.

“From 2010 to 2014 the minority population increased 17 percent compared to the white population that only increased 1.4 percent.”

For the first time, Wyoming now has two cities with a population of 60-thousand or more as Casper has gone over the 60-thousand mark. Economist Wenlin Liu says Natrona County is the fastest growing county in the state.

“It grew over eight percent from 2010 to 2014. It was mainly driven by oil exploration in the Powder River Basin. You know Casper has a service center for lots of these training activities, so that’s why they attracted so many workers.”

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."

Recent US Census numbers show that Wyoming’s energy industry has helped increase population.  But the same report shows that Laramie County’s economic diversity is creating sustainable growth.

Wyoming’s population from July 2011 to July 2012 grew by 1.6%.  While much of that growth is energy-related, Laramie County saw an increase of nearly 2,000 residents. 

Senior economist of the Wyoming Division of Economic Analysis, Wenlin Liu says while the energy based counties could see a drop in population, he predicts that Laramie County’s growth will remain.  

Wyoming census numbers have leveled off

Apr 16, 2012

    Wyoming’s census numbers have leveled off.   After seeing a net annual migration that was near 10-thousand people a year from 2006 to 2009, Wyoming saw about 45-hundred new people move into the state last year. 

Economist Wenlin Liu  of the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division says economic improvement elsewhere has reduced the number of people coming to Wyoming looking for work.

“The main reason is that the rest of the nation had an economic recovery.  We had a lot less immigrants moving into the state from California and Michigan."

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that people in Wyoming reporting to be American Indian in combination with one or more races grew 24%.

In 2010 over 13-thousand people in Wyoming reported American Indian as their only race. However, those who chose multiple races - American Indian in combination with something else – was nearly 19-thousand. That’s up from 15-thousand a decade ago.