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Sublette County is growing the fastest in Wyoming

Pine trees and snow in the foreground, with Pinedale and Fremont Lake in the background.
Caitlin Tan
Wyoming Public Media
Overlooking the town of Pinedale and Fremont Lake.

A new report shows that Sublette County is the fastest growing county in the state.

Sublette County’s population grew by 2.5 percent last year, adding about 200 people to its relatively small population. That’s according to a new report from the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division, which looks at growth across the state’s 23 counties in 2023. The reports author, Wenlin Liu, said COVID and the proximity to the mountains likely played a role.

“Some of these young professionals may be able to work for Wall Street, but they still can live in Wyoming,” he said. “So there are more people like that – tele-working after COVID.”

Crook County also saw notable growth, at 2.3 percent.

“It's close to South Dakota, close to the Black Hills,” said Liu.

Notably, Crook County is in the Powder River Basin, which is home to some of the largest coal fields in the nation. Additionally, other energy projects are ongoing in the area, including oil fields and testing carbon capture technology.

The report shows that Carbon County saw the largest decrease in population, with about 200 fewer people. Liu said he thinks that’s because of its sheer remoteness and long distance from recreation in the mountains.

“It's so far away from bigger cities. Like, Rock Springs and Laramie [are] so far away,” Liu said. “I mean, not like Fremont County or Lander, [which are] at least closer to mountains.”

As a whole, Wyoming’s population grew marginally by about 2,500 or 0.4 percent, slightly lower than the national average of 0.5 percent growth.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.

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