State stats

Wyomingites use renewable energy sources for 11.8% of their needs, according to a state report. Pictured here is Jackson’s South Park solar farm, which uses virtual net metering, allowing users to buy shares of energy produced.

Attention Wyomingites, all 577,737 of you as of the end of 2018:

Your state dinosaur is the triceratops and your state butterfly is the Sheridan’s green hairstreak. There are six of you for each of your state’s 97,813 square miles, making Wyoming the second-emptiest state in the Union. Your median age is 38. Sixty-six percent of your days are sunny, and 99.8% of you live in areas classified as “rural.”

In 2018 each of you burned an average of 643 gallons of gas on which you paid a tax of 24 cents a gallon; each of you raised 946,000 tons of sugar beets. The state government and your county and town governments spent an average of during the year of $17,231 on every last one of you.

Your fair state includes the country’s first national park, first national monument and first national forest: Yellowstone, Devils Tower and the Shoshone.

Per capita, you produced more coal and more trona than the people of any other state. You used renewable energy sources for 11.8% of your needs, putting you right in the middle of the states.

And there’s more. Lots.

Every year the people at the Economic Analysis Division of the Department of Administration and Information wander through more than 50 sources of statistics and compile their “Just The Facts” summary of all the numbers that quantify the people, geography, weather, health and education of the people who live here. The summary, four pages on an 8-by-11 sheet of paper, is a useful look at the state and also the foundations of a great game of Wyoming trivia.

There’s also information on government, agriculture, transportation, mining and energy, the environment and finances.

You probably knew that the highest point in the state is Gannett Peak, 13,804 feet above sea level, earning us fifth-place honors for highest point in any state. You probably didn’t know that the lowest point above sea level in Wyoming is along the Belle Fourche River. At 3,099 feet altitude it places us the second highest among lowest places in the country.

Oh, and you’re mostly dry: The 720 square miles of the state covered by water put us 37th in the United States.

And 47.5% of the whole state is property of one federal agency or another. And the average faculty salary at the state’s 10 institutions of higher learning is $73,868, and at the University of Wyoming the four-year graduation rate is 31%.

People of Wyoming — including the 46,927 veterans and 2,734 members of the National Guard — can find the numbers by going to

Contact Mark Huffman at 732-5907 or

Mark Huffman edits copy and occasionally writes some, too. He's been a journalist since newspapers had typewriters and darkrooms.

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