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So, we get it about Wyoming, You are a bunch of outdoor-loving, tough-minded, hard-working folks. So when we say a place in Wyoming is `one of the worst', and we cite data and statistics that indicate places with cheap homes and `no indoor entertainment,' are a bad thing, we're using what people have said they desire as a basis for a ranking.
Is it all rosy in the Cowboy State? Of course not. Just like every other state, Wyoming has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Wyoming your home.
After analyzing 29 of the state's most populous cities (over 2,100 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Wyoming:
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.
We understand there's a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Wyoming? That would be Riverton.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.
For more Wyoming reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Wyoming For 2021
Riverton ranks as the worst place to live in Wyoming for 2021.
While some people have come to the defense of Riverton as being 'not as bad' as it is portrayed in the media, the fact remains that this city deserves to be high on this list when you look at the data.
Crime is the highest in Wyoming here. Residents have a 1 in 25.6 chance of being robbed every year within city limits. For Wyoming, that's really high. And if you read forums and chatter about Riverton, people have said the entire Wind River Indian Reservation area, which Riverton lies inside of, has a notorious drug and crime history.
The unemployment rate is 5.1%, which is the 12th highest in the state, and families earn just under $52,463 a year, which is the 6th highest in Wyoming. 12.7% of the people here live below the poverty line.
Evanston is the 2nd worst city in Wyoming for 2021. When you're comparing other cities to Evanston, things just don't look great, at least according to science.
Evanston is the 12th most dangerous place in Wyoming, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job -- at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 7.5%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($169,400), and residents earn just $58,566 a year.
What the heck is going on in little Evansville? The crime is the 6th highest in the state of Wyoming. Here, residents have a 1 in 40.6 chance of being robbed. That means if you live here, and didn't have something stolen from you, there's a good chance your neighbor did.
That ratio is one of the highest we've seen in the nation. Perhaps the high unemployment rate has something to do with it. More than 1.2% of Evansville residents were without jobs in the latest numbers we collected, which is the 28th highest in the state.
Add it all up, and this is truly the worst place you could live in Wyoming.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $112,100 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (5th worst)
More on Mills: Data
While numbers in Wyoming are clearly better when you compare them to the rest of the nation, the fact is when you compare Wyoming cities against one another, you see big differences. Take the schools, for instance.
Just outside of Casper, Mills schools are just about as low as you can get when it comes to student funding and teacher-student ratios. Home values here average $112,100, which is the lowest in the state. Say what you want about 'cheap living,' the fact is homes are priced by demand, and there's not a lot of demand to live in Mills.
Plus, 10.7% of the population here lives below the poverty line.
Plus, the crime rate is the 11th highest in the state here. Every year, when you're within Mills city limits, you have a 1 in 55.2 chance of being robbed. That's a lot of broken into cars and homes.
When you're within Powell city limits, you have a 1 in 40 chance of being the victim of a property crime. And, Powell residents earn some of the lowest salaries in Wyoming ($43,703 combined family income). 20% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Powell is out in the middle of nowhere in the northern part of the state.
Newcastle is one of the poorest cities in the state of Wyoming. This city has 5.5% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $59,535 a year.
Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. Newcastle has the 15th highest crime rate in Wyoming. While the numbers aren't staggering (Wyoming is a relatively safe place when you compare it to the rest of the country), it's still undesirable when you consider that there are far safer (and more stimulating) places to make your home in the Equality State.
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Wyoming, Afton ranks 7th worst. Let's see why.
Here in Afton, crime is the 27th highest in the state, and 1 out of 171.5 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.
That's not the first place you think of making home, is it?
Additionally, you have a 1 in 0 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That's really high.
When you look at adult education in Wyoming, the folks in Afton have the 14th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Afton undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.
The unemployment rate is the highest in Wyoming, at 12.4%. That's actually on par with the national average, which means Wyoming has some hard workers.
If you're looking to live in Wyoming, Glenrock might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2021.
The unemployment rate here is 11.7%, and households bring in a combined $61,167 a year in income. That's not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of Wyoming.
Crime is the 25th highest in the state in Glenrock as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.
Wheatland places 9th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Wyoming. Here, 8.0% of the adult population lack's even a high school degree. That makes Wheatland have the 12th highest adult drop out rate in Wyoming.
Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $170,800 each -- the 10th lowest in Wyoming.
As you can imagine, there's not a lot of demand to live here.
When you're looking at science and data, Buffalo is the 10th worst place you can live in the state of Wyoming. Let's see why.
First off, the crime here is really high, in comparison to the rest of Wyoming. Buffalo is the 20th most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 88.0 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.
Homes here average $234,100, which is the 26th lowest in the state. You can defend 'cheap living' all you want, but the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's not a lot of demand to live in Buffalo.
Income levels are just about $58,679, the 13th lowest in Wyoming.
When you add it all up, Buffalo really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.
How we determined the worst places to live in Wyoming for 2021
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 2,000 people were considered -- leaving 29 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 29 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".
Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Wyoming -- Riverton. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Wyoming. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Wyoming
If you're looking at areas in Wyoming with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Riverton ranks as the worst city to live in Wyoming for 2021.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Wyoming:
- Laramie (Pop. 32,381)
- Cody (Pop. 9,764)
- Kemmerer (Pop. 2,747)
For more Wyoming reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Wyoming?