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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 30 of the state's most populous cities (over 2,200 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 Evansville.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Wyoming reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Wyoming For 2020
What the heck is going on in little Evansville? The crime is the 7th highest in the state of Wyoming. Here, residents have a 1 in 51.6 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 2.8% of Evansville residents were without jobs in the latest numbers we collected, which is the 23rd highest in the state.
Add it all up, and this is truly the worst place you could live in Wyoming.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $105,000 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (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 $105,000, 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, 14.1% of the population here lives below the poverty line.
Plus, the crime rate is the 10th highest in the state here. Every year, when you're within Mills city limits, you have a 1 in 43.2 chance of being robbed. That's a lot of broken into cars and homes.
Riverton ranks as the 3rd worst place to live in Wyoming for 2020.
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 3rd highest in Wyoming here. Residents have a 1 in 33.3 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 5.8%, which is the 12th highest in the state, and families earn just under $51,033 a year, which is the 7th highest in Wyoming. 13.3% of the people here live below the poverty line.
Welcome to Buffalo, which might be one of the poorest areas in Wyoming. Residents average $50,242 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 15.6% of Buffalo residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $238,200 and the unemployment rate hovers near 5.9%.
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.
The unemployment rate in Glenrock is a sky high 11.1%, which is the 2nd highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Glenrock is $56,932. That means 9.4% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn't horrible here, but you have a 1 in 154.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within city limits every year.
What the heck is going on in little Lovell? The crime is the 27th highest in the state of Wyoming. Here, residents have a 1 in 186.4 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 10.4% of Lovell residents were without jobs in the latest numbers we collected, which is the 4th highest in the state.
Torrington is a really small, densely populated place in Wyoming.
The unemployment rate here is sky high at 10.5%, and income levels are the 3rd lowest in Wyoming. Homes sell for an average of $142,200.
If you're trying to have some sort of professional career in Wyoming, this is one of the last places you would want to live.
Evanston, WY needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 7.0%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 14th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 56.4 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
When you're looking at science and data, the city of Afton is the 10th worst place you can live in the state of Wyoming. Let's see why.
You may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 26th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.
Residents in Afton had a 1 in 79.8 chance of being robbed in 2019. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Afton, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.
Afton's other issues are a very high unemployment rate (12.4%) and income levels of its residents ($52,500).
How we determined the worst places to live in Wyoming for 2020
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 30 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 30 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 -- Evansville. 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, Evansville ranks as the worst city to live in Wyoming for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Wyoming:
- Sheridan (Pop. 17,825)
- Laramie (Pop. 32,178)
- Kemmerer (Pop. 2,730)
For more Wyoming reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Wyoming
- Richest Cities In Wyoming
- Safest Places In Wyoming
- Best Cities For Singles In Wyoming
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Wyoming?