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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.
You can sure expect that Buffalo is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 4th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Buffalo has the 18th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 10 violent crimes here in 2020, and residents have a 1 in 70.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Buffalo, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits -- the unemployment rate sits at 5.9% which is the 9th worst in Wyoming.
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.
We're seeing a pattern here. A small, isolated city with a bad economy. Glenrock is located in Converse County.
Here, the schools are way underfunded, when you compare them to the rest of Wyoming. Families can barely make ends meet, and the unemployment rate (11.1%) is the 2nd highest in the state. A home here sells for $185,500, on average. That signals it's not a desirable place to live.
Plus, crime is in the top 10%.
When you're looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Lovell is the 7th worst place in the state of Wyoming.
The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. Lovell is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in Lovell are the 3rd lowest in the entire state.
And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can't get much worse in Wyoming.
Sure, it's in a beautiful area, and there's lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you're measuring desirability, it's the 8th worst in Wyoming.
Torrington residents had a 1 in 92.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Torrington is through the roof, as more than 10.5% of the population can't get a job. At least their mortgages aren't too high; at $142,200, Torrington has the 5th-lowest home prices in the state of Wyoming.
Evanston, where there's absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the 9th worst city in Wyoming.
Besides the lack of pure amenities, Evanston has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 7.0%, and families earn around $54,769 a year. It's also the 14th highest in Wyoming for crime, where 1 in 56.4 people gets robbed every year.
Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?
If you live in Afton, you're either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn't matter, because science says it's the 10th worst place to live in the state.
You've got the 26th highest crime rate in Wyoming, which saw 0 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 79.8 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 0 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Afton.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. Afton sports the state's highest unemployment rate (12.4%), and families bring in a combined $52,500 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $216,600.
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:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Wyoming?