‘Low key’ is the phrase to describe Wyoming. It is a large state in the West with a small population of only 600,000. Even Baltimore has more people than the entire state of Wyoming! But looking beyond the remoteness, the region is blessed with breathtaking scenery, mountainous landscapes, and abundant wildlife. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, hate urban bustle, and always searching for adventure, this is the place to be.
- But is Wyoming still worth moving to in 2021?
- How has the pandemic affected the desirability of the state?
- What does daily life look like in Wyoming?
So many questions, but one thing is for sure: no one else can answer them but you. To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of settling in the Cowboy State.
Wyoming By and Large
Here’s a quick overview of Wyoming’s pros and cons.
Pros of Living in Wyoming
- Affordability: One perk of having a small population is that citizens don’t have to compete for land and property. Wyoming’s expansive territory offers plenty of space for everyone while maintaining affordable prices. To give you an idea, the median home price in Laramie is only $242,800. The average rent in Cheyenne, the state capital, costs only $750 per month. Furthermore, utilities and transportation expenses are close to the national average.
- No state income tax: Wyoming’s affordable living costs are amplified even further by the no income tax policy. This means you’ll have more disposable income to use for buying a car, renovating your home, purchasing toys for the kids, or spending on your hobbies. To make things even better, sales and property taxes are also relatively low when compared to the rest of the country. Overall, Wyoming has the fourth-lowest tax burden of any state, just after Alaska, Delaware, and Tennessee.
- Endless outdoor activities: What Wyoming lacks in urban features it makes up for with awe-inspiring scenery – from white-capped mountains to crystalline lakes to sweeping rivers and wildlife-rich forests. Experience the adventure of a lifetime through hiking, camping, biking, mountain climbing, and fishing as you explore Wyoming’s diverse environment. The state is home to a dozen state parks as well as two of the most popular national parks in the country – Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
- Simple living: Wyoming’s small population and its small-town feels make the perfect recipe for a life of simplicity. Imagine breathing fresh air every day, having access to cheap veggies, buying locally-sourced meat, no hectic schedules, no crowded subways, no – come on! Stop imagining and make it a reality in Wyoming.
- No traffic: Many people who move out of Wyoming say they are traumatized the first time they drive around big cities. Can’t blame them, though, since traffic is virtually non-existent in the state. Like, how can it exist in such a vast territory with a small population? So yes, you’ll have lower stress levels than someone from NYC or LA when it comes to commuting. Just remember that you have no excuse for being late!
- Low COVID cases: Wyoming is fortunate to have managed the virus outbreak well. Although the state has seen about 45,000 total cases, pandemic-related deaths are less than 1,000. As of March 2021, the daily average for new cases is already down to 48.
Cons of Living in Wyoming
- Struggling economy: Despite having a low number of coronavirus cases, Wyoming wasn’t immune to the pandemic’s economic impact. Lockdowns significantly diminished the need for oil production. As a supplier of at least 40% of the country’s fuel, Wyoming was greatly affected when oil prices began plummeting back in April of 2020.This led investors to move out, forcing companies to let go of some of their employees. The unemployment rate increased, and many people left the state. Keep in mind that a battered economy affects everyone, whether you’re rich or poor. Hopefully, the state’s affordability should keep things under control until things get back to normal.
- Isolation: Wyoming takes the phrase ‘small-town feels’ to the next level. Ask anyone who’s recently moved there about what they don’t like about living here and you’ll likely hear the response ‘loneliness’ over and over again. Imagine being in an area twice as large as New York State, yet with a fraction of the population. If you decide to live in the countryside, your closest neighbors could be miles away. While this is a con for some, others may love the remote feel that the state offers.
- Harsh weather: Newcomers are often shocked by the biting cold during their first winter in Wyoming. Plus, you’ll have to worry about flash floods and hails storms. Remember to perform maintenance on your heating system in the fall to ensure it gets you through the blustery winters. On the flip side, the state’s ample snowfall makes it a playground for winter sports. Strap on your skis and hit the slopes at one of many ski areas or take a snowshoe trek through one of the remote wilderness expanses.
- Terrible signal and internet speeds: Honestly, this isn’t a problem if you reside in one of the state’s urban areas. However, technological issues will definitely test your patience if you live in a more rural area. Your phone signal can snuff out when you need it most. Internet is also an issue. Broadbandsearch.com reports that at least 25% of the state’s population doesn’t have internet access. On top of that, the nationwide average speed is 50 Mbps, while the average speed in Wyoming is a turtle’s pace of 25 Mbps.
- Lack of amenities: As you might have noticed already, most of the cons stem from Wyoming’s teeny population. Shopping here is minimal. The same goes with hunting for electronics. In a worst-case scenario, you might have to ship something you want from another state.
Relocating to The Cowboy State
At the end of the day, the decision falls in your hands. No matter where you relocate, moving will always be a stressful event. Knowing this, it’s best to consider hiring professional Wyoming movers who can streamline your transition and ensure success.