Wyoming comes from the Dakota word "mscheweamiing" meaning "at the big flats" or "large plains." Wide-open grasslands, scenic rivers, and spectacular mountains dominate the Wyoming landscape from the Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Park, from the Shoshone National Forest to the eastern Great Plains. Wyoming covers 97,100 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 576,412 people – 403,308 living in rural Wyoming (USDA-ERS). Cheyenne, the capital, is located in the south-eastern region of the state. It is the state’s largest city followed by Casper and Laramie. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93.1% of the state’s population is white, 2.6% is American Indian & Alaska Native, and 9.5% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 24 hospitals in Wyoming (Kaiser, 2011), 24 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 16 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 18 Rural Health Clinics in Wyoming (Kaiser, 2012), and 5 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 14 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most Wyomingites have some form of health insurance coverage, although 18.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Wyomingites in 2012 was $50,567, although rural per-capita income lagged slightly at $49,166. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 12.0% exists in rural Wyoming, compared to a 11.6% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 8.1% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 7.6% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Wyoming is at 5.3%, and in urban Wyoming it is at 5.5% (USDA-ERS, 2012).For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Wyoming with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Wyoming in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 12/5/2013