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And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has done the research and created the ultimate guide for finding the best places in the Equality State for 2019.
How did we do it? We consulted the latest Census data on cost of living, median income, and safety, for places with 2,000 or more residents. We discovered that Wyoming has every type of city for every type of person. Big Wyoming has hip millennial cities like Laramie, cowboy/cowgirl cities like Casper, and mountain cities like Hoback are great places to find work, raise families, and just plain enjoy life.
And if that doesn't seal the deal, check out our best states to raise a family and safest states in the country stories: Wyoming crushes the competition. So, whether you're a Sheridan University Bruin fan, or a fan of Wyoming's State Rodeo in Douglas, or just a fan of conservative politics, there's a city in Wyoming for you.
How did we determine the best places to live in Wyoming? Grab a Wyoming Boilermaker and an elk burger in Gillette and read on.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Wyoming For 2020
- Kemmerer (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sheridan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Cody (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Pinedale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lyman (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Jackson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Laramie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Douglas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bar Nunn (Homes For Sale)
- Lander (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Wyoming cities are known for their quirky, western culture, iconic rodeos, local flare, and farm to table restaurants. And, don't get us started on their gold star median household income and blue ribbon schools.
Needless to say, it was very difficult to narrow down 30 of Wyoming's best places to live to just ten.
What city is the best place to live in Wyoming for 2020? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Kemmerer is the best place to live in Wyoming if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.
For more Wyoming reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In Wyoming
- Cheapest Places To Live In Wyoming
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Wyoming
The 10 Best Places To Live In Wyoming For 2020
We begin our tour of the best places to live in Wyoming with Kemmerer, the hub of activity for southern Lincoln County. Known as "The Fossil Capital of the World," Kemmerer has loads of opportunities for the aspiring archaeologist, or just chances to hike through dead dino land at Fossil Butte National Monument. Kemmerer even has a festival dedicated to fossils. If you want an event dedicated to livelier pursuits, Kemmerer also hosts the Oyster Ridge Music Festival, Wyoming's largest free music festival.
With its dinosaurs galore, it's no wonder that Kemmerer topped our list of the best cities for families in Wyoming. It also helps that the crime rate in Kemmerer is roughly 75% below the national average and ranks as the 1st in Wyoming. The economy in Kemmerer is also rock-solid, with a sub-1% unemployment rate and the 3rd lowest poverty rate in the state at 5.8%. And while the median household income in Kemmerer is the 10th highest in Wyoming at $62,083/year, you won't find cheaper homes on this list than Kemmerer's $165,500.
Sheridan is a city of 17,825 in north-central Wyoming with a strong rodeo culture. Anyone with a cowboy fascination will go nuts for King's Saddlery & Museum and their collection of Old West artifacts, and Buffalo Bill's inn is still running in Sheridan to this day. The landscape around Sheridan is simply incredible, with stunning mountainscape views that would make an artist blush. Those who want a closer look and a bit of a workout will find all of the above at Bighorn National Park to the west of Sheridan.
For those moving with a family, know that Sheridan has excellent public schools that trounce the statewide average in test scores and graduation rates. GreatSchools gave the district an average score of 7.5, and two local high schools received College Success Awards. Unemployment in Sheridan is crazy low, and the poverty rate here is the 6th lowest in the state. Homes in Sheridan are the 6th most expensive in Wyoming, but rent is quite affordable at around $793/month.
We move from the city where Buffalo Bill had an inn to the city that Buffalo Bill helped found, Cody. Known as the "Wild West way into Yellowstone," Cody is just 50 miles from the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park. If you're looking for a shorter day-trip out in nature, there's also Shoshone National Forest and Buffalo Bill State Park in the area. But if you want a blast from the past, head to Old Trail Town, an authentic frontier town with buildings from the 1890s.
Cody might have a rollicking, rough and tumble cowboy past, but today it's quite safe. The unemployment rate ranks as the 2nd lowest in Wyoming at 1.0%. The student-teacher ratio in Cody's schools is a solid 12:1, and test scores are much higher than the statewide average. The median age in Cody is 41, making it the oldest city on this list. Hate the drive to and from work? Well, at an average of 12 minutes, folks in Cody enjoy the 3rd shortest commute time in Wyoming.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $232,800 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (10th best)
More on Pinedale: Real Estate
Situated on the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway, against the western slope of the Wind River Mountain Range, Pinedale comes in as the state's 4th best place. Pinedale is known as the Land of the Lakes, with over 1,300 named lakes. King among those is Fremont Lake, Wyoming's second biggest lake, complete with fishing, boating, and water-sport opportunities aplenty. Snowsports-enthusiasts will also be delighted to have White Pine Ski Area right in their backyard.
Pinedale has award-winning schools that have achieved the lowest high school dropout rate in Wyoming. It's no accident these schools succeed; Pinedale spends about 80% more per student than the statewide average. The average commute time is a measly 10 minutes, the 1st shortest anywhere in Wyoming. Pinedale's poverty rate ranks as the 4th lowest statewide, while Pinedale's median household income of $77,604 is the 3rd highest in Wyoming.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $198,800 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (4th best)
More on Lyman: Real Estate
Located in the southwestern corner of Wyoming in historic Bridger Valley, Lyman comes in as the 5th best place to live in the state. A perfect base camp for trips to the Uinta Mountain Range, Lyman is chock full of outdoor recreation. If you're trying to stay local and learn more about the pioneer days, Lyman's Fort Bridger State Historic Site is a great place to visit.
Perhaps the best part of life in Lyman is that it's relatively cheap; it featured highly on our list of the most affordable places in Wyoming, after all. That's because, while homes are only the 15th priciest in the state at $198,800 and rent is typically less than $800/month, Lyman enjoys the highest median household income in Wyoming at $86,667/year. As a bonus, 97.4% of residents have health insurance, the highest rate in Wyoming.
Located at the south end of Grand Teton National Park, Jackson is a thriving town with an absolute abundance of recreational opportunities. There's a museum dedicated to wildlife art, but if you'd prefer a closer, realer look at some regional animals, there's also the National Elk Refuge. Nearby Jackson Hole hosts regular rodeos for anyone trying to immerse themselves in cowboy culture. Rendevous Mountain provides some of the toughest skiing in the country, but those just looking to relax within the city limits will find plenty to love at and around Jackson's Town Square.
Before you move to Jackson, you should know that it topped both our list of Wyoming's richest and most expensive cities, so make sure you've got a lucrative job lined up before making the move. A typical household in Jackson brings back $75,150/year, the highest median income in the state. And there are clearly enough opportunities to go around because Jackson ranks among the fastest growing places in Wyoming. Living in Wyoming most densely populated place, having low unemployment and poverty rates, and fantastic local schools are all reasons why people are willing to live with Jackson's higher cost of living.
Located about 50 miles west of Cheyenne, Laramie comes in as the 7th best place to live in the Cowboy State. Laramie is the youngest city to make this list, with a median age of 25. That's because Laramie is the home of the University of Wyoming, which also explains why around half the population have a college degree and over 20% have a master's degree, PhD, or professional degree. Laramie's downtown is delightful mix of of sophisticated shops and restaurants alongside down-home dives that provides opportunities for endless exploration. Those more comfortable out of the big city lights will find the cure at nearby Medicine Bow National Forest.
Laramie's dedication to education isn't just about the university; the high school dropout rate in Laramie is the 2nd lowest in Wyoming. Laramie workers enjoy the perk of having the 5th shortest average commute time in the state at 12 minutes. And it's unlikely you'll get carjacked on your trip, because Laramie is one of Wyoming's safest cities, with a crime rate 50% below the national average.
Located 45 minutes eastbound on I-25 from Casper, Douglas ranks as the 8th best place to call home in Wyoming. To learn more about Douglas' railroading heritage, check out Locomotive Park. Those looking to get out into nature don't have far to go to reach Ayers Natural Bridge and its surrounding trails. Douglas also hosts the Wyoming State Fair & Rodeo, so expect the city's population to swell once a week each summer.
All these awesome features contribued to HomeSnacks naming Douglas the best place to retire in Wyoming. Low unemployment and poverty, the 2nd highest rate of health insurance coverage statewide, and a crime rate that ranks as the 6th lowest in Wyoming are just icing on the cake. Douglas also has the lowest cost of living of cities covered here. You can get a place to rent in Douglas for just $616/month, 85% less than the average rent in Wyoming.
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $231,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (23rd best)
More on Bar Nunn: Real Estate
A northern suburb of Casper, Bar Nunn is the 9th best place to live in Wyoming. Being next to the big city comes with some perks, like having sweet museums nearby. There's the Tate Geological Museum for those interested in gaining mammoth amounts of information, while the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center is a must-visit for anyone who wants to learn how to avoid dying next time they play the Oregon Trail video game.
The median age in Bar Nunn is a young 29, so expect a lot of fresh ideas in this vibrant community. The poverty level in Bar Nunn is a measly 3.9%, the lowest in Wyoming. Bar Nunn's median household income of $79,792/year ranks as the 2nd highest statewide. Which is good, when you're paying the 4th highest price for a home anywhere in Wyoming.
Located in Wind River Country in central Wyoming, Lander is our final stand-out city. Epic rock climbing, hiking, and fishing are all on offer at the city's pride and joy, Sinks Canyon State Park. We just hope you like to party, because between Lander Brewfest, a celebration of local craft brewers, and Riverfest, dedicated to local artists and musicians, there's never a dull moment in Lander. That's part of why Lander is considered one of Wyoming's best cities for singles.
Lander is a truly peaceful place; the city experienced exactly zero violent crimes in the last year of available data. Unemployment is sub-3%, the poverty rate is the 12th lowest in Wyoming, and schools are top-notch. If you want to give Lander a try, rent will set you back around $898/month, but if you want to settle down here for good, a typical home will cost around $200,600.
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Wyoming
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Cheyenne with a population of 63,243 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities -- Populations over 2,000
- Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 2,000
- Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000
This left us with 30 cities, 25 towns, and 75 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Wyoming have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 2,000 people to truly be 'the best'.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Wyoming
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Wyoming across a number of criteria from one to 30, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Wyoming".
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Wyoming? That would be Kemmerer.
If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Wyoming.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Kemmerer at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Wyoming
If you're looking at areas in Wyoming with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Kemmerer made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Wyoming for 2020.
Best Towns To Live In Wyoming
- Rafter J Ranch (Pop. 1,466)
- South Park (Pop. 1,557)
- Sleepy Hollow (Pop. 1,080)
- Moose Wilson Road (Pop. 1,736)
- Antelope Valley-Crestview (Pop. 1,498)
- Vista West (Pop. 1,016)
- Dayton (Pop. 1,008)
- Marbleton (Pop. 1,357)
- Mountain View (Pop. 1,333)
- Sundance (Pop. 1,310)
Best Small Towns To Live In Wyoming
- Taylor (Pop. 60)
- Hyattville (Pop. 55)
- Hill View Heights (Pop. 58)
- Brookhurst (Pop. 183)
- Grover (Pop. 283)
- Fairview (Pop. 488)
- Casper Mountain (Pop. 461)
- Elk Mountain (Pop. 172)
- Cokeville (Pop. 555)
- Hartville (Pop. 74)
If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Wyoming according to the data:
- Riverton (Pop. 11,069)
- Mills (Pop. 3,848)
- Evansville (Pop. 2,944)
For more Wyoming reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Wyoming
- Richest Cities In Wyoming
- Safest Places In Wyoming
- Worst Places To Live In Wyoming