In the 2008 national census, Wyoming ranked 50th in the nation, with a total population of 493,782. The number of residents increased by 8.9 percent from the 1990 population of 453,588. Population density was 2 persons per sq km (5.3 per sq mi) in 2006. Only Alaska was less densely populated. In recent decades, Wyomingites have been moving away from isolated farm areas, and, by 2000, 65 percent lived in cities or towns. Overall, Wyoming remains a land of wide-open spaces checkered by about 100 municipalities, mostly small towns with a few medium-sized cities.
In 2006 only six cities had a sizable population: Cheyenne (55,314), Casper (52,089), Laramie (25,688), Rock Springs (19,324), Gillette (23,899), and Sheridan (16,429). Cheyenne, the state capital, is a commercial, industrial, and transportation center and a gateway to the Rocky Mountains.
It is the site of the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, an important United States defense arsenal. Casper is located in the heart of Wyoming’s oil fields. With its refineries and oil-field equipment industry, it is the state’s chief manufacturing and wholesale trade center. Laramie is the home of the University of Wyoming and several museums, including the Ivinson Mansion, and a park that features the recently restored Territorial Prison as well as displays dedicated to the lives of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, of the late 1800s. Rock Springs, Gillette, and Sheridan are smaller trade centers for mining, agriculture, and associated enterprises. Although more than 50 nationalities are represented in some of the mining communities, such as Rock Springs, 92.1 percent of the people are of European descent. Native Americans make up 2.3 percent of the state’s total population.
A majority of them live on the Wind River Reservation, 900,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) in west central Wyoming, the home of the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes. Some 0.8 percent of the population is black, 0.6 percent is Asian, 0.1 percent is Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and 4.3 percent are of mixed heritage or did not report race in the 2000 census. Hispanics, who can be of any race, represent 6.4 percent of the population.
A majority of Wyoming’s church members are Protestants. Among the largest denominations are the Methodists, the Mormons, the Presbyterians, and the Baptists. About 18 percent of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. "Wyoming" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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