Essential Things To Know Before Moving To Wyoming
Today, I will address this question: Is Wyoming a good place to live? Then, I will back up my answer with the pros and cons of living in Wyoming.
Whether you are considering retiring in Wyoming or relocating for work, let’s see what the experts say about life in “The Cowboy State.”
Is Wyoming A Good Place To Live?
Wyoming is an excellent place to live. The state’s low cost of living, tax advantages, scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and peaceful, wide-open spaces contribute to an attractive lifestyle.
According to wyo.gov, Wyoming is where the spirit of the West and majestic natural beauty come together. Furthermore, tax-friendly policies, outstanding transportation options, well-funded public schools, and safe neighborhoods allow businesses and people to thrive.
Local real estate professional Alisha Collins says she loves living in Wyoming. However, the wildlife, harsh winter weather, strong winds, and lack of a large, commercialized city aren’t for everyone (source).
These comments are insightful. However, I recommend carefully considering my 18 pros and cons before you pack up and move to Wyoming.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Wyoming Compared Head-To-Head
|1. Tax-friendly policies
|10. Lacking city amenities
|2. Low cost of living
|11. No pro sports
|3. Sunny four seasons
|12. Remote living
|4. Scenic beauty
|13. Not much to do
|5. Outdoor recreation
|14. Lacking higher ed
|6. Nice small cities
|15. Limited employment
|7. Low population density
|16. Dangerous wildlife
|8. Light traffic
|17. Severe weather
|9. Low crime rate
|18. Lack of diversity
Next, let’s dig deeper into Wyoming’s pros and cons.
Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Pros Of Living In Wyoming
1. People Are Moving To Wyoming To Save On Taxes
Wyoming is a tax-friendly state. Residents benefit from the following tax breaks:
- No personal state income tax
- No state tax on retirement income
- Zero corporate state income tax
- No gross receipts tax on businesses
- Low property taxes
- Modest sales taxes
- Reasonable gasoline taxes
Wyoming is a great state for legally reducing your tax bill. The tax benefits alone make Wyoming one of the best states to move to.
Next, I will touch on another money-related topic.
2. Wyoming Offers A Budget Friendly Cost Of Living
Wyoming offers a low cost of living to balance your budget.
First, the state’s median home value is about 20% less than the national average (Source: Motley Fool). Apartment rents rank among the top 10 lowest in the country (Source: World Population Review based on Zillow data).
Other daily essentials also cost less than the national average. For example, residents save more on utilities, food, and clothing after moving to Wyoming (Source: RentCafe).
Better yet, here are other tips for making the most of your finances no matter where you live.
Pro money tip #1: Save on your online purchases by using the cashback app from Rakuten.
Pro money tip #2: Make the most of your money, budget, and investments with the personal finance app from Empower.
Okay. That’s enough about money and taxes. Let’s move on to the rest of the best reasons to live in Wyoming.
3. Four Season Climate And Lots Of Sunshine
Wyoming offers four-season living and plenty of weather variety.
First of all, the sun shines often in this state. Residents enjoy 200 to 300 sunny days every year.
Wyoming gets only 10-15 inches of rain per year. However, seasonal rain and thunderstorms bring the foliage to life in spring and early summer.
Summers are warm here, with highs in the 80s.
Fall brings abundant turning leaves along Wyoming’s scenic highways, byways, and parks. The aspens, willows, and maples turn beautiful colors during fall.
Finally, Wyoming’s winters are cold. Temperatures dip well below freezing for long stretches of time. Snow is heavy in the mountains. At the same time, the rest of the state receives about 50 inches per year.
Thus, Wyoming has a variety of weather conditions, bringing me to another one of the advantages of living here.
4. There Is An Abundance Of Scenic And Natural Beauty
Wyoming is home to two highly acclaimed National Parks. Both parks are amazing, beautiful places.
In Wyoming’s northwest corner is Yellowstone National Park. The park sits where Wyoming, Montana, and the popular state of Idaho come together.
The park is south of the Montana state border. Visitors from the north access Yellowstone from the Gardiner, Montana entrance. It is the only entrance open all year.
Canyons, mountain lakes, alpine rivers, acres of forests, hot springs, and geysers are spread across thousands of miles of pristine land.
Grand Teton National Park encompasses the Teton mountain range and the valley below called Jackson Hole.
The park is located south of Yellowstone. However, Grand Teton is much smaller, more intimate, and uniquely awe-inspiring.
Finally, Wyoming is the home base for many state parks, too. Some of the best include:
- Curt Gowdy State
- Bear River State Park
- Sinks Canyon State Park
To sum up, residents love the natural beauty of the landscape here.
Next, after moving to Wyoming, there’s more to the outdoors than just the natural beauty.
5. Outdoor Recreational Options Are Vast For Wyoming Residents
Wyoming offers plenty of outdoor sports and recreation like other states in the West.
Wyoming has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. On the other hand, people living in Colorado or the nearby state of Utah may disagree. Regardless, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a popular choice for hitting the slopes.
Hunting game animals is a popular pastime. Elk, moose, mule deer, and white-tailed deer are plentiful.
For fishing, the state is best known for its many trout species. However, there is a good population of other game fish, too.
Finally, you will discover plenty of places to hike and mountain bike. Or find your favorite nature path for a stroll to enjoy the peace and beauty of this state.
6. Best Of Small And Mid-Sized City Living In Wyoming
Wyoming has some quiet small to mid-sized cities you can call home. Here’s a breakdown of some of your best options.
Cheyenne is located in the Southeast corner of the state. It is the state’s capital and has the highest population, with more than 60,000 residents.
Casper is the second largest city and is situated near the state’s center. You will find a close-knit community and a good place to raise a family.
Laramie, the 3rd largest city, is 50 miles northwest of Cheyenne and home to the University of Wyoming.
Gillette is located in the Northeast corner of the state.
Finally, for those who can afford a higher cost of living, Jackson is a very nice choice. The city’s proximity to the mountains and National Parks makes it an attractive destination.
Most of the state’s other cities and towns (including Jackson) have a population of less than 20,000.
More reading: The advantages of living in South Dakota
7. Low Population Density Leads To A Quiet And Peaceful Lifestyle
Wyoming is home to approximately 600,000 people. Moving to Wyoming means you are putting down roots in a state with a low population.
The state has the fewest residents of any state in the country. The northeastern state of Vermont comes in a close second.
To prove my point, nearly 30 cities in the United States have a larger population than Wyoming. For example, if you want to live out west in Washington state, consider that Seattle has about 200,000 more residents than the entire state of Wyoming.
Thus, Wyoming is quiet and peaceful and does not suffer from overcrowding or urbanization.
8. Light Traffic And Wide Open Spaces Await You In Wyoming
Wyoming is highly ranked for its limited traffic congestion and good transportation infrastructure. (Source: WalletHub)
No worries if you must commute or travel around the state for work. You won’t find heavy traffic or traffic jams when traveling to your destination.
However, there is one exception. Popular summer days on the main roads into the National Parks see heavy traffic as tourists and visitors pour in for outdoor fun.
9. Low Crime Rates Mean Safe Living In Wyoming
Wyoming gets high marks for low crime rates.
For example, U.S. News ranks Wyoming as one of the top 10 states in the country with low crime. The study involved both types of crime: property crime and violent crime.
Okay. That concludes my review of the cool things about Wyoming.
But the pros and cons of living in Wyoming wouldn’t be complete without looking at the disadvantages of moving here.
Cons Of Living In Wyoming
10. Lack Of Big City Attractions And Amenities
Wyoming doesn’t have major metropolitan areas and a big city vibe. Urban amenities are lacking.
Here is more of what you can expect to go missing.
Limited specialty stores for window shopping and finding that special purchase you have been looking for.
There is a lack of ethnic restaurants that you may be accustomed to.
Fewer professional jobs, more plentiful in large metropolitan areas.
The cultural amenities offered by big cities, universities, and college towns.
As a result, most young people migrate out of this state. They pursue higher educational opportunities and career options elsewhere. At the same time, Wyoming gives kids a great start in life through the state’s well-regarded K through 12 school system.
Then we have another one of the bad things about Wyoming…
11. No Professional Sports Teams
Wyoming doesn’t host any professional sports franchises. In this respect, it is similar to living in the Midwestern state of Iowa.
So, you must be comfortable traveling out of state to watch live sports. You can also adopt another sports town not local to your new Wyoming community.
In either case, Wyoming’s neighbor to the southeast, Colorado, offers the best professional sports options nearby. One of the best things about Colorado is that all major professional sports leagues are represented there.
12. Very Remote Living In Wyoming
Wyoming falls short if you like being around many people and living in a more densely populated state.
We already know that Wyoming has a limited population. Furthermore, only a handful of cities have more than 20,000 people.
13. Not Much To Do After Moving To Wyoming
Wyoming’s opportunities for varied shopping, dining out, and live entertainment are limited.
Other than outdoor activities, you won’t find much else to do here.
More reading: interesting and unique things about each state
14. Minimal Higher Education Options
Wyoming doesn’t have many higher education options.
There are a handful of public 2-year colleges. However, The University of Wyoming is the only public 4-year state university.
15. There Are Limited Employment Options After Moving To Wyoming
Wyoming’s employment prospects are limited to a select few industries. You won’t find many banking, finance, management, or business consulting jobs.
Education, tourism, agriculture, and mining dominate the economy. Furthermore, the nature of the state’s outdoor and more rugged work environments leads to a higher rate of work-related accidents.
16. Varied And Dangerous Wildlife Love Living In Wyoming, Too
Wyoming is home to black bears, grizzly bears, venomous snakes, massive bison, moose, and grey wolves. Because of the lack of people and vast amounts of wilderness, they have not been pushed out of their natural habitat.
Practice good common sense, and you won’t be in danger.
17. Severe Weather Conditions Are Common
Wyoming has its share of severe weather conditions.
For example, much of Wyoming is very windy and dry. Dry, windy conditions and thousands of acres of forest are wildfire launchpads.
Winter weather lasts a long time and dumps plenty of snow. Icy roads cause hazardous travel conditions.
Spring brings thunderstorms and potentially dangerous lightning strikes. Finally, tornadoes occur frequently in this state during the spring and early summer.
18. Lack Of Racial And Ethnic Diversity
Wyoming doesn’t have a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities.
There is little inbound migration from other regions, leading to a static mix of people living here. The population is mostly white and of European descent. Thus, there is an overall lack of diversity in this state.
Traditionally, the people of Wyoming have placed a high value on equality. But that’s easy to do when most people in the state are from the same cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Okay. That concludes my review of the top pros and cons of living in Wyoming, supporting my answer to the question: Is Wyoming a good place to live?
So, allow me to wrap up with some parting thoughts.
Is Wyoming A Good Place To Live? – A Review Of The Pros And Cons
I hope this discussion has helped you sort through some important questions. Such as:
- What is living in Wyoming like?
- Why move to Wyoming?
- Is Wyoming a good state to live in?
Best of luck with your decision. No matter where you decide to settle down!
More Reading For Relocating To Wyoming And Beyond
Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.