What Is The Smallest State West Of The Mississippi River

What is the Smallest State West of the Mississippi River?

The smallest American state west of the Mississippi River is Wyoming. Wyoming is bordered by Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Wyoming had a population of 563,626 people, making it the least populous state in the union at the time. The area of Wyoming covers 97,093 square miles, with 85,564 square miles of land and 11,529 square miles of water.

The capital of Wyoming is Cheyenne, the least populous state capital in the United States. Other major cities include Laramie, Thermopolis, Worland, Riverton, and Gillette. Fifty-five percent of the population live in rural areas, making Wyoming one of the most rural states. Just over twenty-nine percent of the population is made up of Native Americans.

Tourism is a major economic driver in Wyoming, with visitors flocking to the famous Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks every year. Other popular tourist attractions in Wyoming include Devils Tower National Monument, Fossil Butte National Monument, and many state and regional parks.

Oil and natural gas extraction is the state’s primary industry, however there is also a significant agricultural sector. Wyoming has the largest coal reserves in the country, almost 40 percent of all US coal reserves.

Politically, Wyoming is traditionally a Republican state, with voters electing Republican governors since 1975. Most state legislative seats are also held by Republicans. The state’s two U.S. Senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, are also Republicans.

Wyoming is a fairly conservative state, reflected in the state’s strong support of the death penalty, outlawing same-sex marriage and civil unions, and having one of the highest levels of gun ownership in the country.

Economy of Wyoming

The economy of Wyoming is largely based on tourism and natural resources, though the state also has a growing manufacturing sector. Wyoming is an attractive place to do business, with few restrictions and one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the nation.

The tourism sector is the state’s second-largest industry, accounting for $3.5 billion in travel-related expenditures in 2018. This includes visits to the renowned Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The city of Jackson Hole is particularly popular with tourists, seeing a record 5.3 million visitors in 2018.

The mining industry is another significant economic player in Wyoming. The state is home to the world’s largest coal reserves, and has an estimated 40 percent of the country’s reserves. Oil and natural gas are also key industries in Wyoming, with the state producing 8.6 million barrels of oil in 2018.

The agricultural industry plays an important role in the state’s economy as well, representing 11 percent of Wyoming’s gross domestic product in 2018. The most common crops grown in Wyoming are wheat, durum wheat, barley, oats, corn, hay, and sunflowers.

Wyoming also has a thriving manufacturing industry, with the state’s factories producing $4.5 billion in goods in 2018. The state’s major manufacturing exports include mineral fuels and oils, chemicals, machinery and equipment, and transportation equipment.

Education in Wyoming

The educational opportunities in Wyoming are vast, including public and private schools, community colleges, public universities, and specialized institutions.

The Wyoming Department of Education oversees the state’s public schools, and is in charge of coordinating the educational programs in Wyoming’s K-12 schools. The department is also responsible for developing and implementing educational standards, and monitoring the performance of schools throughout the state.

The University of Wyoming, located in Laramie, is the state’s only four-year public university. The school offers more than 200 degree programs, and is known for its strong agricultural and biological sciences programs.

The state’s community colleges, such as Sheridan College and Central Wyoming College, offer associate’s degrees and certificate programs. There are also many private colleges and universities located in Wyoming, including Wyoming Catholic College and the Art Institute of Wyoming.

Demographics of Wyoming

As of the 2020 U.S. Census, Wyoming had a population of 579,315. That makes it the least populous state in the nation. Whites make up 81.4 percent of the population, followed by Hispanic or Latino (6.1 percent), Native American (3.9 percent), Asian (2.2 percent), and African American (1.3 percent).

The median household income in Wyoming is $62,213, significantly higher than the national average. The median home value in the state is $221,000, while the median rent is $733.

The largest cities in Wyoming by population are Cheyenne (population 63,000), Casper (population 57,000), Laramie (population 32,000), Gillette (population 30,000), and Rock Springs (population 22,000).

History of Wyoming

Wyoming was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Arapaho, Shoshone, Cheyenne, and Sioux. It was added to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and became a territory in 1868. With the passage of the Organic Act in 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state in the union.

Wyoming is the site of several important historic events. It became the first state to give women the right to vote in 1890, and was the first state to elect a female Governor. In Cheyenne, the first homesteaders settled in 1862, the Union Pacific Railroad reached in 1867, and Fort D. A. Russell was established in 1867.

The state’s economy was heavily reliant on mining and ranching during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Sheep herding, coal mining, and oil drilling were all common occupations. By the late 20th century, however, the state’s economy had diversified to include manufacturing, agricultural, and tourism industries.

Things to Do in Wyoming

Wyoming is home to important natural spaces, historical landmarks, and popular tourist attractions, making it an ideal destination for visitors. Wyoming is known for its wide open spaces, diverse natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene.

The state’s main attractions include Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Devils Tower National Monument, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, and Fossil Butte National Monument. Other popular tourist destinations include Teton County, Jackson Hole, and Hot Springs State Park.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Wyoming offers an array of activities including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and whitewater rafting. There are also plenty of cultural attractions to be explored, such as art galleries, music venues, and historic sites.

The state is also known for its wild and wonderful events, such as Cheyenne Frontier Days, Cody Stampede, Wyoming State Fair, and Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.


Wyoming is the smallest American state west of the Mississippi River. It is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and wide open spaces, and is a popular tourism destination. The state’s economy is largely based on tourism and natural resources, though the state also has a growing manufacturing sector. Wyoming is the least populous state in the union, with a population of 579,315. It is also a traditionally Republican state, with voters electing Republican governors since 1975. With its fascinating history, vibrant cultural offerings, and array of outdoor activities, Wyoming is an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore the beauty of the American West.

Raymond Strasser is a passion-driven writer and researcher, dedicated to educating readers on the topic of world rivers. With a background in Geography and Environmental Studies, Raymond provides insightful pieces which explore the impact and importance that rivers have around the world.

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