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Population grows in every county town; rural figure also up

Oct 17, 2012 - By Steve Peck, Publisher

Every population center in Fremont County has grown since the 2010 U.S. Census, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Growth in all six of Fremont County's municipalities outpaced the state's growth, as did the county's unincorporated population.

The Census Bureau has released its 2011 population estimate, which uses scientific sampling and other data analysis to update population based on growth from April 10, 2010, to July 1, 2011.

Riverton's population inched closer to the 11,000 mark, growing from an estimated 10,749 to 10,867, according to the new federal estimate.

The city's official population registered in the 2010 census was 10,615. The new "estimate base" suggests the Census Bureau has received credible evidence of an undercount in Riverton in 2010 and will base its subsequent population research on the higher figure.

The revision does not necessarily reflect an error in the census count, but rather takes into account other information that changes the count. Often such changes occur when it is determined later that an area originally counted as unincorporated population should have been included as incorporated population.

With the 10,749 figure as the new basis, the estimate of 10,867 represents an increase of 188, or 1.1 percent. That percentage mirrors the growth rate countywide and exceeds the estimated Wyoming population growth of .8 percent.

County growth

All six incorporated cities or towns in Fremont County are estimated to have grown since the 2010 census, as did the unincorporated population. Fremont County's head count rose by 456 to 40,579.

The estimates are based on scientific sampling techniques that consider reported births, deaths, voter registrations, employment reports, tax records and other statistical factors.

The new figures reaffirm Riverton's position as the county's largest city by a considerable margin. Lander also grew by an estimated 1.1 percent, adding 84 residents to reach 7,571.

Dubois added 11 to stand at an estimated 982 as of July 1, 2011, and Shoshoni grew from an official 649 to an estimated 658. Shoshoni's growth rate of 1.4 percent was the county's largest.

Hudson added an estimated five residents to stand at 462 (up 1.1 percent), and Pavillion grew from 231 to 233 (.9 percent).

The county's rural and otherwise unincorporated population increased from 19,712 to an estimated 19,805, a growth rate of 1.2 percent.

The Wyoming Economic Analysis Division compiles the state data as reported by the Census Bureau.

Rankings

The new estimates did not change the rankings of either Riverton or Lander among the state's 20 largest cities. Riverton remains ninth, about 1,400 behind Evanston and about 1,150 ahead of Jackson. Riverton experienced a net gain on Evanston of 195. Evanston lost an estimated 77 people, down .6 percent to 12,282.

Jackson experienced a population growth similar to Riverton's, adding 115 to reach 9,710, up 1.2 percent.

Lander remains Wyoming's 13th largest city at 7,571. That's more than 1,600 smaller than 12th-place Rawlins and still 881 ahead of 14th-place Torrington. Lander gained a net 120 on Rawlins, which lost 56 residents, while Torrington gained 105 on Lander. Torrington, the Goshen County seat and home to Wyoming's new medium-security prison, was the fastest-growing city in Wyoming, by percentage, since the 2010 census, adding 189 residents to reach 6,690. Torrington's growth rate was 2.9 percent.

Of the cities larger than Riverton, only Laramie (up 496, or 1.6 percent, to reach 31,312) and Casper (up 672, or 1.2 percent, to reach 55,988) grew faster than Riverton. The city's growth rate was faster than Cheyenne, Gillette, Rock Springs, Sheridan, Green River and Evanston.

The Wyoming EAD report noted that 68 percent of the state's residents live in an incorporated city or town and that the nine cities, including Riverton, with populations of at least 10,000 account for more than 45 percent of Wyoming's inhabitants.

Riverton is the only Wyoming city with a population in the 10,000s, and Lander is the only one with a population in the 7,000s.

The new report estimates Wyoming's population at 568,158, up 4,532 from "census day" on April 1, 2010.

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