Census figures show state population growing slowly

According to figures just released by the U.S. Census Bureau the population of Wyoming has shown steady growth since the 1980s. The latest figures, which show a growth of 14.1 percent during the past 10 years, reflect the slowest rate of growth for the state since the 1940s.

WYDOT recently updated population signs to reflect new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. In Cowley, the new sign reflects a population increase of 90 people or 17 percent.

Lovell has shown modest growth with an increase of 3.5 percent between the census taken in 2000 and 2010. The current population is 2,360 with 72.6 percent 18 years of age and older and 27.4 percent less than 18.

The Town of Byron also has shown a modest increase of 6.5 percent growing its population from 557 in the year 2000 to 593 in 2010. Byron’s population is slightly younger overall with 69.1 percent 18 years of age and older and 30.9 percent under 18.

Cowley’s population jumped from 560 residents to 655, which is a sizable increase for a small town at 17 percent. The data released showed 68.2 percent of Cowley’s residents to be older than 18 and 31.8 percent younger than 18 years old.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation recently erected new population signs at the entrances of all three towns that reflect the latest census figures.

The U.S. Census aims to count every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, and occurs every 10 years. The collected data determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute billions in federal funds to communities.

According to a statement released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2010 census represented “the most massive participation movement ever witnessed in our country.” Approximately 74 percent of the households returned their census forms by mail. Census workers who walked neighborhoods all over the country counted the remaining households.

By Patti Carpenter