Lovell tops ‘young families’ ratings list

Lovell has been named the “Best Town in Wyoming for Young Families” by the business website

The site, which provides news, information and ratings on finance, investing, education, travel and more issued a press release Tuesday praising Lovell for its religion-based lifestyle and excellent educational system.

“Lovell supports a strong LDS community and a great educational system,” said writer Mike Anderson. “Juniors at Lovell High – which earned a near perfect rating from GreatSchools – scored two points higher than the state average on the ACT last year.”

In his introduction, Anderson wrote that “Young families may visit Wyoming for its natural beauty, but they stay for more, including opportunities for adults and children alike.

“NerdWallet sought the best towns for young families, so as we analyzed cities and towns across the state, we asked the following questions:

“1. Does the town have good public schools? We measured schools’ academic performance with ratings from GreatSchools. This non-profit compares a given school’s standardized test scores to the state average to obtain a rating on a 1 to 10 scale (10 representing the highest score). Higher ratings led to a higher overall score.

“2. Can you afford to live there? We looked at both average home values in each town and ongoing monthly home costs including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities, fuel and other bills. Lower costs led to a higher overall score.

“3. Is the town growing and prospering? We assessed a town’s economy by looking at average household income and income growth over the last decade. Higher income and greater growth led to a higher overall score.”

Placing second behind Lovell was Glenrock, followed by Sheridan, Afton, Powell, Lander, Buffalo, Worland, Cody and Newcastle. Only places with a population of greater than 2,000 were considered in the analysis.

According to a chart presented in the press release, Lovell was given a score of 9 out of 10 by GreatSchools, has a median home value of $119,600, has monthly owner costs of $998, has a median household income of $49,013, showed income growth of 59.4 percent since 1999 and earned an overall rating from NerdWallet of 73.9.

Lovell’s GreatSchools score tied Sheridan and Afton at 9, and while the median home value was second lowest (only Newcastle is lower) among the top 10 towns, the monthly owner costs are also second lowest at $998 with only Worland lower at $962 per month.

Median household income was in the middle of the pack – higher than Sheridan, Worland and Cody but lower than Glenrock, Buffalo, Newscastle, Afton, Lander and Powell.

Lovell’s income growth rate of 59.4 percent since 1999 was lower than Glenrock, Buffalo, Newcastle and Powell but higher than Lander, Sheridan, Afton, Worland and Cody.

by David Peck