• Population- 515,004
  • Capital- Cheyenne
  • Largest cities– Cheyenne, Casper, Laramie
  • Time zone- Mountain
  • Date of Admission to the Union- July 10, 1890
  • Slogan- “Like No Place on Earth”
  • State website URL- www.wyoming.gov

Wyoming is geographically located in the western United States dominated by the Great Plains in the east, the Rocky Mountains to the north and south, and the Intermontane Basins, grassy flat areas lying between mountain ranges. The Continental Divide runs northwest to south central Wyoming; rivers east of the divide drain into the Missouri River Basin, and to the west, into the Columbia and Colorado River Basins.

The ninth largest state in the union, it is also the least populous of the 50 states. Wyoming became a territory in July 25, 1868, land formerly belonging to Dakota, Utah and Idaho, and was named the 44 th state on July 10, 1890. Evidence of Native American populations date back over 11,000 years. (By the 18 th and 19 th centuries, Native Americans began migrating to the Great Plains. Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux populated the eastern plains of Wyoming, the Crow in the Bighorn Mountains, Blackfoot at Snake River and Shoshone in western Wyoming.)

John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is the first known white man to have explored Wyoming in 1807. Soon after, trappers from the Rocky Mountain Fur company entered Wyoming (1822), and organized fur trappings until the beaver population was almost depleted in 1840. Growth in the territory’s population was spurred by the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad in Cheyenne in 1867; the railroad’s access to consumers in the east also encouraged expansion of the cattle industry.

Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming became the first national park in 1872. Agriculture took hold in the early 1900s, an activity severely hampered in the 1920 and ‘30s by drought and suppressed prices created by the Great Depression. Today Wyoming employs more labor in the mining industry than any other state. The mineral extraction industry (coal, natural gas, coal bed methane, crude oil and trona) and tourism (with attractions to include Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Devil’s Tower National Monument, and Fossil Butte National Monument) dominate the state economy.