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Wyoming

Wyoming is a state of the western United States of America. It is the least populous U.S. state.

USS Wyoming was named in honor of this state.

Contents

History

After the Union Pacific Railroad reached the town of Cheyenne, the capital, in 1867, the population began to grow steadily in the Wyoming Territory, established on July 25, 1868.

Yellowstone National Park became the world's first National Park in 1872 and is located in the far northwestern portion of the state. Most of the territory that comprises Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming.

Wyoming was admitted to the Union on July 10, 1890. It was named after the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, made famous by the 1809 poem Gertrude of Wyoming by Thomas Campbell. The name was suggested by Representative J. M. Ashbey of Ohio.

In 1869 Wyoming extended suffrage to women, at least partially in an attempt to garner enough voters to be admitted as a state. In addition to being the first U.S. state to extend suffrage to women, Wyoming was also the home of many other firsts for U.S. women in politics. It had the first female court bailiff and the first female justice of the peace in the country. Wyoming was also the first state in the Union to elect a woman governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross in 1925. A List of Wyoming Governors is available.

Geography


See: List of Wyoming counties

It is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, and on the west by Utah and Idaho. Devil's Tower, made famous in the film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, is located near Moorcroft in Crook County.

Wyoming is generally considered an arid state with much of the land receiving less than 10 inches of rainfall a year. Consequently, the land supports few opportunities for farming. Ranching however is widespread, especially in areas near the numerous mountain chains. There are several major mountain ranges in the state, all of them are part of the Rocky Mountains. The Snowy range in the south central part of the state are an extension of the [Colorado] Rockies in both geology and appearance. The Wind River Range in the west central part of the state are remote and also have the highest peak Gannett Peak, in the state. The Big Horn Mountains in the north central are somewhat isolated from the bulk of the rest of the Rocky Mountains. Finally the Teton Range in the northwest extend for 50 miles and represent the most impressive section of mountains in the state and are home to the second highest peak Grand Teton and Grand Teton National Park which preserves the most scenic section of the Teton range.

Several rivers begin or flow through the state including the Yellowstone River, Powder River and the Snake River.

The Continental Divide which runs through most of North America splits in two in the south central part of the state. The waters that flow or precipitate into this area known as the Great Divide Basin do not flow to any ocean. Instead due to the overall aridness of Wyoming, they simply sink into the soil or evaporate.

Wyoming sports the lowest population density of the continental 48 states; however, non-contiguous Alaska's is lower.

Demographics

According to the Census Bureau, as of 2003, the population of Wyoming was estimated at 501,242.

The racial makeup of the state is:

The 5 largest ancestry groups in Wyoming are German (25.9%), English (15.9%), Irish (13.3%), American (6.5%), Norwegian (4.3%).

6.3% of Wyoming's population were reported as under 5, 26.1% under 18, and 11.7% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 49.7% of the population.

Religion

The religious affiliations of the citizens of Wyoming are:

  • Protestant 55%
  • Roman Catholic 18%
  • Other Christian 10% (mostly Mormon)
  • Other Religions 0%
  • Non-Religious 14%

The three largest Protestant denominations in Wyoming: Methodist (10% of the total state population), Presbyterian (9%), Baptist (9%).

Important cities and towns

The Wyoming municipalities with populations over 10,000 are, in descending order:

Education

Colleges and universities

Professional sports teams

Miscellaneous information

Capital: Cheyenne
Nickname: Big Wonderful Wyoming, Equality State, Cowboy State
State motto: "Equal Rights"
Population: 493,782 (2000 census)
State flower: Indian Paintbrush
State mammal: Bison
State bird: Western Meadowlark
State tree: Plains Cottonwood
State gemstone: Jade
State fish: Cutthroat Trout
State reptile: Horned Toad
State Fossil: Knightia
State dinosaur: Triceratops
State coin: Golden Dollar
State sport: Rodeo

Major highways

External links

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