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Wyoming Counts Kids: 30% of Laramie County kids in single-parent homes living in poverty

Children participating in the in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum's Pioneer Camp cut out paper propeller fans Thursday at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Children's Village in Cheyenne. (Briar Napier/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — On Thursday, the Wyoming Community Foundation, the Annie E. Casey partner for the Wyoming Kids Count, released the 2022 Wyoming Counts Kids Data Book, which offers a look at children and family well-being.

In addition to providing statewide and county data, the Wyoming Community Foundation provided recommendations for improving well-being such as raising minimum wage to $12 an hour, expanding Medicaid and permanently extending postpartum Medicaid coverage.

This year’s data book covers information from the last decade, but also focuses on the impacts COVID-19 had on Wyoming children and families. It also covers family structure, income levels, and the percentage of people who fall below the poverty line.


Wyoming’s population has been dropping over the last several years to the current population of 582,000. As of 2020, Laramie County had a population of 100,595, and 22,903 members of the population were children under the age of 18.

Estimates of community resilience — how at risk communities are to health, social, and economic stressors — state that 42.5% of the population in Laramie County is at no risk, 41.1% is at medium risk and 16.3% is at high risk.

Of the 149,353 family households in Wyoming, 28,200 were led by single parents, with 62% of single-parent homes falling below the poverty line. For Laramie County, 74% of households had married parents and 26% were led by single parents. Of the single-parent homes, 26.6% were led by men and 73.4% were led by women. Of these homes in the county, 3.1% led by married couples fell under the poverty line, while 30.9% of single-parent homes were in poverty.


The median annual income in 2020 was $58,120 for men and $40,139 for women, meaning that Wyoming women earned about 69 cents for every dollar Wyoming men earned. In Laramie County, men earned a median income in 2020 of $56,609 while women earned $41,860, with the gap sitting at 26 cents for every dollar.

Of Wyoming’s low-wage workers, 53% were female and 63% were parents, with 35% of these parents having one or more children over 5. About 12% of low-wage workers are Hispanic, and 10% are people of color.

Of Wyoming’s 6,134 births in 2020, 1,114 occurred in Laramie County, with 31.4% being to unmarried mothers.


Wyoming’s maternal mortality rate is on the rise with a 41% increase in maternal deaths from 2018 to 2019. In addition, 5.2% of children under 18 in Laramie county do not have health insurance as of 2020.

In Laramie County School District 1, 80.3% of students for the 2020–2021 school year graduated from high school within a four-year period.