WATCH: Why Is Wyoming So Different From Colorado?
When you look at Wyoming and Colorado on a map you see two square states, roughly the same size, with the same type of landscape.
Wyoming has a population of 578,803.
Colorado has a population of 5.812 million.
How did these two very similar states end up so different?
Wyoming is the least populated state. It's even less populated than most cities in America. In fact, Wyoming's biggest "city," Cheyenne, is considered just a town by the population standards of most states. The governor of Wyoming works for a population that is no greater than that of an average American small city.
Colorado's population accounts for more than 40% of the population of the Rocky Mountain States. (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico).
The video below will show you that Wyoming actually has more water than Colorado.
You might say the weather is the issue. Maybe that's part of it. Colorado is a bit warmer in the winter. But only in the lowlands. Winter in Colorado is hard too.
Denver is a weird place for a city when we consider that there is really no logical reason for such a big city to be located there.
From Denver, it is a long way to go until we reach another major city.
It really sits out in the middle of no place.
One of the reasons Colorado grew so much bigger is that it got an early start.
Gold was discovered in Colorado early on.
Wyoming has gold, but it does not have as much and never offered up a gold rush.
Then came the discovery of copper, lead, and coal in Colorado, and so Colorado became a state, long before Wyoming did.
In the early years, Colorado kept growing. Wyoming kept close to Colorado's population for a while, but then its growth staggered.
Colorado has more flat land to settle than Wyoming does. Most of Colorado's population sits in the plains.
In the 1940's the Federal government worried about attacks from other countries on our soil. So they moved a lot of important government agencies to the center of the country. That meant - COLORADO. Another population boom.
That move by the Federal government brought in many supporting businesses and further grew the state.
Today's modern communication and internet industries prefer the central location and high elevation of Denver.
Colorado has 42 four-year universities. Wyoming has just one.
Industries like these tend to build on each other - so - bring on the aerospace industries to Colorado.
To make all of this happen Colorado had to build one of the biggest passenger and freight airports in the nation.
Wyoming's biggest airport has only two passenger flights out, a couple of times a day, and one of them goes to DENVER!
48% of Wyoming is owned by the Federal government and is considered preserved land. That means 48% of Wyoming can't be built on.
Most people who live in Wyoming were born in Wyoming.
Most people who live in Colorado were born somewhere else.
But then again, most people in Wyoming LOVE its low population, and rural nature. So folks in Wyoming aren't complaining about any of this.