The misconceptions people have about living in the Cowboy State don’t die easily. For some reason, the stereotype of Wyoming being trapped in an Old West time warp persists.
While we are proud of our cowboy/pioneer western heritage, the reality of life in Wyoming is that we lead normal lives just like the rest of the country, with all of the modern conveniences everyone else has. In an attempt to clear things up, we’ve compiled a list of 10 myths about Wyoming you can stop believing right now.
1. There's a gunfight every day at high noon.
Yes, many Wyomingites are armed (Wyoming is the state with the highest gun ownership), and we do enjoy our link to the Wild West, but the only shootouts going on in town squares in this state are purely theatrical and done for the entertainment of visitors from other states.
2. Less than 3 people live in Wyoming.
Granted, Wyoming is the least populated state in the Union, and we do have quite a few little towns and census-designated areas that are sparsely populated, but we also have our share of larger cities boasting 50,000 or more residents. In fact, the 2016 census reported Wyoming's population to be 585,501.
3. There are no cities in Wyoming.
If the previous misconception is untrue, then it follows that this one is also completely false. Otherwise, where would all those people live? Wyoming isn't made up of a collection of ghost towns. We have large thriving cities filled with shops, galleries, museums, restaurants, and, yes, even traffic lights.
4. The hayseed perception.
Sometimes people apply a country bumpkin stereotype to Wyomingites, assuming that they're simple and uneducated. The truth is that Wyoming is big on education and was named
one of the top states when it comes to the best schools
. Plus, there are 10 colleges and one university in Wyoming. That's quite a lot of opportunity for higher education per capita.
5. No one in Wyoming owns a car.
It's true that quite a few Wyomingites ride horses whenever they can, but we prefer modern transportation when traveling long distances - which is pretty much everywhere. We do favor SUVs and pickups over cars, though, so let's call this myth partially true.
6. There are no paved roads in Wyoming.
Sure, there are miles of dirt roads throughout the state, and some even serve as main streets in the smaller towns but, believe it or not, we have tons of paved roads in Wyoming. Heck, a lot of them are even four lanes.
7. Wyoming lacks most modern conveniences.
This one could be partially our fault, as we do enjoy our association with the Old West, but we also enjoy being able to turn on lights with a flip of the switch and not having to trek outside to use the facilities. Wyoming may not be on the cutting edge of technological advances, but we do have indoor plumbing and electricity, and we even have the Internet and cell phones.
8. Wyomingites are rich from all the gold they pan or mine.
Wyoming does have an extensive mining history, and there are still gold in them thar hills but, no, we do not all pan for gold, and the majority of us do not have a mine.
9. There's no speed limit in Wyoming.
This is a misconception out-of-staters have formed about us because they drive so slow. We do have what others know as a speed limit, but we prefer to think of it as a speed
minimum, and we get frustrated having to constantly go around those who don't even try to keep up.
10. There's nothing to do in Wyoming.
Are you kidding? Look around! Camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, horseback riding...with a backyard like this, the options are endless. Two things Wyoming doesn't have are boredom and couch potatoes, and we like it that way.
Have out-of-staters asked you about any of these myths? What other misconceptions about the Cowboy State belong on the list?
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.