Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the western United States. The state is the 10th largest by area, the least populous, and the second most sparsely populated state in the country. Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho and Montana. The state population was estimated at 586,107 in 2015, which is less than 31 of the most populous U.S. cities including neighboring Denver. Cheyenne is the state capital and the most populous city, with an estimated population of 63,335 in 2015.
The western two-thirds of the state is covered mostly by the mountain ranges and rangelands of the Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie called the High Plains. Almost half of the land in Wyoming is owned by the U.S. government, leading Wyoming to rank sixth by area and fifth by proportion of a state’s land owned by the federal government. Federal lands include two national parks—Grand Teton and Yellowstone—two national recreation areas, two national monuments, several national forests, historic sites, fish hatcheries, and wildlife refuges.
Original inhabitants of the region include the Crow, Arapaho, Lakota, and Shoshone. Southwestern Wyoming was in the Spanish Empire and then Mexican territory until it was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War. The region acquired the name Wyoming when a bill was introduced to the U.S. Congress in 1865 to provide a “temporary government for the territory of Wyoming”.
The main drivers of Wyoming’s economy are mineral extraction—mostly coal, oil, natural gas, and trona—and tourism. Agricultural commodities include livestock (beef), hay, sugar beets, grain (wheat and barley), and wool. The climate is semi-arid and continental, drier and windier than the rest of the U.S., with greater temperature extremes.