Laramie County was one of only three Wyoming counties to see a population increase of at least 1 percent between July of 2015 and last July, according to a report from the state's Economic Analysis Division.

The study found that all Wyoming counties except for Lincoln, Park, and Laramie either lost population or had only a small increase over the period in question. Park County gained 1.9 percent over that period while Lincoln and Laramie Counties each logged a 1 percent population gain.

Wyoming's statewide population declined by just over 1,000 people or 0.2 percent over the same period.

Natrona and Hot Springs counties showed the biggest declines at 1.4 percent each.

All of the state's big energy producing counties showed sizable population shrinkage. Besides Natrona County, that included Sweetwater County (-1.2 percent) and Campbell and Sublette counties (-1.1 percent).

Chief Economist Wenlin Liu says the population decline is clearly tied to the state's energy industry. He says the three counties showing an increase are all less energy-dependent in their economic make-up than the rest of the state.

Liu says Laramie County, with it's more diverse economic base offers a more stable outlook. He also says that for many people leaving other counties in the state, Laramie County offers the opportunity to stay in Wyoming as well as employment opportunities.

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