Just over 13,000 new residents joined the roster in the state of Wyoming between the 2010 and 2020 Census, according to federal data. While the growth rate is small, just two percent, for those who desire a slower pace of life, Wyoming is an attractive place.

Whether they’re considering relocating from outside Wyoming or are current residents seeking a change of scenery, understanding how common property crime is will ensure families and individuals are able to make the most of their investment.

While violent crimes get more attention, the reality is that in Wyoming and the rest of the U.S., the average person is much more likely to be affected by property crime than violent incidents. How does Wyoming stack up and which communities in the state have the highest and lowest property crime rates? 

At A Glance:

    • With #1 being the best, Wyoming is ranked #12 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
    • You have a 1.57% chance of being a property crime victim in Wyoming in the next 12 months.
    • Wyoming’s property crime rate is 26% lower than the average crime rate in the United States.
    • Riverton has the highest property crime rate in Wyoming (38.7 incidents per 1,000 people).

 

  • Riverton is a small city of about 11,000 people near the direct center of Wyoming. Due to its location in the middle of the state, it’s considered something of a crossroads in Wyoming, drawing the moniker the Rendezvous City. The high rate of commerce like shops, restaurants, and bars combined with a relatively low permanent population create the resulting state-leading property crime rate. 

 

Wyoming’s average property crime rate is nearly six points lower than the overall national rate, and only 11 states have lower property crime rates than Wyoming. The state’s rate is also well below the regional average of about 24 incidents per 1,000 people, and Wyoming has a lower rate than all Western states except for Idaho (about 12 incidents per 1,000 people). Wyoming’s 36 percent decline was the 12th biggest among states where the rate fell.

Wyoming’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)

  • Rate of Property Crime
    • Wyoming average:: 15.7 crimes per 1,000 people
    • National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people

In addition to boasting a rate that’s well below the national average, Wyoming has seen property crime decline rapidly over the past 10 years. Since 2010, the state’s property crime rate dropped 36 percent, which places Wyoming in ample company. All but two states (Alaska and North Dakota) saw property crime rates fall over the past 10 years. 

Wyoming’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)

    • Average Rate of Property Crime:
      • Wyoming 10-year average: 20.2 crimes per 1,000 people
      • National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
    • -36% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
      • There was a 36% decrease in property crime in Wyoming from 2010 as compared to 2019.
    • 2010 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Wyoming?:
      • The highest rate of property crime in Wyoming was 2010 (24.6 crimes per 1,000 people)
    • 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Wyoming?:
      • The lowest rate of property crime in Wyoming was 2019 (15.7 crimes per 1,000 people)

What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.

Wyoming’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)

      • Which type of property crime occurred the most in Wyoming over the past decade?
        • Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 16 crimes per 1,000 people.
        • Average property crime rate by category
          • Average burglary rate: 3.1 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average larceny rate: 16 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average vehicle crime rate: 1.1 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average arson rate: 0.1 crimes per 1,000 people
        • Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Wyoming.
      • +17% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
        • Vehicle theft increased by 17%.
      • -39% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
        • Larceny declined by the highest rate, dropping 39%.

 

Researchers tend to tie issues like poverty and population density to property crime, and in examining related statistics in Wyoming does seem to add some weight to that theory.

 

Wyoming is about average when it comes to unemployment and median household income, but its poverty rate is more than two points lower than the national rate, and only about 65 percent of Wyoming residents live in urban areas, which is far lower than the U.S. rate of 81 percent. 

 

Of course, given the hyperlocal nature of crime, deep-diving on state-level data is limiting, as rates vary dramatically across Wyoming. Riverton’s state-leading property crime rate of about 39 incidents per 1,000 people is almost 30 times higher than the rate in Hanna, which is just over one incident per 1,000 people. 

 

Notably, in many states, the communities with the highest rates earn their place because the statistical method used to calculate the rate places them at the top of the list. That is possibly the case with Riverton given its high rate and relatively low population. But many of Wyoming’s largest cities, including Casper and Cheyenne, also have some of the highest property crime rates, which cannot be blamed on a mathematical quirk.


Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):

  • Hanna, Wyoming (Carbon County)
  • Diamondville, Wyoming (Lincoln County)
  • Greybull, Wyoming (Big Horn County)
  • Kemmerer, Wyoming (Lincoln County)
  • Saratoga, Wyoming (Carbon County)

Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):

  • Riverton, Wyoming (Fremont County)
  • Lander, Wyoming (Fremont County)
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming (Laramie County)
  • Casper, Wyoming (Natrona County)
  • Evansville, Wyoming (Natrona County)