Most rural Western states saw a bump in population during the pandemic that began in 2020.

Wyoming, a state that has often struggled with population, actually added about 1,900 new residents according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Problems with bigger state and bigger city living include higher prices across the board, higher taxes, higher crime and congestion.

Add COVID-19 to the mix and all of the mandates that came with it and some people have just had enough.

Happy young woman holding carton box with goods and chattels, moving to the new home
KarinaUvarova, Thinkstock
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This has been especially true when it came to the way these big states and cities handled their schools systems during the pandemic.

Add to these problems the riots of 2020 and the "Defund The Police" movement that came after that lead to an out-of-control crime rate, and even more, people began to look for someplace more stable, quiet, and affordable.

So let's take a look at the numbers across the Western region:

Moving van with cardboard box and chairs by house
Purestock
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  • Arizona 125,000 new residents.
  • Colorado 38,000 new residents.
  • Idaho 62,000 new residents.
  • Montana 20,000 new residents.
  • Nevada 39,000 new residents.
  • Utah 66,000 new residents.
  • Wyoming 1,900 new residents.

Rough numbers show the region added about 351,000 new residents between April 2020 and July 2021

In most of these states folks say that they don't mind new people and businesses coming to their state. They welcome it.

Young couple watching movers move boxes from the moving van
XiXinXing, ThinkStock Images
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But they would just like these new residents to come with the understanding that the quality of life out in this part of the country is so much better than where they left for certain reasons. Do not try to recreate the West to be like where you left. 

Wyoming Pickup Truck Office View

A Stunning Look At Wyoming Life Through The Eyes Of Photographer Chris Dickinson

Chris Dickinson is a premier western photographer based out of Utah who can often be found propped on his elbows in the mud, boots covered in manure, facing a rearing horse, all for the sake of the perfect shot. He's a man who does whatever it takes to achieve greatness. Below is a gallery of his pictures taken in Wyoming.