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Carbon County, Wyoming facts for kids

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Carbon County
Carbon County Courthouse in Rawlins
Carbon County Courthouse in Rawlins
Flag of Carbon County
Map of Wyoming highlighting Carbon County
Location within the U.S. state of Wyoming
Map of the United States highlighting Wyoming
Wyoming's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Wyoming
Founded December 16, 1868
Named for Coal deposits
Seat Rawlins
Largest city Rawlins
 • Total 7,964 sq mi (20,630 km2)
 • Land 7,898 sq mi (20,460 km2)
 • Water 66 sq mi (170 km2)  0.8%%
 • Total 14,537
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1.82534/sq mi (0.70477/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district At-large
DMJ Pick Bridge
Pick Bridge over the North Platte River, near Saratoga. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
North Platte River Northgate Canyon Canoers
Canoers on the North Platte River, Northgate Canyon

Carbon County is a county in the U.S. state of Wyoming. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 14,537. Its county seat is Rawlins. Its south border abuts the north line of Colorado.


Carbon County was organized in 1868.

Originally about 3,400 square miles (8,800 km2) in the center of Carbon County were once part of the Spanish Empire, then part of the Republic of Texas (1835-1845) and part of the State of Texas until 1852 when the northernmost part of that state was ceded to the U.S. government. This area is defined by the 42nd parallel on the north, and straight lines south from there to the headwaters of the Arkansas river on the east and the headwaters of the Rio Grande on the west. The documents defining that area include the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, and the 1845 "Joint Resolution for the Admission of the State of Texas into the Union".

Carbon County was organized December 16, 1868, from Laramie County in Dakota Territory, which at the time had jurisdiction over part of modern-day Wyoming. It became a county in Wyoming Territory when that territory's government was formally organized on May 19, 1869.

In 1868, the Union Pacific Railroad opened the first coal mine in Carbon County, and the county was named for its extensive coal deposits. In 1875, Carbon County lost territory when Johnson County was created by the legislature of the Wyoming Territory. Natrona County was created with land ceded by Carbon County in 1888. The boundaries of the county were final at that time except for minor adjustments in 1911.

From 1978-1982, Carbon County was represented in the Wyoming House of Representatives by Democrat Thomas E. Trowbridge (1930-2009) of Saratoga, a Nebraska native. From 1982-1986, Trowbridge was a member of the Wyoming State Senate. He was later appointed by Governor Mike Sullivan to the Wyoming State Board of Equalization. Trowbridge's father, Elton Trowbridge, held the state House seat from Carbon County from 1961 until his death in office in 1974.

George R. Salisbury, Jr., a rancher from Savery, represented Carbon County in the Wyoming House from 1975-1986. He was succeeded in office by his son-in-law and fellow Democrat, Patrick F. O'Toole, also a Savery rancher.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 7,964 square miles (20,630 km2), of which 7,898 square miles (20,460 km2) is land and 66 square miles (170 km2) (2.0%) is water. It is the third-largest county in Wyoming by area.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Medicine Bow National Forest (part)
  • Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,368
1880 3,438 151.3%
1890 6,857 99.4%
1900 9,589 39.8%
1910 11,282 17.7%
1920 9,525 −15.6%
1930 11,391 19.6%
1940 12,644 11.0%
1950 15,742 24.5%
1960 14,937 −5.1%
1970 13,354 −10.6%
1980 21,896 64.0%
1990 16,659 −23.9%
2000 15,639 −6.1%
2010 15,885 1.6%
2020 (est.) 14,711 −7.4%
US Decennial Census
1870–2000 2010–2016

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,885 people, 6,388 households, and 4,109 families in the county. The population density was 2.0 inhabitants per square mile (0.77/km2). There were 8,576 housing units at an average density of 1.1 per square mile (0.42/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.8% white, 1.0% American Indian, 0.7% black or African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 6.5% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 16.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.0% were German, 15.8% were English, 14.4% were Irish, 5.6% were Scottish, and 4.8% were American.

Of the 6,388 households, 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.7% were non-families, and 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.91. The median age was 38.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $56,565 and the median income for a family was $65,171. Males had a median income of $51,201 versus $32,603 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,122. About 5.6% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.6% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Carbon (Wyoming) para niños

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