For a town with such a small population, Cody sure makes a splash sometimes.
Earlier this month, USA Today named Cody one of the best cities to live in the U.S.
The USA Today ranking was based on population, growth, median household income and five-year-unemployment rate. Towns needed a population of at least 8,000 to be considered.
Ranked by the paper as the 18th best place to live in the U.S., staff writers highlighted the town’s extremely low unemployment rate – 1 percent – and noted the city’s poverty rate is well below the national rate. The town’s population of 9,826 full time residents has grown 3.1 percent in five years.
I scrolled through some of the other towns, and I noticed that many were about the size of Cody, which has a full-time population of just under 10,000 people. Cody was one of only three western towns to be included in the top 20. Editors also looked at measurable factors like median income, crime rates and general affordability. Cody clearly rocked all these numbers and then some.
Being a media darling isn’t new to the Cody Yellowstone region, as it is frequently included in national “best of”-type lists. The region has recently been called the coolest, most affordable, best for nature lovers, best for multi-generational vacations, best for history-lovers and one of the best places to retire in the country by magazines and news sites like FOX News, Travel Channel, U.S. News & World Report, Travel + Leisure and Readers Digest.
I think town founder Buffalo Bill Cody would be very proud. The legendary showman always intended for Cody be well-known. It was founded, after all, with tourists in mind. He chose the town’s site for its proximity to Yellowstone, and he built the Irma Hotel, which became known as one of the finest hotels east of the Mississippi.
Although we are home to relatively few full-time residents, we welcome more than 1 million visitors here every year. Those travelers may not care as much as its residents about the median income or unemployment rate of the region. And that’s just fine with me. All they really need to know is that all are welcome here. And for as long as travelers choose to make Cody their home away from home, there are 10,000 full-time Cody residents who will be doing their best to demonstrate why Cody is one of the best places in the country to live.
Until next time I’m appreciating the kudos and loving life here in Cody Yellowstone.