Top 10 Cowboy States in America

These states are based on true cowboys, ranchers, and wranglers.
The Top Ten
1 Texas Texas is a state in the Southern USA. It is the second largest by area and population. Its largest city is Houston.

My home state! The birth of the modern American cowboy (sorry, other states!), and the start of most major historical cattle drives (not to mention one of, if not the, largest stockyards at Fort Worth, Texas). Although urbanization has been killing cowboy culture in the major cities, it's still alive and well in rural Texas.

Rural Texas still feels as Western as ever, and we rural Texans respect the Western way of life. You'd also have a hard time distinguishing a Texan cowboy from a Wyomingite cowboy at first glance (except maybe with accents and speech patterns).

2 Wyoming Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The state is the tenth largest by area, but the least populous and the second least densely populated of the 50 United States.

I was born in Jackson and have lived in several towns in Wyoming. A town I lived in for a while, called Lander, still had cattle drives through a town of 15 thousand or so people. By far, the most real western state, people even ride horses through town on a daily basis.

When you think of spaghetti westerns, you think of Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma, but when you think of a true western state, Wyoming takes the cake.

I agree with Wyoming being at the top of the list. I lived in Utah the majority of my life riding horses. I never owned a ranch myself.

I always thought moving to Wyoming, I would never see a single cowboy, thinking they would all be hiding in caves. After I moved up here, I see nothing but cowboys. They are all really nice folks, and I fit in with them pretty well for the most part.

3 Oklahoma

It is the home of the 19th century land rushes, Guthrie, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, bull riding, the last fort still in operation that was involved in Indian Wars (Fort Sill), ranch culture, and Will Rogers.

The National Cowboy Museum is in Oklahoma. Oklahoma was literally founded as a place for cowboys and ranchers. It is the cowboy capital of the world.

The best bull riders of all time are from Oklahoma, as well as the best country singers, including myself. I travel all over the country, from West Virginia to California.

I live in Oklahoma City, and I see more cowboy boots and cowboy hats from Oklahoma City to Tulsa than I have anywhere in the world.

4 New Mexico

New Mexico was an American symbol of where cowboys truly started, which was Mexico with the Vaqueros. It stands to reason that because of this historical reminder, it should make the top ten list.

Only real cowboys come from New Mexico.

5 California California is a state in the Southwestern United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 square kilometers), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento, and the largest city is Los Angeles... read more

Anywhere in Northern CA east of the immediate Bay Area, you'll regularly see many men and women wearing western attire, especially boots. The same is true for the entire San Joaquin Valley down to Bakersfield. Additionally, you have to include the desert counties, the Sierra-Nevada foothills, and the mountains themselves.

Remember, CA is the fourth most beef-producing state in the US and ranks eighth in terms of the number of farms. Outside of the big cities, you'll see more cowboys/farmers than any other state due to the population. People from out of state rarely see this because tourists stick to the LA, SD, and Bay Areas.

6 Montana Montana is a state in the Western region of the United States. The state's name is derived from the Spanish word montaƱa.

Being from Montana, I know that you aren't going to find any truer cowboys and cowgirls than those you find in Montana. We're tough, hard-working, and not afraid of getting hurt or a little dirty. It's "all in a day's work."

The spirit of the old west is still very much alive and well here. We don't shrink from a challenge. Rather, we face it head-on. We believe in working hard for what you have.

At least half of the state's population is involved in farming or ranching in one way or another. Cattle and horses are around every corner. Montana is the most "cowboy" state of all 50! Proud Montanan here!

7 Arizona Arizona is a U.S. state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states.

Arizona has a lot more desert and slightly fewer cowboys than some others, but there are a few who settled there long ago and stayed put in their small towns.

We have a horse trail by my house, and it's normal to wear cowboy gear. That horse trail is in Phoenix. You'll find more cowboy culture down south in Tucson and Tombstone.

This should be number one. Every well-known story about cowboys happened there.

8 South Dakota

South Dakota is a border state between the Midwest and the West. The western half of SD has absolutely massive ranches raising cattle and bison, as well as some more unusual animals. There is no doubt that SD has a strong Western culture with many cowboys.

Western SD also has some of the most stunning and beautiful Western landscapes with multiple areas of badlands, and the beautiful Black Hills.

Cowboy memorabilia is everywhere in this state.

9 Colorado Colorado is a state in the United States encompassing most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains.

Colorado, native born and raised. It is the true definition of a ranch state with high-quality horses, real cattle drives, and a real Wild West feeling. It is definitely a cowboy state with the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Cowboys here are very common, from the Eastern plains to the western slope. Western life is the norm. Even in the Front Range, cowboys are common, just a little more spread out.

Wisconsin dairy cows do not compare to a Colorado cattle drive. Cowboy and ranching culture is quite different than farming.

10 Kansas Kansas is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area.

Born and raised on a farm, fourth generation country boy. My grandpa used to ride his horse to high school. You can't drive anywhere and not see a real country boy or cowboy alike.

In my definition of a cowboy, Kansas deserves a place. These folks work hard farming crops and have the blood, sweat, and sunburns to prove it.

I live in Kansas and you can't turn around without seeing a cowboy hat or a rodeo arena.

The Contenders
11 Utah Utah is a state in the western United States. It became the 45th state admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th-largest, the 31st-most populous, and the 10th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States.

Every city has a rodeo and rodeo grounds.

12 Idaho Idaho is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. Idaho is the 14th largest, the 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 United States.

Growing up in Southern Idaho feels the same as its neighbors Montana and Wyoming. Drive down the I-84 and you see plenty of cowboys and ranching land. Many of my friends were involved in rodeo and ranching.

13 Kentucky Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States.

I grew up in Cox's Creek, KY. There are farmers, ranchers, and a lot of cowboys down here. And an equal amount of briar hoppers (rednecks), you might say we are a similar breed.

Plenty of old country singers see Kentucky as a home state, even if they aren't from here. A place full of southern hospitality, and a horse on about every hillside. In KY, there were many settlers, from the 1700s cowboys filled this land, and they continue to thrive in it today.

Kentucky has a ton of cattle farms. We ride horses and don't care what people from up north think. What else can I say? We don't wear hats like people in the southwest and "pure west," but we wear them.

14 Tennessee Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States.

Tennessee has always been known for its beautiful mountains and temperatures. It is an amazing experience to be in Tennessee because whether you are in the fields or on a mountain, you feel that southern culture.

I totally think Tennessee deserves to be higher on this list.

I live in Eastern Tennessee and all I see is people dressed like they just came from a rodeo. They also have accents. We are very polite.

Tennessee embraces cowboy culture with a modern twist. Proud to be from here, most of the time.

15 Oregon Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Oregon is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Washington, on the south by California, on the east by Idaho, and on the southeast by Nevada.
16 Nevada Nevada is a state in the Western, Mountain West, and Southwestern regions of the United States of America.

Wide open land where ranchers graze their cattle all over the state. I live on a dozen acres that has a boundary with BLM land, and cattle herds graze there every year. A major rodeo has been held in Reno for the last 100 years.

Visiting city slickers only see Vegas, Reno, and Tahoe casinos. The rest of the state is open range mostly held by the BLM, which leases it to ranchers and mining operations.

I personally think that Nevada should be listed as number two for being a cowboy state.

The Great Basin buckaroos are some of the finest cowpunchers in the west.

17 North Dakota North Dakota is the 39th state of the United States, having been admitted to the union on November 2, 1889.

Doesn't deserve last place, at least not after Hawaii.

18 Missouri Missouri is a state located in the Midwestern United States. It is the 21st most extensive, and the 18th most populous of the fifty states.

Missouri deserves mention as the "Mother of Western Outlaws," for example, Jesse and Frank James, and home of the Bushwhackers. It is the starting point for the Pony Express (St. Joseph), Oregon Trail, and Santa Fe Trail (both in Independence).

Missouri is definitely a cowboy state and its history is rich with western heritage.

I live in Missouri and I can't even count how many cowboys and cowgirls I see on a daily basis.

19 Alabama Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west.

Alabama is the most country state here besides maybe Texas or Montana.

20 North Carolina North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
21 Nebraska Nebraska is a state that lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. Its state capital is Lincoln.

Nebraska should be much higher on this list. It's one of the top beef-producing states in the US!

22 Florida Florida is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Florida is the southeasternmost U.S. state, with the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

Surprisingly, there are more cowboys here than in Texas.

23 West Virginia West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area,... read more

West Virginia is the last frontier of the east. While rural West Virginians differ from the traditional image that comes to mind when we think of cowboys, their lives are centered around managing animal and land resources.

Awesome state! Living here is awesome. Even though the weather isn't nice sometimes, it's awesome. I love this state!

24 Mississippi Mississippi is a southern U.S. state with the Mississippi River to its west, the state of Alabama to its east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.

Heck, I'm a redneck cowboy that lives in deep South Mississippi.

25 Wisconsin Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

In rural areas, guys in WI definitely wear cowboy boots. Even in more urban areas, guys wear boots, but it's just not as common. However, that's not to say they don't.

I like cowboy boots, so I wear them. My guess is many guys feel the same and thus wear them as well.

They may not be true cowboys, but farmers in Wisconsin carry their own kind of grit and blood with them. They're tough people. I would know. My entire family is composed of them, including myself.

I live in Wisconsin and occasionally wear a cowboy hat, but I almost always wear cowboy boots. I own more boots than any other footwear.

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