Nevada brings to mind images of Carson City, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.
However, like all states, Nevada has certain places that are going on hard times. These Nevada places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.
With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the poorest places in Nevada.
To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 16 places in Nevada with more than 2,000 people.
Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.
What’s the poorst city in Nevada? According to the facts, Yerington is the poorest place in Nevada for 2023.
To see how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.
For more Nevada reading, check out:
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The 10 Poorest Cities In Nevada For 2023
Yerington, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Nevada thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.
The city of 3,093 people averages the lowest median household income in Nevada and the highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $37,438 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.2% (highest)
More on Yerington:
The second poorest city in Nevada is Las Vegas.
The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 4th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 2nd highest in the Silver State.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $61,356 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 14.9% (2nd highest)
More on Las Vegas:
Placing as the third poorest city, North Las Vegas’s median income ranks as the 8th lowest.
And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 12.869000445496965% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.
But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Silver State.
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $64,738 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 12.9% (6th highest)
More on North Las Vegas:
West Wendover ranks as the fourth poorest place in Nevada.
The town ranks as having the 3rd lowest median household income and the 3rd highest incidence of poverty in the state.
That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $54,075 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 0.0% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 14.3% (3rd highest)
More on West Wendover:
The fifth poorest city in Nevada is Winnemucca.
The city ranks as having the 11th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 4th highest in Nevada.
Still not the best news for Winnemucca.
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 7)
Median Income: $70,543 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 13.6% (4th highest)
More on Winnemucca:
Boulder City ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Silver State.
It ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty and the 5th highest unemployment rate.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $69,746 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 11.4% (10th highest)
More on Boulder City:
Ely places as the seventh poorest city in Nevada.
The city of over 3,983 ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $64,347 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 13.3% (5th highest)
More on Ely:
Fallon ranks as the eighth poorest city in Nevada.
The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 15th highest in the state.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Income: $49,785 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 11.7% (9th highest)
More on Fallon:
Mesquite couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Nevada; it ranks number 9.
While the median income is the 6th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Mesquite ranks as having the 13th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Nevada.
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $63,757 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 8.2% (13th highest)
More on Mesquite:
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Nevada is Reno.
The city of 259,913 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Silver State.
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $67,557 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 12.6% (7th highest)
More on Reno:
Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In Nevada for 2023
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.
However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2017-2021 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
- Unemployment Rate
The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.
The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.
After we collected the data for all 16 places with more than 2,000 people in Nevada, we ranked each place from 1 to 16 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Yerington, crowned the “Poorest Place In Nevada For 2023”.
This report has been updated for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the poorest places in Nevada.
Summary: The Poorest Places In Nevada For 2023
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Nevada, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Nevada.
When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Nevada, according to data:
2nd Richest: Elko
3rd Richest: Henderson
For more Nevada reading, check out:
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Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Nevada
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