These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Nevada For 2018


We used science and data to determine which places in Nevada are basically dead broke.

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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 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 places in Nevada that could use a helping hand.

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.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Silver State for 2018:

  1. Fallon (Photos)
  2. Yerington (Photos)
  3. Ely (Photos)
  4. Carson City (Photos)
  5. Las Vegas (Photos)
  6. West Wendover (Photos)
  7. Mesquite (Photos)
  8. Reno (Photos)
  9. Fernley (Photos)
  10. North Las Vegas (Photos)

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.

And according to the facts, Fallon is the poorest place in Nevada for 2018.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Nevada or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Nevada For 2018

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 2012-2016 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, Fallon, crowned the ‘Poorest Place In Nevada For 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 16 places.

1. Fallon

Fallon, Nevada

Population: 8,410
Median Income: $37,848
Unemployment Rate: 12.6%
Poverty Rate: 23.8%
More on Fallon: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Fallon, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Nevada thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 8,410 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Nevada and the 1st 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.

2. Yerington

Yerington, Nevada

Population: 3,096
Median Income: $39,489
Unemployment Rate: 17.2%
Poverty Rate: 15.7%
More on Yerington: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The second poorest city in Nevada is Yerington.

The city ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 1st highest in the Silver State.

3. Ely

Ely, Nevada

Population: 4,169
Median Income: $50,361
Unemployment Rate: 10.7%
Poverty Rate: 17.1%
More on Ely: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Placing as the third poorest city, Ely’s median income ranks as the 7th 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 17.1% 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.

4. Carson City

Carson City, Nevada

Source: Public domain

Population: 54,412
Median Income: $47,948
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Poverty Rate: 16.7%
More on Carson City: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Carson City ranks as the fourth poorest place in Nevada.

The town ranks as having the 5th lowest median household income and the 6th 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.

5. Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Population: 613,295
Median Income: $50,882
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Poverty Rate: 16.8%
More on Las Vegas: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The fifth poorest city in Nevada is Las Vegas.

The city ranks as having the 8th 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 5th highest in Nevada.

Still not the best news for Las Vegas.

User comment that mentions Las Vegas: What a list!||||Las Vegas noise… noisy areas and quiet areas just like EVERY OTHER big city.||||Buffets to frequent… There is no such thing as a decent buffet in Las Vegas; hasn’t been a good one in 15 years.||||who to ask for free tickets to the shows… nothing in Vegas is free.||||hard to find a sense of community there… NO nosy people who criticize everything you do, everywhere you go, and everything you buy; NO people who are negative about every aspect of live… NO ONE who gossips about everyone 24/7- Yeah, that’s the best part of living in Las Vegas.||||And its not a family friendly place… Much of Las Vegas is very family friendly.||||People smoke like chimneys… some do, some don’t – like EVERYWHERE.||||there are solicitations for sex on every corner… NO, there are not. Yeah, they have it… but not everywhere.||||its hard to find a good doctor that sticks around for more than two years… Not at all true.||||Vegas isnt for everyone. Either you love it or you hate it. If youre the latter, then there are a lot of homes in Henderson for sale… you must be f*cking insane… Henderson is a MUCH WORSE place to live than Las Vegas.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

6. West Wendover

West Wendover, Nevada

Population: 4,390
Median Income: $45,714
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Poverty Rate: 23.4%
More on West Wendover: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

West Wendover ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Silver State.

It ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and the 14th highest unemployment rate.

7. Mesquite

Mesquite, Nevada

Population: 16,953
Median Income: $44,498
Unemployment Rate: 8.9%
Poverty Rate: 14.0%
More on Mesquite: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Mesquite places as the seventh poorest city in Nevada.

The city of over 16,953 ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Reno

Reno, Nevada

Population: 237,121
Median Income: $48,815
Unemployment Rate: 7.6%
Poverty Rate: 18.4%
More on Reno: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Reno ranks as the eighth poorest city in Nevada.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 13th highest in the state.

9. Fernley

Fernley, Nevada

Population: 19,228
Median Income: $51,826
Unemployment Rate: 11.6%
Poverty Rate: 11.9%
More on Fernley: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Fernley couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Nevada; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Fernley ranks as having the 11th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Nevada.

10. North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas, Nevada

Source: Public domain

Population: 230,436
Median Income: $53,565
Unemployment Rate: 9.6%
Poverty Rate: 15.8%
More on North Las Vegas: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Nevada is North Las Vegas.

The city of 230,436 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Silver State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Nevada For 2018

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:

Richest: Winnemucca
2nd Richest: Elko
3rd Richest: Carlin

For more Nevada reading , check out:

  • 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Nevada
  • 5 Most Dangerous Cities In Nevada
  • 10 Worst Places To Live In Nevada
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Nevada

    Rank City Poverty Rate
    1 Fallon 23.8%
    2 Yerington 15.7%
    3 Ely 17.1%
    4 Carson City 16.7%
    5 Las Vegas 16.8%
    6 West Wendover 23.4%
    7 Mesquite 14.0%
    8 Reno 18.4%
    9 Fernley 11.9%
    10 North Las Vegas 15.8%
    11 Boulder City 10.0%
    12 Sparks 12.3%
    13 Henderson 9.2%
    14 Carlin 4.3%
    15 Elko 11.7%
    16 Winnemucca 9.1%

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