The state of Nevada is a lot more than Vegas and Reno. But for most people, that’s all they know. Oh, and Primm. But no one actually lives there.
If you actually ventured out into Nevada, you’d see a lot of sand and mountains. The landscape can be pretty cool in some parts. especially near the mountain side of the state. It’s actually one of the most misunderstood and underappreciated states in the U.S.
But is it all good in The Silver State? Of course not. Just like every other state, Nevada has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Nevada your home.
After analyzing 17 of the state’s most populous cities (over 1,100 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Nevada:
- Las Vegas (Photos)
- North Las Vegas (Photos)
- West Wendover
- Fallon (Photos)
- Reno (Photos)
- Fernley (Photos)
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2018.
How we determined the worst places to live in Nevada for 2018
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 1,100 people were considered — leaving 17 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 17 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one ‘Worst Place To Live Score’.
Finally, we ranked every city on the ‘Worst Place To Live Score’ with the lowest score being the worst city in Nevada — Lovelock. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Nevada.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Population: 1,854Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Values: $94,400 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (11th worst)
Lovelock takes the 1st worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Lovelock its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 2nd worst in the whole state.
Population: 3,096Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Values: $102,000 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.2% (1st worst)
If ‘yer in Yerington, you might be out of a job. More than 10% of the people here are unemployed, and those who do find work (farming), earn under $40,000 a year. Home prices are outrageous for a place that’s hours from any real fun.
Unless you think a quick jaunt to Schurz is a blast.
And, for some reason, crime is the 15th highest in Nevada way out here. You have a 1 in 37 chance of being robbed out here. Most likely, it’s someone you know. Or a friend of a friend. Because there’s no one else around for a long, long ways.
3. Las Vegas
Population: 613,295Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $184,900 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.6% (5th worst)
If you live in Las Vegas, you deal with the noise and the chaos. You know which parts of town to avoid, how to handle the criminals, and which buffets to frequent. You know where to take friends when they come to visit, and who to ask for free tickets to the shows.
Science says it’s the 3rd worst place in the state, and you can imagine why. Mostly because of the crime, and the stupid people who can’t handle themselves. Yes, there were a bunch of murders here two years ago. And yeah, it might be hard to find a ‘sense of community’ there. And it’s not a family friendly place. People smoke like chimneys and there are solicitations for sex on every corner.
It’s corrupt. And it’s hard to find a good doctor that sticks around for more than two years.
Vegas isn’t for everyone. Either you love it or you hate it. If you’re the latter, then there are a lot of homes in Henderson for sale.
4. North Las Vegas
Population: 230,436Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Values: $161,500 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (6th worst)
The unemployment rate (9.6%) is a lot higher here than in some of the remote places in the middle of the desert. And that causes people to act differently than when they have something to do all day long, like…work maybe?
The public schools aren’t any worse than they are downtown. They’re all pretty lousy, but that doesn’t help the 20.8% of adults who never graduated high school.
5. West Wendover
Population: 4,390Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $128,400 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (14th worst)
The unemployment rate in West Wendover is a sky high 6.5%, which is the 14th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in West Wendover is $45,714. That means 2340.0% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn’t horrible here, but you have a 1 in 30.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within city limits every year.
Population: 4,169Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Values: $125,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.7% (4th worst)
Ely places 6th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Nevada. Here, 15.3% of the adult population lack’s even a high school degree. That makes Ely have the 9th highest adult drop out rate in Nevada.
Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $125,000 each — the 5th lowest in Nevada.
As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of demand to live here.
Population: 8,410Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Values: $133,500 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (2nd worst)
Fallon takes the 7th worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Fallon its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 11th worst in the whole state.
Population: 1,377 Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Values: $118,200 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (17th worst)
Things are starting to get progressively more ‘modern’ and in line with what you expect in a great state such as Nevada when we get to Wells. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 3.1% (which is really high), and the median income is $51,618. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.
Population: 237,121Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Values: $235,800 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (13th worst)
Reno has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 3rd-highest in the state of Nevada. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 7.6%.
Additionally, 1840.0% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Population: 19,228Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Values: $150,400 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (3rd worst)
Fernley has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 16th-highest in the state of Nevada. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 11.6%.
Additionally, 1190.0% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Nevada
If you’re looking at areas in Nevada with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Lovelock ranks as the worst city to live in Nevada for 2018.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Nevada:
- Henderson (Pop. 277,872)
- Sparks (Pop. 94,718)
- Mesquite (Pop. 16,953)
For more Nevada reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Nevada
|North Las Vegas||4||4|