These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nevada For 2019


We used science and data to determine which places in The Silver State have the worst luck.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Nevada.

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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:

  1. Las Vegas (Photos)
  2. North Las Vegas (Photos)
  3. Yerington (Photos)
  4. Lovelock (Photos)
  5. Wells (Photos)
  6. Fallon (Photos)
  7. Carlin (Photos)
  8. Reno (Photos)
  9. West Wendover (Photos)
  10. Elko (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. And the worst place to live in Nevada? That would be Las Vegas.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Nevada reading, check out:

How we determined the worst places to live in Nevada for 2019

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

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

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 1,000 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 — Las Vegas. 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.

Las Vegas, NV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 621,662
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $209,700 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (5th worst)
More on Las Vegas:  Data | Photos

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 1st 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.

Review Of Las Vegas by HomeSnacks User

I loved being in Las Vegas.

I do not know about the crime, I was on vacation, nothing happened while I was there. But I am sure that crime happens everyday.

Something that is very prevelant is homeless people.

Prostitution is also everywhere you turn.

The Belagio water fountain show was amazing to watch. That was my favorite when it was played to G*d Bless the USA.

The insides of all the casino’s were beautiful.

The bad things were just seeing all the homeless people everywhere you turned around.

North Las Vegas, NV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 234,389
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $179,700 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (4th worst)
More on North Las Vegas:  Data | Photos

The unemployment rate (8.9%) 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 19.9% of adults who never graduated high school.

Yerington, NV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,077
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $92,100 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (1st worst)
More on Yerington:  Data | Photos

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.

Lovelock, NV

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,773
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $86,000 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (10th worst)
More on Lovelock:  Data | Photos

Lovelock, part of Pershing County, is the 4th worst place to live in Nevada for 2019.

. Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $40,458, and crime 6th worst in Nevada.

Additionally, the poverty level is 29.0% in Lovelock.

Wells, NV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,421
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $140,600 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (16th worst)
More on Wells:  Data | Photos

Wells, NV needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 1.5%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 4th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 31.0 chance of being robbed here every year.

You could find a much better place to call home.

Fallon, NV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,325
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $142,000 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (9th worst)
More on Fallon:  Data | Photos

Fallon needs some tough love.

Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Fallon. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Fallon. Of the 17 cities considered in this ranking, Fallon had the least to be proud of across the board.

Not only does Fallon have Nevada’s 7th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 9th and 5th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of “Worst City in Nevada.”

If you know anyone in Fallon, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.

Carlin, NV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,361
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $104,400 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (2nd worst)
More on Carlin:  Data | Photos

What the heck is going on in little Carlin? The crime is the 15th highest in the state of Nevada. Here, residents have a 1 in 112.4 chance of being robbed. That means if you live here, and didn’t have something stolen from you, there’s a good chance your neighbor did.

That ratio is one of the highest we’ve seen in the nation. Perhaps the high unemployment rate has something to do with it. More than 11.8% of Carlin residents were without jobs in the latest numbers we collected, which is the 2nd highest in the state.

Reno, NV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 239,732
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $265,600 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (13th worst)
More on Reno:  Data | Photos

Reno has a 6.7% unemployment rate (13th in NV), below average income levels and the 2nd highest crime rate in the state.

This random City-Data comment sums up Reno.

“I visited Reno over the weekend and I have to say the place just seemed completely depressing.

“I saw lots people around Reno who looked…well bad. Like former alcoholics and drug addicts.

“And what’s with the poorish looking area, where there were a lot of people in run down homes?

“Just looked sad.”

Review Of Reno by HomeSnacks User

Loads of schools both public and private, with more in the works. Big events year-round, averaging one biggie per month, ranging from hot air balloon races, rodeo, air races, food fests , nearby Burning Man, parades for numerous reasons, a growing art scene,….there’s just so much going on lately. Plus the casinos. All this and a decent sized river coursing downtown that hosts kayak contests. A construction boom is in progress.

Watch out for the poorly maintained roads, impatient tail riding drivers, and extreme temperatures; summer is very hot and winter is bone chilling cold with a lot of snow possible. Rain, hail, high winds, drought, avalanches (in mountain areas) flooding, wildfires, it has it all.

The sheer number of special events and stuff to do in a city this size (250,000 approximately) is pretty amazing.

West Wendover, NV

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,371
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $155,200 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.3% (17th worst)
More on West Wendover:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at science and data, West Wendover is the worst place you can live in Nevada. Let’s see why.

The unemployment rate here is 1.3%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $155,200, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.

You have a 1 in 31.0 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.

West Wendover is a far drive south from Louisville.

Elko, NV

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 20,225
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $218,100 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (15th worst)
More on Elko:  Data | Photos

According to science, Elko is the 10th worst place you can live in Nevada.

Let’s see why. Elko has the 7th-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Elko is certainly up there.

Factor in a very low housing cost ($218,100), and the 15th-highest unemployment rate in the state (5.0%), and across the board, Elko doesn’t sound like the best of the best.

Plus, there’s simply not a lot to do here (unless you count having a Walmart and a Piggly Wiggly as fun). We’re aware that people enjoy outdoor activities, but in terms of pure entertainment, you’d have to drive a ways away.

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, Las Vegas ranks as the worst city to live in Nevada for 2019.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Nevada:

  1. Sparks (Pop. 96,786)
  2. Caliente (Pop. 1,124)
  3. Henderson (Pop. 284,817)

For more Nevada reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Nevada

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Las Vegas 621,662 8.8% $209,700
2 North Las Vegas 234,389 8.9% $179,700
3 Yerington 3,077 13.2% $92,100
4 Lovelock 1,773 7.6% $86,000
5 Wells 1,421 1.5% $140,600
6 Fallon 8,325 7.9% $142,000
7 Carlin 2,361 11.8% $104,400
8 Reno 239,732 6.7% $265,600
9 West Wendover 4,371 1.3% $155,200
10 Elko 20,225 5.0% $218,100
11 Fernley 19,261 9.5% $165,200
12 Winnemucca 7,870 6.3% $190,800
13 Ely 4,124 8.5% $126,300
14 Mesquite 17,467 8.1% $204,400
15 Sparks 96,786 7.2% $244,000
16 Caliente 1,124 8.4% $126,700
17 Henderson 284,817 7.2% $266,200

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10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nevada For 2019

  1. Lots of people live in Primm, Nevada. There are lots of apartments there. Drive behind the extremely high priced, trashy mall and there are two or three very large apartment complexes.

  2. 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 it’s 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.

    it’s hard to find a good doctor that sticks around for more than two years… Not at all true.

    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… you must be f*cking insane… Henderson is a MUCH WORSE place to live than Las Vegas.

  3. I lived in Las Vegas and moved to Henderson first week our cars were broken into. Lived there 2 1/2 yrs had things stolen 3x . Moved back to Vegas we’re we never had a problem.

  4. Left out Pahrump. One of the fastest growing places in the state.

    I grew up in Reno, lived in Elko Co from ‘63-to recently, when I’ve moved to Fallon.

    I’ve traveled the state, have friends and/or family in EVERY part It’s a great state throughout You really missed the boat on this list. STUPID

  5. Reno and Fernley are in both the best and worst places to live in Nevada???

    Unless you are lucky enough to have a good job to pay even the most basic of bills, Reno/Sparks is a damn nightmare. Drug addicts, gambling addicts, alcoholics, and the homeless run the streets now, with a few gangs to make things really nice. Rents have skyrocketed, which has just led to more homelessness. Drinking and doping all day takes money, so there is a lot of crime. We seem to be having a scourge of gun violence the last couple years too. BTW, Nevada ranks 49th for violent crime among the US states, meaning it is the 2nd worst state, having the 2nd highest violent crime incidence. They are not kidding when they say Reno/Sparks is growing quickly (too quickly). We’re being overrun by a certain state’s former residents who are sick of the traffic and have the means to pay outrageous prices for a home here. If I had the means, I’d move far away to a small community.

  6. The authors of this may have, as they claim, “used science and data,” but they clearly didn’t use math. How do you come up with an unemployment rate of over 1000%?

  7. No mention of Hawthorne either. If you’ve ever driven from RENO to Las Vegas you’ve driven through Hawthorne. Or maybe you took the bypass. It’s only 1 square mile so if you blinked, you missed it. Luning and Mina aren’t mentioned either. Seems like Mineral County is the BEST place ever to live. Beautiful Walker Lake, Mount Grant, lots of outdoor things to do. Or if you follow me around a while you’ll be ready to lay down and rest a bit! It don’t tell anybody how great it is because we want to keep it great!

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