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:
- Lovelock (Photos)
- Yerington (Photos)
- Las Vegas (Photos)
- North Las Vegas (Photos)
- Fallon (Photos)
- Wells (Photos)
- Ely (Photos)
- West Wendover (Photos)
- Carlin (Photos)
- Reno (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 Lovelock.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more Nevada reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Nevada
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Nevada
- 5 Most Dangerous Cities In Nevada
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
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 — 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.
If you’re looking to live in Nevada, Lovelock might not be the best choice as it places 1st in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Silver State for 2019.
The average family earns $40,458 a year out here, and 29.0% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 7.6% of the population is out of work.
And when you consider the crime, it’s just crazy to think of how dangerous it is to live way out here. When you’re in Lovelock, every year, you have a 1 in 34.1 chance of being robbed. Can you imagine? Perhaps it’s an economic factor, or the fact that the people out there are so isolated, but the fact remains, it’s the 6th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.
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.
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.
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.
Fallon, where there’s absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the 5th worst city in Nevada.
Besides the lack of pure amenities, Fallon has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 7.9%, and families earn around $39,866 a year. It’s also the 5th highest in Nevada for crime, where 1 in 28.4 people gets robbed every year.
Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?
According to science, Wells is the 6th worst place you can live in Nevada.
Let’s see why. Wells has the 4th-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Wells is certainly up there.
Factor in a very low housing cost ($140,600), and the 16th-highest unemployment rate in the state (1.5%), and across the board, Wells 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.
You can sure expect that Ely is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 7th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Ely has the 10th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 0.008039103041033707 violent crimes here in 2019, and residents have a 1 in 36.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Ely, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits — the unemployment rate sits at 8.5% which is the 6th worst in Nevada.
Welcome to West Wendover, where criminals go to make a living. West Wendover has the 4th highest crime rate in the state. When you’re within West Wendover city limits, you have a 1 in 31.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime such as a car break in or home invasion robbery every year.
Plus, there were 27 violent crimes here in 2019. For a city of 4,371 people, that’s absolutely off the charts high. You have a 1 in 161 chance of being raped, attacked or killed when you’re in West Wendover every year as well.
The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Carlin. The only real difference is Carlin is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.
However, the unemployment rate in Carlin is at 11.8%, which is the 2nd worst in Nevada. And households earn a combined $74,148 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Carlin is merely $104,400.
Carlin is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.
Reno needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Reno. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Reno. Of the 17 cities considered in this ranking, Reno had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Reno have Nevada’s 16th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 13th and 2nd 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 Reno, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
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 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Nevada:
- Caliente (Pop. 1,124)
- Sparks (Pop. 96,786)
- Henderson (Pop. 284,817)
For more Nevada reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Nevada
- 10 Safest Places In Nevada
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Nevada
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Nevada
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