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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:
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 Yerington.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Nevada reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nevada For 2020
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.
The unemployment rate (7.2%) 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 19.0% of adults who never graduated high school.
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.
While the median household income in Lovelock is higher than other towns on this list, causing it to be lower down on the list of "worst cities", Lovelock still has the 3rd worst unemployment rate in the state, as well as the 12th worst crime index.
Therefore, though the average Lovelock household brings in a higher income, there are fewer people working here than in other cities across the state. It doesn't help that everyone has to be constantly worried about crime, either.
If you live in Wells, you're either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn't matter, because science says it's the 5th worst place to live in the state.
You've got the 10th highest crime rate in Nevada, which saw 80 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 92.0 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 57 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Wells.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. Wells sports the state's 16th highest unemployment rate (2.5%), and families bring in a combined $54,545 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $140,700.
Caliente ranks as the 6th worst city in Nevada. Located in Lincoln County, Caliente has the 9th lowest income levels in the state of Nevada ($57,218), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 14.3%.
Fernley has a 8.2% unemployment rate (5th in NV), below average income levels and the 6th highest crime rate in the state.
This random City-Data comment sums up Fernley.
"I visited Fernley over the weekend and I have to say the place just seemed completely depressing.
"I saw lots people around Fernley 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."
When you're looking at science and data, the city of Fallon is the 8th worst place you can live in the state of Nevada. Let's see why.
Residents who live in Fallon, located in Churchill County, have the 6th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level--per resident--and homes valued around $144,000, and you've got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Nevada, that is.
If you live in Nevada, you may or may not be surprised that Reno ranked, at least on paper, as the 9th worst place to live in the state. It has the 11th highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 3rd most dangerous.
Incidentally, Reno is the 12th most densely populated city in Nevada. Draw your own conclusions.
If you live in Elko, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 14th highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Nevada. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 45.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.
That's a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.
Plus there were 95 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you'd have a 1 in 213 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the 16th lowest salaries in Nevada At $77,011 a household, that's simply not enough to get by for most folks.
How we determined the worst places to live in Nevada for 2020
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 -- Yerington. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Nevada. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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, Yerington ranks as the worst city to live in Nevada for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Nevada:
- Winnemucca (Pop. 7,798)
- Sparks (Pop. 98,524)
- Henderson (Pop. 291,346)
For more Nevada reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Nevada
- Richest Cities In Nevada
- Safest Places In Nevada
- Best Cities For Singles In Nevada
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Nevada?
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