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:

Here are the 10 worst places to live in Nevada for 2019:

  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:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nevada For 2019

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

Crime I would say is about the same as everywhere else, it happens everywhere. So far the school my kids have gone to have been good, though Nevada is rated low on education. I would recommend las vegas.

I would say my favorite places to go is to the mountains when it snows or even just to hike. The lake is also a good option. The casinos are just a small part of vegas. I would just say to be careful who you talk to here. You just never know.

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

The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Lovelock. The only real difference is Lovelock is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.

However, the unemployment rate in Lovelock is at 7.6%, which is the 10th worst in Nevada. And households earn a combined $40,458 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Lovelock is merely $86,000.

Lovelock is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.

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

The unemployment rate in Wells is a sky high 1.5%, which is the 16th highest in the state. Ouch.

The median income in Wells is $54,500. That means 3.0% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn’t horrible here, but you have a 1 in 31.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within city limits every year.

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

Welcome to Fallon, Nevada, where 1 in 12.7 people is without a job, and families bring in a combined $39,866 a year.

Crime is the 5th highest in Nevada, where you have a 1 in 28.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime, and every year, you have a 1 in 361 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered when you’re within Fallon city limits.

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

Would you believe that Carlin is the 15th most dangerous place in Nevada? That’s the case, as every year, you have a 1 in 112.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within Carlin city limits.

In addition, every year, you have a 1 in 102 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Carlin. That means raped, attacked or killed. Again, for Nevada, that’s just unacceptable.

Beyond the crime numbers, Carlin’s unemployment rate is the 2nd highest in Nevada (11.8%), and homes are the 3rd cheapest in the state ($104,400). Say what you want about ‘cheap living’, the fact is homes are priced on demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Carlin.

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 is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Reno is the 2nd most dangerous place you can live in Nevada.

Residents in Reno have a 1 in 31.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.

When you’re considering home prices, you can’t do much lower than in Reno, where average homes are valued at only$265,600. That’s the 16th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.

Review Of Reno by HomeSnacks User

Literally one of the worst places I’ve ever been in my life.

A m**h-infested hellhole with gambling. Tattoo parlor on every corner. Crime seems pretty ridiculous. The weather is always terrible.

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

West Wendover doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 1.3%, and people average less than $48,615 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $155,200, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Nevada.

And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

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

If you live in Elko, 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 10th worst place to live in the state.

You’ve got the 7th highest crime rate in Nevada, which saw 81 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 30.4 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 249 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Elko.

Plus, folks are simply out of work. Elko sports the state’s 15th highest unemployment rate (5.0%), and families bring in a combined $75,652 a year, which is far below the state average.

No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $218,100.

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.

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:

Where Are 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

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11 thoughts on “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!

  8. As someone previously mentioned, people do live in Primm – be it, mostly those employed by the 3 Casinos. And Primm is actually considered to be part of Jean. They have the same zip code. It’s more rural, but plenty of people live in Jean.

    Prostitution being on every corner is a ridiculous exaggeration. On the strip and other major highly trafficked “party” type tourist spots is where you find it.

    Smoking is allowed in public places as part of the old Vegas ways/tradition (to help promote gambling)…. but in no way does everyone smoke like a chimney. Outside of the touristy areas, I’m not going to restaurants and dealing with smoke while I’m eating.

    And like anywhere else, schools, crime etc is dependent on part of the city.

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