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 Las Vegas.
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
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nevada For 2019
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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:
- Sparks (Pop. 96,786)
- Caliente (Pop. 1,124)
- Henderson (Pop. 284,817)
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