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Nevada (, ) is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
in the
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
region of the United States. It is bordered by
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its ...

Oregon
to the northwest,
Idaho Idaho () is a in the region of the United States. It borders the state of to the east and northeast, to the east, and to the south, and and to the west. To the north, it shares a small portion of the with the province of . With a po ...

Idaho
to the northeast,
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...

California
to the west,
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Arizona
to the southeast, and
Utah Utah ( , ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Utah
to the east. Nevada is the 7th-most extensive, the 32nd-most populous, and the 9th-least densely populated of the U.S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in
Clark CountyClark County is the name of twelve counties in the United States. Most, though not all, are named after two brothers: military hero George Rogers Clark in the Midwest, and explorer William Clark (explorer), William Clark in the West. *Clark County, ...
, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area, including three of the state's four largest incorporated cities. Nevada's capital is
Carson City Carson City, officially the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City, is an Independent city (United States), independent city and the capital of the U.S. state of Nevada, named after the mountain man Kit Carson. As of the 2010 United States Cen ...
while the largest city is
Las Vegas Las Vegas (; for "The Meadows"), often known simply as Vegas, is the in the United States, the most populous city in the of , and the of . The city anchors the metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater . Las Vegas is ...

Las Vegas
. Nevada is officially known as the "Silver State" because of the importance of silver to its history and economy. It is also known as the "Battle Born State" because it achieved statehood during the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
(the words "Battle Born" also appear on the
state flag In vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flag A flag is a piece of textile, fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signa ...

state flag
); as the "Sagebrush State", for the native
plant of the same name
plant of the same name
; and as the " Sage-hen State". The name means "snowy" in Spanish, referring to Nevada's small overlap with the
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
mountain range; however, the rest of Nevada is largely
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
and semi-arid, much of it within the
Great Basin The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the ...
. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the
Mojave Desert The Mojave Desert ( ; mov, Hayikwiir Mat'aar) is a xeric Deserts and xeric shrublands are a biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a ...

Mojave Desert
, while
Lake Tahoe Lake Tahoe (; was, dáʔaw, 'the lake') is a large Fresh water, freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Sierra Nevada of the United States. Lying at , it straddles the state line between California and Nevada, west of Carson City, Nevada, C ...

Lake Tahoe
and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state's land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U.S. federal government, both civilian and military. American Indians of the
Paiute Paiute (; also Piute) refers to three non-contiguous groups of indigenous peoples of the Great Basin. Although their languages are related within the Numic group of Uto-Aztecan languages, these three groups do not form a single set. The term "P ...
,
Shoshone The Shoshone or Shoshoni ( or ) are a Tribe (Native American), Native American tribe with four large cultural/linguistic divisions: * Eastern Shoshone: Wyoming * Northern Shoshone: southern Idaho * Western Shoshone: Nevada, northern Utah * Goshu ...

Shoshone
, and
Washoe
Washoe
tribes inhabited what is now Nevada. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish. They called the region ''Nevada'' (snowy) because of the snow which covered the mountains in winter similar to the
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
in Spain. The area formed part of
Alta California Alta California ('Upper California'), also known as ('New California'), among other names, was a province of New Spain, formally established in 1804. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had previously comprised the province of , but wa ...
's territory within the
Viceroyalty of New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as t ...
, which gained independence as Mexico in 1821. The United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the (''U.S. intervention in Mexico''), was an armed conflict between the United States and Second Federal Republic of Mexico, Mexico from 1846 ...

Mexican–American War
, and it was incorporated as part of
Utah Territory The Territory of Utah was an organized incorporated territory of the United States and the founding of the United States: Kingdom of Great Britain, British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow. Th ...
in 1850. The discovery of silver at the
Comstock Lode The Comstock Lode is a lode of silver ore located under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson (Nevada), Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range in Virginia City, Nevada (then western Utah Territory), which was the first major discovery of si ...

Comstock Lode
in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of
Nevada Territory The Territory of Nevada (N.T.) was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until October 31, 1864, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Nevada. Prior to the creation of the Nevada ...
out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War (the first being
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
). Nevada has a reputation for its
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and funda ...

libertarian
laws. In 1940, with a
population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size of the resident population within their jurisdiction by a process called a ...
of just over 110,000 people, Nevada was by far the least-populated state, with less than half the population of the next least-populous state,
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
. However, legalized
gambling Gambling (also known as betting) is the wagering something of Value (economics), value ("the stakes") on an Event (probability theory), event with an uncertain outcome with the intent of winning something else of value. Gambling thus requires ...
and
lenient marriage and divorce
lenient marriage and divorce
laws transformed Nevada into a major tourist destination in the 20th century. Nevada is the only U.S. state where
prostitution Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexualit ...
is legal, though it is illegal in its most populated regionsClark County (Las Vegas),
Washoe CountyWashoe County may refer to: ; Places * Washoe County, Nevada ; Ships * USS ''LST-1165'', a United States Navy landing ship tank commissioned in 1953 and renamed USS Washoe County (LST-1165), USS ''Washoe County'' (LST-1165) in 1955 * USS Washoe Cou ...
(Reno) and Carson City (which, as an independent city, is not within the boundaries of any county). The tourism industry remains Nevada's largest employer, with mining continuing as a substantial sector of the economy: Nevada is the fourth-largest producer of gold in the world.


Etymology

The name "Nevada" comes from the Spanish adjective ''nevada'' , meaning "snow-covered" or “snowy”. The state takes its name from the
Nevada Territory The Territory of Nevada (N.T.) was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until October 31, 1864, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Nevada. Prior to the creation of the Nevada ...
, which in turn was named for the
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
. Nevadans pronounce the second syllable with the "a" of "trap" () while some people from outside of the state pronounce it with the "a" of "palm" (). Although the
quality Quality may refer to: Concepts *Quality (business), the ''non-inferiority'' or ''superiority'' of something *Quality (philosophy), an attribute or a property *Quality (physics), in response theory *Energy quality, used in various science disciplin ...
, but not the
length Length is a measure of distance Distance is a numerical measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be us ...
, of the latter pronunciation could be perceived as closer to the Spanish pronunciation ( is near-low front, is low back and is low front, though often retracted to
central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...
in Spanish), it is not the pronunciation used by Nevadans. State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson proposed a bill to recognize the alternative pronunciation of Nevada, though the bill was not supported by most legislators and never received a vote. The Nevadan pronunciation is the one used by the state legislature. At one time, the state's official tourism organization, TravelNevada, stylized the name of the state as "Nevăda", with a
breve A breve (, less often , neuter form of the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

breve
over the ''a'' indicating the locally preferred pronunciation, which was also available as a license plate design until 2007.


History


Before 1861

Francisco Garcés Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés, O.F.M., (April 12, 1738 – July 18, 1781) was a Spanish Franciscan The Franciscans are a group of related Mendicant orders, mendicant Christianity, Christian Catholic religious order, religious orders, ...

Francisco Garcés
was the first European in the area. Nevada was annexed as a part of the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) during the Early Modern period, was a colonial empire ...

Spanish Empire
in the northwestern territory of
New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as th ...

New Spain
. Administratively, the area of Nevada was part of the Commandancy General of the Provincias Internas in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Nevada became a part of
Alta California Alta California ('Upper California'), also known as ('New California'), among other names, was a province of New Spain, formally established in 1804. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had previously comprised the province of , but wa ...
(Upper California) province in 1804 when
the Californias The Californias (Spanish language, Spanish: ''Las Californias''), occasionally known as The Three Californias or Two Californias, are a region of North America spanning the United States and Mexico, consisting of the U.S. state of California and t ...
were split. With the
Mexican War of Independence The Mexican War of Independence ( es, Guerra de Independencia de México, links=no, 16 September 1810 – 27 September 1821) was an armed conflict and political process resulting in Mexico's independence from Spain. It was not a single, c ...
won in 1821, the province of Alta California became a territory (state) of Mexico, with a small population.
Jedediah Smith Jedediah Strong Smith (January 6, 1799 – May 27, 1831), was an American clerk, transcontinental pioneer, frontiersman, hunter, trapper, author, cartography, cartographer, and explorer of the Rocky Mountains, the North American Western Unite ...

Jedediah Smith
entered the
Las Vegas Valley The Las Vegas Valley is a major metropolitan area in the Southern Nevada, southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada, and the second largest in the Southwestern United States. The state's largest urban agglomeration, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Stat ...
in 1827, and
Peter Skene Ogden__NOTOC__ Peter Skene Ogden (alternately Skeene, Skein, or Skeen; baptised February 12, 1790 – September 27, 1854) was a British-Canadian fur trader and an early explorer of what is now British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , ...

Peter Skene Ogden
traveled the
Humboldt River The Humboldt River is an extensive river drainage system located in north-central Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho t ...

Humboldt River
in 1828. When the Mormons created the
State of Deseret The State of Deseret () was a provisional U.S. state, state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over ...
in 1847, they laid claim to all of Nevada within the Great Basin and the Colorado watershed. They also founded the first white settlement in what is now Nevada,
Mormon Station
Mormon Station
(modern-day Genoa), in 1851. In June 1855, William Bringhurst and 29 fellow Mormon missionaries from Utah arrived at a site just northeast of downtown Las Vegas and built a 150-foot square adobe fort, the first permanent structure erected in the valley, which remained under the control of Salt Lake City until the winter of 1858–1859. As a result of the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the (''U.S. intervention in Mexico''), was an armed conflict between the United States and Second Federal Republic of Mexico, Mexico from 1846 ...

Mexican–American War
and the
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ( es, Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo), officially titled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, is the peace treaty A peace treaty i ...

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
, Mexico permanently lost Alta California in 1848. The new areas acquired by the United States continued to be administered as territories. As part of the
Mexican Cession The Mexican Cession ( es, Cesión mexicana) is the region in the modern-day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. This region had not been part of the ...

Mexican Cession
(1848) and the subsequent
California Gold Rush The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) was a that began on January 24, 1848, when was found by at in . The news of gold brought approximately 300,000 people to from the rest of the United States and abroad. The sudden influx of gold into ...
that used
Emigrant TrailIn the American Old West The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and culture in the forward wave of American expansion that began with European colonial settlements in the e ...
s through the area, the state's area evolved first as part of the
Utah Territory The Territory of Utah was an organized incorporated territory of the United States and the founding of the United States: Kingdom of Great Britain, British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow. Th ...
, then the
Nevada Territory The Territory of Nevada (N.T.) was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until October 31, 1864, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Nevada. Prior to the creation of the Nevada ...
(March 2, 1861; named for the
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...
). The first discovery of a major U.S. deposit of
silver ore Silver is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...
occurred in
Comstock Lode The Comstock Lode is a lode of silver ore located under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson (Nevada), Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range in Virginia City, Nevada (then western Utah Territory), which was the first major discovery of si ...

Comstock Lode
under
Virginia City, Nevada Virginia City is a census-designated place A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a princi ...

Virginia City, Nevada
, in 1859.


Separation from Utah Territory

On March 2, 1861, the Nevada Territory separated from the Utah Territory and adopted its current name, shortened from ''The Sierra Nevada'' (Spanish for "snow-covered mountain range"). The 1861 southern boundary is commemorated by
Nevada Historical MarkersNevada historical markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada's history. The Historic Marker Program was initiated by the Nevada State Legislature in 1967 to bring the state's heritage to the public's attention with on-site markers. Bec ...
57 and 58 in Lincoln and Nye counties.


Statehood (1864)

Eight days before the presidential election of 1864, Nevada became the 36th state in the union, despite lacking the minimum 60,000 residents that
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
typically required a potential state to have in order to become a state. (At the time, Nevada's population was little more than 10,000.) Governor Nye was frustrated that previous attempts to send the constitution via overland mail and by sea had failed by October 24, so on October 26 the full text was sent by telegraph at a cost of $4,303.27the most costly telegraph on file at the time for a single dispatch, . Finally, the response from Washington came on October 31, 1864: "the pain is over, the child is born, Nevada this day was admitted into the Union". Statehood was rushed to the date of October 31 to help ensure
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governme ...

Abraham Lincoln
's reelection on November8 and post-Civil War
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
dominance in Congress, as Nevada's mining-based economy tied it to the more industrialized Union. As it turned out, however, Lincoln and the Republicans won the election handily and did not need Nevada's help. Nevada is one of only two states to significantly expand its borders after admission to the Union, with the other being
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
, which acquired additional territory in 1837 due to the
Platte Purchase (dark green) and permitted it in Missouri (yellow). Image:Map of Missouri highlighting the Platt Purchase.gif, 300px, The Platte Purchase region (highlighted in red). The Platte Purchase was a land acquisition in 1836 by the United States governm ...
. In 1866 another part of the western Utah Territory was added to Nevada in the eastern part of the state, setting the current eastern boundary. Nevada achieved its current southern boundaries on January 18, 1867, when it absorbed the portion of Pah-Ute County in the
Arizona Territory The Territory of Arizona (also known as Arizona Territory) was a Organized incorporated territories of the United States, territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863, until February 14, 1912, when the remaining extent of th ...
west of the Colorado River, essentially all of present-day Nevada south of the 37th parallel. The transfer was prompted by the discovery of gold in the area, and officials thought Nevada would be better able to oversee the expected population boom. This area includes most of what is now
Clark CountyClark County is the name of twelve counties in the United States. Most, though not all, are named after two brothers: military hero George Rogers Clark in the Midwest, and explorer William Clark (explorer), William Clark in the West. *Clark County, ...
and the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Mining shaped Nevada's economy for many years (see '' Silver mining in Nevada''). When
Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or ...

Mark Twain
lived in Nevada during the period described in ''
Roughing It ''Roughing It'' is a book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of it ...
'', mining had led to an industry of speculation and immense wealth. Both mining and population temporarily declined in the late 19th century. However, the rich silver strike at Tonopah in 1900, followed by strikes in
Goldfield
Goldfield
and
Rhyolite Rhyolite ( ) is the most silica Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is an oxide An oxide () is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and ...
, created a second mining boom in Nevada and Nevada's population.


Gambling and labor

Unregulated
gambling Gambling (also known as betting) is the wagering something of Value (economics), value ("the stakes") on an Event (probability theory), event with an uncertain outcome with the intent of winning something else of value. Gambling thus requires ...
was commonplace in the early Nevada mining towns but was outlawed in 1909 as part of a nationwide anti-gambling crusade. Because of subsequent declines in mining output and the decline of the agricultural sector during the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
, Nevada again legalized gambling on March 19, 1931, with approval from the legislature. Governor Fred B. Balzar's signature enacted the most liberal divorce laws in the country and open gambling. The reforms came just eight days after the federal government presented the $49million construction contract for
Boulder Dam#REDIRECT Hoover Dam Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado, Black Canyon of the Colorado River (U.S.), Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed be ...
(now
Hoover Dam Hoover Dam is a in the of the , on the border between the U.S. states of and . It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President . Its construction was the result of a massive ef ...

Hoover Dam
).


Nuclear testing

The
Nevada Test Site The Nevada National Security Site (N2S2 or NNSS), known as the Nevada Test Site (NTS) until August 23, 2010, is a United States Department of Energy The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer ...
, northwest of the city of Las Vegas, was founded on January 11, 1951, for the testing of
nuclear weapons A nuclear weapon (also known as an atom bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear bomb or nuclear warhead, and colloquially as an A-bomb or nuke) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reaction In nuclear physics Nucl ...

nuclear weapons
. The site consists of about of the desert and mountainous terrain.
Nuclear test Nuclear weapons tests are experiments carried out to determine nuclear weapons' effectiveness, yield Yield may refer to: Measures of output/function Computer science * Yield (multithreading) is an action that occurs in a computer program duri ...
ing at the Nevada Test Site began with a bomb dropped on
Frenchman Flat The dry lake of Frenchman Flat Frenchman Flat is a hydrographic basin in the Nevada National Security Site south of Yucca Flat and north of Mercury, Nevada. The flat was used as an :American nuclear test sites, American nuclear test site and has ...

Frenchman Flat
on January 27, 1951. The last atmospheric test was conducted on July 17, 1962, and the underground testing of weapons continued until September 23, 1992. The location is known for having the highest concentration of nuclear-detonated weapons in the U.S. Over 80% of the state's area is owned by the federal government. The primary reason for this is homesteads were not permitted in large enough sizes to be viable in the arid conditions that prevail throughout desert Nevada. Instead, early settlers would homestead land surrounding a water source, and then graze livestock on the adjacent public land, which is useless for agriculture without access to water (this pattern of
ranching A ranch (from es, rancho) is an area of land, including various structures, given primarily to the practice of ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle and sheep. These terms are most often applied to livestock-raisi ...
still prevails).


Geography

Nevada is almost entirely within the
Basin and Range Province The Basin and Range Province is a vast physiographic region Physiographic regions of the world are a means of defining Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Eart ...
and is broken up by many north–south mountain ranges. Most of these ranges have
endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheri ...
valleys between them. Much of the northern part of the state is within the
Great Basin The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the ...
, a mild desert that experiences hot temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter. Occasionally, moisture from the Arizona Monsoon will cause summer thunderstorms; Pacific storms may blanket the area with snow. The state's highest recorded temperature was in Laughlin (elevation of ) on June 29, 1994.National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, N.C., and Storm Phillips, Stormfax, Inc. The coldest recorded temperature was set in San Jacinto in 1972, in the northeastern portion of the state. The
Humboldt River The Humboldt River is an extensive river drainage system located in north-central Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho t ...

Humboldt River
crosses the state from east to west across the northern part of the state, draining into the
Humboldt Sink The Humboldt Sink is an intermittent dry lake bed, approximately 11 mi (18 km) long, and 4 mi (6 km) across, in northwestern Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the Uni ...
near Lovelock. Several rivers drain from the Sierra Nevada eastward, including the
Walker Walker or The Walker may refer to: People *Walker (given name) *Walker (surname) Places In the United States *Walker, Arizona, in Yavapai County *Walker, Mono County, California *Walker, Illinois *Walker, Iowa *Walker, Kansas *Walker, Louisiana ...
, , and Carson rivers. All of these rivers are
endorheic basin An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheri ...
s, ending in Walker Lake, Pyramid Lake, and the
Carson Sink Carson may refer to: People *Carson (surname)Carson is a surname of Scottish and Irish origin. Notable people with the surname include: *Adam Carson, American drummer for the band AFI *Andre Carson, U.S. Congressman *Alyssa Carson, American space ...
, respectively. However, not all of Nevada is within the Great Basin. Tributaries of the
Snake River The Snake River is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest region in the United States. At long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, in turn the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. The Snake Ri ...

Snake River
drain the far north, while the
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid drainage basin, watershed that encompasses parts of ...

Colorado River
, which also forms much of the boundary with
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Arizona
, drains much of southern Nevada. The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above , harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating
sky island Sky islands are isolated mountains surrounded by radically different lowland environments. The term originally referred to those found near the southern borders of the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50 ...
s for endemic species. The valleys are often no lower in elevation than , while some in central Nevada are above . The southern third of the state, where the Las Vegas area is situated, is within the
Mojave Desert The Mojave Desert ( ; mov, Hayikwiir Mat'aar) is a xeric Deserts and xeric shrublands are a biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a ...

Mojave Desert
. The area receives less rain in the winter but is closer to the Arizona Monsoon in the summer. The terrain is also lower, mostly below , creating conditions for hot summer days and cool to chilly winter nights. Nevada and California have by far the longest diagonal
line Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * ''The Line'' (2017 film) * ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line'', a 2009 independent film by Nancy Schwartzman Lite ...

line
(in respect to the cardinal directions) as a state Border, boundary at just over . This line begins in
Lake Tahoe Lake Tahoe (; was, dáʔaw, 'the lake') is a large Fresh water, freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Sierra Nevada of the United States. Lying at , it straddles the state line between California and Nevada, west of Carson City, Nevada, C ...

Lake Tahoe
nearly offshore (in the direction of the boundary), and continues to the
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid drainage basin, watershed that encompasses parts of ...

Colorado River
where the Nevada, California, and Arizona boundaries merge southwest of the Laughlin Bridge. The largest mountain range in the southern portion of the state is the Spring Mountains, Spring Mountain Range, just west of Las Vegas. The state's lowest point is along the Colorado River, south of Laughlin. Nevada has 172 mountain summits with of prominence. Nevada ranks second in the United States by the number of mountains, behind Alaska, and ahead of California, Montana, and Washington.


Climate

Nevada is the driest state in the United States. It is made up of mostly desert and semi-arid climate regions, and, with the exception of the Las Vegas Valley (landform), Las Vegas Valley, the average summer diurnal temperature range approaches in much of the state. While winters in northern Nevada are long and fairly cold, the winter season in the southern part of the state tends to be of short duration and mild. Most parts of Nevada receive scarce precipitation during the year. The most rain that falls in the state falls on the east and northeast slopes of the
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
. The average annual rainfall per year is about ; the wettest parts get around . Nevada's highest recorded temperature is at Laughlin on June 29, 1994, and the lowest recorded temperature is at San Jacinto, Nevada, San Jacinto on January 8, 1937. Nevada's reading is the third highest statewide record high temperature of a U.S. state, just behind Arizona's reading and California's reading.


Flora and fauna

The vegetation of Nevada is diverse and differs by state area. Nevada contains six biotic zones: Alpine vegetation, alpine, sub-alpine, ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper woodland, pinion-juniper, sagebrush and creosotebush.


Counties

Nevada is divided into political jurisdictions designated as ''County (United States), counties''. Carson City is officially a consolidated municipality, meaning it legally functions as both a city and a county. As of 1919, there were 17 counties in the state, ranging from . Lake County, Nevada, Lake County, one of the original nine counties formed in 1861, was renamed Roop County, Nevada, Roop County in 1862. Part of the county became Lassen County, California, in 1864, resolving border uncertainty. In 1883, Washoe County annexed the portion that remained in Nevada. In 1969, Ormsby County was dissolved and the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City was created by the Legislature in its place coterminous with the old boundaries of Ormsby County. Bullfrog County, Nevada, Bullfrog County was formed in 1987 from part of Nye County. After the creation was declared unconstitutional, the county was abolished in 1989. Humboldt county was designated as a county in 1856 by Utah Territorial Legislature and again in 1861 by the new Nevada Legislature. Clark County is the most populous county in Nevada, accounting for nearly three-quarters of its residents. Las Vegas, Nevada's most populous city, has been the county seat since the county was created in 1909 from a portion of Lincoln County, Nevada. Before that, it was a part of Arizona Territory. Clark County attracts numerous tourists: An estimated 44million people visited Clark County in 2014. Washoe County is the second-most populous county of Nevada. Its county seat is Reno, Nevada, Reno. Washoe County includes the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area. Lyon County is the third most populous county. It was one of the nine original counties created in 1861. It was named after Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union General to be killed in the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
. Its current county seat is Yerington, Nevada, Yerington. Its first county seat was established at Dayton, Nevada, Dayton on November 29, 1861.


Settlements


Parks and recreation areas


Recreation areas maintained by the federal government


Northern Nevada

* California National Historic Trail * Humboldt National Forest * Great Basin National Park * Old Spanish National Historic Trail * Pony Express National Historic Trail


Southern Nevada

* Ash Meadows National Wildlife Preserve * Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park * Toiyabe National Forest * Inyo National Forest * Mount Charleston and the Mount Charleston Wilderness * Spring Mountains and the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area * Lake Mead National Recreation Area * Death Valley National Park


Wilderness

There are 68 designated wilderness areas in Nevada, protecting some under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.


State parks

The Nevada state parks comprise protected areas managed by the state of Nevada, including state parks, state historic sites, and state recreation areas. There are 24 state park units, including Van Sickle Bi-State Park which opened in July 2011 and is operated in partnership with the state of
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...

California
.


Demographics


Population

The United States Census Bureau determined Nevada had a population of 3,104,614 at the 2020 United States census, 2020 U.S. census. In 2019, the estimated the population of Nevada was 3,080,156, an increase of 45,764 residents (1.51%) since the 2018 U.S. census estimate and an increase of 379,605 residents (14.06%) since the 2010 U.S. census. Nevada had the highest percentage growth in population from 2017 to 2018. At the 2010 census, 6.9% of the state's population were reported as under 5, 24.6% were under 18, and 12.0% were 65 or older. Females made up about 49.5% of the population. Since the 2010 census, the population of Nevada had a natural increase of 87,581 (the net difference between 222,508 births and 134,927 deaths); and an increase due to net migration of 146,626 (of which 104,032 was due to domestic and 42,594 was due to international migration). The center of population of Nevada is in southern Nye County, Nevada, Nye County. In this county, the unincorporated town of Pahrump, Nevada, Pahrump, west of Las Vegas on the California state line, has grown very rapidly from 1980 to 2010. At the 2010 census, the town had 36,441 residents. Las Vegas grew from a gulch of 100 people in 1900 to 10,000 by 1950 to 100,000 by 1970, and was America's fastest-growing city and metropolitan area from 1960 to 2000. From about the 1940s until 2003, Nevada was the fastest-growing state in the U.S. percentage-wise. Between 1990 and 2000, Nevada's population increased by 66%, while the nation's population increased by 13%. More than two-thirds of the population live in Clark County, which is coextensive with the Las Vegas–Paradise, NV MSA, Las Vegas metropolitan area. Thus, in terms of population, Nevada is one of the most centralized states in the nation. Henderson, Nevada, Henderson and North Las Vegas, Nevada, North Las Vegas are among the top 20 fastest-growing U.S. cities with populations over 100,000. The rural community of Mesquite, Nevada, Mesquite northeast of Las Vegas was an example of micropolitan growth in the 1990s and 2000s. Other desert towns like Indian Springs, Nevada, Indian Springs and Searchlight, Nevada, Searchlight on the outskirts of Las Vegas have seen some growth as well. Since 1950, the rate of population born in Nevada has never peaked above 27 percent, the lowest rate of all states. In 2012, only 25% of Nevadans were born in Nevada. According to the 2017 American Community Survey, 28.2% of Nevada's population were of Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican Americans, Mexican (21.4%), Stateside Puerto Ricans, Puerto Rican (0.9%), Cuban Americans, Cuban (1.0%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (4.8%). The five largest non-Hispanic White ancestry groups were: German Americans, German (11.3%), Irish Americans, Irish (9.0%), English Americans, English (6.9%), Italian Americans, Italian (5.8%), and American ancestry, American (4.7%). In 1980, non-Hispanic whites made up 83.3% of the state's population. As of 2011, 63.6% of Nevada's population younger than age1 were minorities. Las Vegas is a majority-minority city. According to the United States Census Bureau estimates, as of July 1, 2018, non-Hispanic Whites made up 48.7% of Nevada's population. In Douglas County, Nevada, Douglas, Mineral County, Nevada, Mineral, and Pershing County, Nevada, Pershing counties, a plurality of residents are of Mexican ancestry. In Nye County, Nevada, Nye County and Humboldt County, Nevada, Humboldt County, residents are mostly of German ancestry;
Washoe CountyWashoe County may refer to: ; Places * Washoe County, Nevada ; Ships * USS ''LST-1165'', a United States Navy landing ship tank commissioned in 1953 and renamed USS Washoe County (LST-1165), USS ''Washoe County'' (LST-1165) in 1955 * USS Washoe Cou ...
has many Irish Americans. Americans of English descent form pluralities in Lincoln County, Nevada, Lincoln County, Churchill County, Nevada, Churchill County, Lyon County, Nevada, Lyon County, White Pine County, Nevada, White Pine County, and Eureka County, Nevada, Eureka County. Asian Americans lived in the state since the California Gold Rush of the 1850s brought thousands of Chinese miners to Washoe county. They were followed by a few hundred Japanese American, Japanese farmworkers in the late 19th century. By the late 20th century, many immigrants from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam came to the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The city now has one of America's most prolific Asian American communities, with a mostly Chinese and Taiwanese American, Taiwanese area known as "Chinatown, Las Vegas, Chinatown" west of I-15 on Spring Mountain Road. Filipino Americans form the largest Asian American group in the state, with a population of more than 113,000. They comprise 56.5% of the Asian American population in Nevada and constitute about 4.3% of the entire state's population. Mining booms drew many Greek and Eastern European immigrants to Nevada. In the early twentieth century, Greeks, Slavs, Danes, Japanese people, Japanese, Italians, and Basque Americans in Nevada, Basques poured into Nevada. Native American tribes in Nevada are the Northern Paiute, Northern and Southern Paiute, Western Shoshone, Goshute, Hualapai, , and Ute people, Ute tribes. The top countries of origin for immigrants in Nevada were Mexico (39.5 percent of immigrants), the Philippines (14.3 percent), El Salvador (5.2 percent), China (3.1 percent), and Cuba (3 percent). ;Birth data ''Note: Births within the table do not add up, due to Hispanics being counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.'' * Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic and Latino Americans, White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one ''Hispanic'' group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. A small percentage of Nevada's population lives in rural areas. The culture of these places differs significantly from major metropolitan areas. People in these rural counties tend to be native Nevada residents, unlike in the Las Vegas and Reno areas, where the vast majority of the population was born in another state. The rural population is also less diverse in terms of race and ethnicity. Mining plays an important role in the economies of the rural counties, with tourism being less prominent. Ranching also has a long tradition in rural Nevada.


Locations by per capita income


Religion

Church attendance in Nevada is among the lowest of all U.S. states. In a 2009 Gallup (company), Gallup poll only 30% of Nevadans said they attended church weekly or almost weekly, compared to 42% of all Americans (only four states were found to have a lower attendance rate than Nevada's). Major religious affiliations of the people of Nevada are: Protestantism, Protestant 35%, Irreligion, Irreligious 28%, Catholic Church in the United States, Roman Catholic 25%, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada, Latter-day Saints 4%, Judaism, Jewish 2%, Hinduism, Hindu less than 1%, Buddhism, Buddhist 0.5% and Islam, Muslim less than 0.1%. Parts of Nevada (in the eastern parts of the state) are situated in the Mormon Corridor. The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Catholic Church in the United States, Roman Catholic Church with 451,070; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 175,149; and the Southern Baptist Convention with 45,535; Buddhism, Buddhist congregations 14,727; Baháʼí Faith 1,723; and Islam, Muslim 1,700. The Jewish community is represented by The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute and Chabad. According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6.2% of Nevadans are adherents, making it the sixth highest percentage stage in the Union.


Economy

The economy of Nevada is tied to tourism (especially entertainment and gambling related), mining, and cattle ranching. Nevada's industrial outputs are tourism, entertainment, mining, machinery, printing and publishing, food processing, and electric equipment. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates Nevada's total state product in 2018 was $170billion. The state's List of U.S. states by GDP per capita (nominal), per capita personal income in 2020 was $53,635, ranking 31st in the nation. Nevada's state debt in 2012 was calculated to be $7.5billion, or $3,100 per taxpayer. As of May 2021, the state's unemployment rate was 7.8%.


Mining

In portions of the state outside of the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas mining plays a major economic role. By value, gold is by far the most important mineral mined. In 2004, of gold worth $2.84billion were mined in Nevada, and the state accounted for 8.7% of world gold production. Silver is a distant second, with worth $69million mined in 2004. Other minerals mined in Nevada include construction aggregates, copper, gypsum, diatomite and lithium. Despite its rich deposits, the cost of mining in Nevada is generally high, and output is very sensitive to world commodity prices.


Cattle ranching

Cattle ranching is a major economic activity in rural Nevada. Nevada's agricultural outputs are cattle, hay, alfalfa, dairy products, onions, and potatoes. As of January 1, 2006, there were an estimated 500,000 head of cattle and 70,000 head of sheep in Nevada. Most of these animals forage on rangeland in the summer, with supplemental feed in the winter. Calves are generally shipped to out-of-state feedlots in the fall to be fattened for the market. Over 90% of Nevada's of cropland is used to grow hay, mostly alfalfa, for livestock feed. This livestock is usually used for food.


Largest employers

The largest employers in the state, as of the first fiscal quarter of 2011, are the following, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation:


Infrastructure


Transportation

Amtrak's ''California Zephyr'' train uses the Union Pacific's original transcontinental railroad line in daily service from Chicago to Emeryville, California, serving Elko, Nevada, Elko, Winnemucca, Nevada, Winnemucca, and Reno. Las Vegas has had no passenger train service since Amtrak's Desert Wind was discontinued in 1997. Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches provide connecting service from Las Vegas to trains at Needles, California, Los Angeles, and Bakersfield, California; and from Stateline, Nevada, to Sacramento, California. There have been a number of proposals to re-introduce service to either Los Angeles or Southern California. The Union Pacific Railroad has some railroads in the north and south of Nevada. Greyhound Lines provide some bus service to the state. Interstate 15 in Nevada, Interstate 15 (I-15) passes through the southern tip of the state, serving Las Vegas and other communities. Interstate 215 (Nevada), I-215 and Interstate 515, I-515 also serve the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Interstate 80 in Nevada, I-80 crosses through the northern part of Nevada, roughly following the path of the Humboldt River from Utah in the east and the Truckee River westward through Reno into California. It has a spur route, Interstate 580 (Nevada), I-580. Nevada also is served by several U.S. highways: U.S. Route 6 in Nevada, US6, U.S. Route 50 in Nevada, US50, U.S. Route 93 in Nevada, US93, U.S. Route 95 in Nevada, US95 and U.S. Route 395 in Nevada, US395. There are also 189 List of state routes in Nevada, Nevada state routes. Many of Nevada's counties have a system of county routes as well, though many are not signed or paved in rural areas. Nevada is one of a few states in the U.S. that do not have a continuous interstate highway linking its two major population centersthe road connection between the Las Vegas and Reno areas is a combination of several different Interstate and U.S. highways. The Interstate 11 proposed routing may eventually remedy this. The state is one of just a few in the country to allow semi-trailer trucks with three trailerswhat might be called a "road train" in Australia. But American versions are usually smaller, in part because they must ascend and descend some fairly steep mountain passes. RTC Transit is the public transit system in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The agency is the largest transit agency in the state and operates a network of bus service across the
Las Vegas Valley The Las Vegas Valley is a major metropolitan area in the Southern Nevada, southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada, and the second largest in the Southwestern United States. The state's largest urban agglomeration, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Stat ...
, including the use of The Deuce (transit bus service), The Deuce, double-decker buses, on the Las Vegas Strip and several outlying routes. RTC RIDE operates a system of local transit bus service throughout the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area. Other transit systems in the state include Carson City's JAC. Most other counties in the state do not have public transportation at all. Additionally, a monorail system provides public transportation in the Las Vegas area. The Las Vegas Monorail line services several casino properties and the Las Vegas Convention Center on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip, running near Paradise Road, with a possible future extension to Harry Reid International Airport. Several hotels also run their own monorail lines between each other, which are typically several blocks in length. Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas is the busiest airport serving Nevada. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport (formerly known as the Reno Cannon International Airport) is the other major airport in the state.


Energy

Nevada has had a thriving solar energy sector. An independent study in 2013 concluded that solar users created a $36million net benefit. However, in December 2015, the Public Utility Commission let the state's only power company, NV Energy, charge higher rates and fees to solar panel users, leading to an immediate collapse of rooftop solar panel use. In December 1987, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to designate Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository as the only site to be characterized as a permanent repository for all of the nation's highly radioactive waste.


Affordable housing

Over the last six years, the National Low Income Housing Coalition calculates the discrepancy between available affordable housing units and renters who earn below the poverty line. In Nevada, only 15 affordable rental homes are available per 100 extremely low income (ELI) households. The shortage extends to a deficit in supply of 71,358 affordable rental homes. This is the largest discrepancy of any state. The most notable catalyst for this shortage is The Great Recession and Housing Crisis of 2007 and 2008. Since then, housing prices have increased while demand has increased, and supply has struggled to match the increase in demand. In addition to this, low-income service workers are slowly being pushed out by an influx of tech professionals. In Nevada there is essentially a standard of six-figure income to affordably rent a Single-family detached home, single-family home. Considering the List of U.S. states and territories by median wage and mean wage, average salary in Nevada, $54,842 per year, this standard is on average, unaffordable. The disproportionate cost of housing compared to average salary has led to 112,872 renters to be paying more than half of their yearly income towards housing. The definition of an affordable home is “one that a household can obtain for Affordable housing, 30 percent or less of its annual income”. So, there is clearly a long way to go in order to close the gap between housing prices and relative income in within the state. Renters are looking for solutions to still be able to live in the state in a way that their income can support. As a result, single adults are being forced to split rent with other renters or move residences to farther outside metro areas. One solution being offered is to increase the supply of higher income positions within the state to make things more affordable. However, this would require Nevadans to retrain in new jobs or careers.


Education

Education in Nevada is achieved through public and private elementary school, elementary, middle school, middle, and High school (North America), high schools, as well as colleges and universities. A May 2015 educational reform law expanded school choice options to 450,000 Nevada students who are at up to 185% of the federal poverty level. Education savings accounts (ESAs) are enabled by the new law to help pay the tuition for private schools. Alternatively, families "can use funds in these accounts to also pay for textbooks and tutoring". Approximately 86.9% of Nevada residents have attained at least a high school degree or equivalent, which is below the national average of 88.6%.


Public school districts

Public school districts in Nevada include: * Carson City School District * Churchill County School District * Clark County School District, the List of the largest school districts in the United States by enrollment, fifth largest school district in the United States * Douglas County School District * Elko County School District * Esmeralda County School District * Eureka County School District * Humboldt County School District * Lander County School District * Lincoln County School District * Lyon County School District * Mineral County School District * Nye County School District * Pershing County School District * Storey County School District * Washoe County School District * White Pine County School District


Colleges and universities

* Nevada System of Higher Education ** University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) ** University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) ** Nevada State College (NSC) ** Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) ** Great Basin College ** College of Southern Nevada (CSN) ** Western Nevada College (WNC) * Sierra Nevada College * Touro University Nevada * Roseman University of Health Sciences


Research institutes

* Desert Research Institute The Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame provides educational resources and promotes the aerospace and aviation history of the state.


Law and government


Government

Under the Constitution of the State of Nevada, the powers of the Nevada government are divided among three separation of powers, separate departments: the executive branch, executive consisting of the governor of Nevada and their cabinet along with the other elected constitutional officers; the List of U.S. state legislatures, legislative consisting of the Nevada Legislature, which includes the Nevada Assembly, Assembly and the Nevada Senate, Senate; and the judicial branch, judicial consisting of the Supreme Court of Nevada and lower courts. The governor is the chief magistrate of Nevada,NV Const. art. V, § 1. the head of the executive department of the state's government, and the commander-in-chief of the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
's Nevada National Guard, military forces. The current governor is Steve Sisolak, a Democrat. The Nevada Legislature is a bicameral body divided into an Assembly and Senate. Members of the Assembly serve two years, and members of the Senate serve four years. Both houses of the Nevada Legislature will be impacted by term limits starting in 2010, as senators and assemblymen/women will be limited to a maximum of twelve years in each house (by appointment or election which is a lifetime limit)a provision of the constitution which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Nevada in a unanimous decision. Each session of the legislature meets for a constitutionally mandated 120 days in every odd-numbered year, or longer if the governor calls a special session. On December 18, 2018, Nevada became the first in the United States with a female majority in its legislature. Women hold nine of the 21 seats in the Nevada Senate, and 23 of the 42 seats in the Nevada Assembly. The Supreme Court of Nevada is the state supreme court and the head of the Nevada Judiciary. Original jurisdiction is divided between the Nevada District Courts, district courts (with general jurisdiction), and justice courts and municipal courts (both of limited jurisdiction). Appeals from District Courts are made directly to the Nevada Supreme Court, which under a deflective model of jurisdiction, has the discretion to send cases to the Nevada Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals for final resolution. Incorporated towns in Nevada, known as cities, are given the authority to legislate anything not prohibited by law. A recent movement has begun to permit home rule to incorporate Nevada cities to give them more flexibility and fewer restrictions from the Legislature. Town Boards for Unincorporated towns in Nevada, unincorporated towns are limited local governments created by either the local county commission, or by referendum, and form a purely advisory role and in no way diminish the responsibilities of the county commission that creates them.


State agencies

* Nevada Attorney General, Attorney General * Department of Business & Industry * Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Conservation & Natural Resources * Consumer Health Assistance * Controller's Office * Nevada Department of Corrections, Department of Corrections * Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs * Nevada Commission on Economic Development * Nevada Department of Education, Department of Education * Nevada Secretary of State, Election Division * Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation * Nevada Gaming Control Board, Gaming Control Board * Governor's Office * Nevada Film Office * Department of Health and Human Services * Department of Information Technology * Department of Justice * Nevada Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor * Nevada National Guard, Nevada Military Department * Division of Minerals, Commission on Mineral Resources * Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Motor Vehicles * Department of Personnel * Advisory Council for Prosecuting Attorneys * Public Employees Benefit Program * Public Employees Retirement System * Nevada Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Safety * Nevada Public Utilities Commission * Department of Secretary of State * Department of Taxation * Commission on Tourism * Nevada Department of Transportation, Department of Transportation * Nevada State Treasurer * Universities and Community Colleges of Nevada * Nevada Office of Veterans' Services * Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education * Nevada Department of Wildlife


Law

In 1900, Nevada's population was the smallest of all states and was shrinking, as the difficulties of living in a "barren desert" began to outweigh the lure of silver for many early settlers. Historian Lawrence Friedman has explained what happened next: With the advent of air conditioning for summertime use and Southern Nevada's mild winters, the fortunes of the state began to turn around, as it did for
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Arizona
, making these two states the fastest growing in the Union.


Prostitution

Nevada is the only state where prostitution is legalin a licensed brothel in a county which has specifically voted to permit it. It is illegal in larger jurisdictions such as Clark County (which contains Las Vegas),
Washoe CountyWashoe County may refer to: ; Places * Washoe County, Nevada ; Ships * USS ''LST-1165'', a United States Navy landing ship tank commissioned in 1953 and renamed USS Washoe County (LST-1165), USS ''Washoe County'' (LST-1165) in 1955 * USS Washoe Cou ...
(which contains Reno), and the independent city of
Carson City Carson City, officially the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City, is an Independent city (United States), independent city and the capital of the U.S. state of Nevada, named after the mountain man Kit Carson. As of the 2010 United States Cen ...
.


Divorce

Nevada's early reputation as a "divorce haven" arose from the fact that before the no-fault divorce revolution in the 1970s, divorces were difficult to obtain in the United States. Already having legalized gambling and prostitution, Nevada continued the trend of boosting its profile by adopting one of the most liberal divorce statutes in the nation. This resulted in ''Williams v. North Carolina (1942)'', , in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled North Carolina had to give "Full Faith and Credit Clause, full faith and credit" to a Nevada divorce. The Court modified its decision in ''Williams v. North Carolina'' (1945), , by holding a state need not recognize a Nevada divorce unless one of the parties was domiciled there at the time the divorce was granted and the forum state was entitled to make its own determination. As of 2009, Nevada's divorce rate was above the national average.


Taxes

Nevada's tax laws are intended to draw new residents and businesses to the state. Nevada has no personal income tax or corporate income tax. Since Nevada does not collect income data it cannot share such information with the federal government, the Internal Revenue Service, IRS. The state sales tax (similar to VAT or GST) in Nevada is variable depending upon the county. The statewide tax rate is 6.85%, with five counties (Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, and Mineral) charging this amount. Counties may impose additional rates via voter approval or through approval of the state legislature; therefore, the applicable sales tax varies by county from 6.85% to 8.375% (Clark County). Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, imposes four separate county option taxes in addition to the statewide rate: 0.25% for flood control, 0.50% for mass transit, 0.25% for infrastructure, and 0.25% for more cops. In Washoe County, which includes Reno, the sales tax rate is 7.725%, due to county option rates for flood control, the ReTRAC train trench project, and mass transit, and an additional county rate approved under the Local Government Tax Act of 1991. The minimum Nevada sales tax rate changed on July 1, 2009. The lodging tax rate in unincorporated Clark County, which includes the Las Vegas Strip, is 12%. Within the boundaries of the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson, the lodging tax rate is 13%. Corporations such as Apple Inc. allegedly have set up investment companies and funds in Nevada to avoid paying taxes.


Gay rights

In 2009, the Nevada Legislature passed a bill creating a domestic partnership registry which enables gay couples to enjoy the same rights as married couples. In June 2015, gay marriage became legal in Nevada.


Incorporation

Nevada provides a friendly environment for the formation of corporations, and many (especially California) businesses have incorporated in Nevada to take advantage of the benefits of the Nevada statute. Nevada corporations offer great flexibility to the board of directors and simplify or avoid many of the rules that are cumbersome to business managers in some other states. In addition, Nevada has no franchise tax, although it does require businesses to have a license for which the business has to pay the state.


Financial institutions

Similarly, many U.S. states have usury laws limiting the amount of interest a lender can charge, but federal law allows corporations to "import" these laws from their home state. Nevada has no cap on interest rates that may be agreed to in contracts.


Alcohol and other drugs

Nevada has very liberal Alcoholic beverage, alcohol laws. Bars are permitted to remain open 24hours, with no "Last call (bar term), last call". Liquor stores, convenience stores and supermarkets may also sell alcohol 24hours per day and may sell beer, wine and spirits. In 2016, Nevada voters approved Nevada Question 2 (2016), Question2, which legalized the possession, transportation and cultivation of personal use amounts of marijuana for adults age 21 years and older, and authorized the creation of a regulated market for the sale of marijuana to adults age 21 years and older through state-licensed retail outlets. Nevada voters had previously approved medical marijuana in 2000, but rejected marijuana legalization in a similar referendum in 2006. Marijuana in all forms remains illegal under federal law. Aside from cannabis legalization, non-alcohol drug laws are a notable exception to Nevada's otherwise libertarian principles. It is notable for having the harshest penalties for drug offenders in the country. Nevada remains the only state to still use mandatory sentencing, mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for possession of drugs. The SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported, in their Behavioral Health Barometer for Nevada, published in 2014, changes to substance abuse patterns and addiction across the southwestern state. Between 2012 and 2013, adolescents in Nevada abused illicit substances at a slightly higher percentage than nationally. 10.2 percent of Nevada's adolescents abused illicit drugs compared to 9.2 percent across the United States. Between 2009 and 2013, 11.7 percent of all adolescents in the state reported abusing illicit, intoxicating substances in the month prior to the survey; this represents 25,000 adolescents.


Smoking

Nevada voters enacted a smoking ban ("The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act") in November 2006 which became effective on December 8, 2006. It outlaws smoking in most workplaces and public places. Smoking is permitted in bars, but only if the bar serves no food, or the bar is inside a larger casino. Smoking is also permitted in casinos, certain hotel rooms, tobacco shops, and brothels. However, some businesses do not obey this law and the government tends not to enforce it. In 2011, smoking restrictions in Nevada were relaxed for certain places which allow only people 21 or older inside.


Crime

In 2006, the crime rate in Nevada was about 24% higher than the national average rate, though crime has since decreased. Property crimes accounted for about 85% of the total crime rate in Nevada, which was 21% higher than the national rate. The remaining 20.3% were violent crimes. A complete listing of crime data in the state for 2013 can be found here:


Politics


State politics

Due to heavy growth in the southern portion of the state, there is a noticeable divide between the politics of northern and southern Nevada. Historically, northern Nevada has been very Republican Party (United States), Republican. The more rural counties of the north are among the most conservative regions of the country. Carson City, the state's capital, is a Republican-leaning swing city/county. Washoe County, home to Reno, has historically been strongly Republican, but now has become more of a Democratic-leaning swing county, like the state as a whole. Clark County, home to Las Vegas, has been a stronghold for the Democratic Party since it was founded in 1909, having voted Republican only six times and once for a third-party candidate. Clark and Washoe counties have long dominated the state's politics. Between them, they cast 87% of Nevada's vote, and elect a substantial majority of the state legislature. The last Republican to carry Clark County was George H.W. Bush in 1988, and the last Republican to carry Washoe County was George W. Bush in 2004. The great majority of the state's elected officials are from either Las Vegas or Reno. However, in 2014, Republican Adam Laxalt, despite losing both Clark and Washoe counties, was elected Nevada Attorney General, Attorney General. However, he had lost Clark County only by 5.6% and Washoe County by 1.4%, attributable to lower turnout in these counties.


National politics

Nevada has voted for the winner in nearly every presidential election from 1912 to 2020, the only exceptions being 1976 United States presidential election, 1976 when it voted for Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter and 2016 United States presidential election, 2016 when the state was carried by Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. This includes Nevada supporting Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1960 and 1964, respectively, Republican Richard Nixon in 1968 and in 1972, Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980 and in 1984, Republican George H.W. Bush in 1988, Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992 United States presidential election, 1992 and 1996 United States presidential election, 1996, Republican George W. Bush in 2000 US Presidential Election, 2000 and 2004 US Presidential Election, 2004, and Democrat Barack Obama winning the state in both 2008 United States presidential election, 2008 and 2012 United States presidential election, 2012, as well as Joe Biden in the 2020 United States presidential election, 2020 election. This gives the state status as a political bellwether. From 1912 to 2020, Nevada has been carried by the presidential victor the most out of any state (27 of 29 elections). In 2016, Nevada lost its bellwether status briefly when it narrowly cast its votes for Hillary Clinton. Nevada regained it when Biden won in 2020. Nevada has been carried by the winner of nearly every presidential election since its first in 1864, only being carried by the defeated candidate eight times since statehood. It was one of only three states won by John F. Kennedy in Western United States, the American West in the election of 1960 United States presidential election, 1960, albeit narrowly. Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Trump in Nevada in 2016 United States Presidential Election, 2016, winning 47.92% of votes to Trump's 45.5%. The state's U.S. Senators are Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen. The Governorship is held by Steve Sisolak, a Democrat.


Elections

Nevada is the only U.S. state to have a none of the above option available on its ballots. Officially called None of These Candidates, the option was first added to the ballot in 1975 and is used in all statewide elections, including president, US Senate and all state constitutional positions. In the event "None of These Candidates" receives a Plurality (voting), plurality of votes in the election, the candidate with the next-highest total is elected.


Culture


Entertainment and tourism

Resort areas like Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Laughlin attract visitors from around the nation and world. In FY08 their 266 casinos (not counting ones with annual revenue under a million dollars) brought in $12''billion'' in gaming revenue and another $13billion in non-gaming revenue. A review of gaming statistics can be found at Nevada gaming area. Nevada has by far the most hotel rooms per capita in the United States. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, there were 187,301 rooms in 584 hotels (of 15 or more rooms). The state is ranked just below California, Texas, Florida, and New York in the total number of rooms, but those states have much larger populations. Nevada has one hotel room for every 14 residents, far above the national average of one hotel room per 67 residents. Prostitution in Nevada, Prostitution is legal in parts of Nevada in licensed brothels, but only counties with populations under 400,000 have the option to legalize it. Although prostitution is not a major part of the Nevada economy, employing roughly 300 women as independent contractors, it is a very visible endeavor. Of the 14 counties permitted to legalize prostitution under state law, eight have chosen to legalize brothels. State law prohibits prostitution in Clark County (which contains Las Vegas), and Washoe County (which contains Reno). However, prostitution is legal in Storey County, which is part of the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area.


Sports

The Las Vegas Valley is home to the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League who began to play in the 2017–18 NHL season at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, the Las Vegas Raiders of the National Football League who began play at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in 2020 after Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas, moving from Oakland, California, and the Las Vegas Aces of the Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA who began playing in 2018 at Mandalay Bay Events Center after relocating from San Antonio. Nevada takes pride in college sports, most notably its college football. College teams in the state include the Nevada Wolf Pack (representing the University of Nevada, Reno) and the UNLV Rebels (representing the University of Nevada, Las Vegas), both in the Mountain West Conference (MW). UNLV is most remembered for UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball, its men's basketball program, which experienced its height of supremacy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Coached by Jerry Tarkanian, the Runnin' Rebels became one of the most elite programs in the country. In 1990, 1989–90 UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball team, UNLV won the Men's DivisionI Championship by defeating 1989–90 Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team, Duke 103–73, which set tournament records for most points scored by a team and largest margin of victory in the national title game. In 1990–91 UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball team, 1991, UNLV finished the regular season undefeated, a feat that would not be matched in DivisionI men's basketball for 2013–14 Wichita State Shockers men's basketball team, more than 20 years. Forward Larry Johnson (basketball, born 1969), Larry Johnson won several awards, including the Naismith College Player of the Year, Naismith Award. UNLV reached the Final Four yet again, but lost their national semifinal against 1990–91 Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team, Duke 79–77. The Runnin' Rebels were the AP Poll, Associated Press pre-season No.1 back to back (1989–90, 1990–91). North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball, North Carolina is the only other team to accomplish that (2007–08, 2008–09). The state's involvement in major-college sports is not limited to its local schools. In the 21st century, the Las Vegas area has become a significant regional center for college basketball conference tournaments. The MW, West Coast Conference, and Western Athletic Conference all hold their men's and women's tournaments in the area, and the Pac-12 holds its men's tournament there as well. The Big Sky Conference, after decades of holding its men's and women's conference tournaments at campus sites, began holding both tournaments in Reno in 2016. Las Vegas has hosted several professional boxing matches, most recently at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with bouts such as Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield, Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II, Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao and at the newer T-Mobile Arena with Canelo Álvarez vs. Amir Khan. Along with significant rises in popularity in mixed martial arts (MMA), a number of fight leagues such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC have taken interest in Las Vegas as a primary event location due to the number of suitable host venues. The Mandalay Bay Events Center and MGM Grand Garden Arena are among some of the more popular venues for fighting events such as MMA and have hosted several UFC and other MMA title fights. The city has held the most UFC events with 86 events. The state is also home to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which hosts NASCAR's Pennzoil 400 (Las Vegas), Pennzoil 400 and South Point 400. Two venues in the immediate Las Vegas area host major annual events in rodeo. The Thomas & Mack Center, built for UNLV men's basketball, hosts the National Finals Rodeo. The PBR World Finals, operated by the bull riding-only Professional Bull Riders, was also held at the Thomas & Mack Center before moving to T-Mobile Arena in 2016. The state is also home to famous tennis player, Andre Agassi, and current baseball superstar Bryce Harper.


List of teams


=Major professional teams

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=Minor professional teams

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=Amateur teams

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=College teams

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Military

Several United States Navy ships have been named USS Nevada, USS ''Nevada'' in honor of the state. They include: * Neshaminy (screw frigate), ''Nevada'' (1865 screw frigate) * USS Nevada (BM-8), USS ''Nevada'' (BM-8) * USS Nevada (BB-36), USS ''Nevada'' (BB-36) * USS Nevada (SSBN-733), USS ''Nevada'' (SSBN-733) Area 51 is near Groom Lake, a dry salt lake bed. The much smaller Creech Air Force Base is in Indian Springs, Nevada; Hawthorne Army Depot in Hawthorne, Nevada, Hawthorne; the Tonopah Test Range near Tonopah; and Nellis AFB in the northeast part of the
Las Vegas Valley The Las Vegas Valley is a major metropolitan area in the Southern Nevada, southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada, and the second largest in the Southwestern United States. The state's largest urban agglomeration, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Stat ...
. Naval Air Station Fallon in Fallon, Nevada, Fallon; NSAWC, (pronounced "EN-SOCK") in western Nevada. NSAWC consolidated three Command Centers into a single Command Structure under a flag officer on July 11, 1996. The Naval Strike Warfare Center (STRIKE "U") based at NAS Fallon since 1984, was joined with the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (TOPDOME) which both moved from NAS Miramar as a result of a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision in 1993 which transferred that installation back to the Marine Corps as MCAS Miramar. The Seahawk Weapon School was added in 1998 to provide tactical training for Navy helicopters. These bases host a number of activities including the Joint Unmanned Aerial Systems Center of Excellence, the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, Nevada Test and Training Range, Red Flag (USAF), Red Flag, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the United States Air Force Warfare Center, the United States Air Force Weapons School, and the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School.


See also

* Index of Nevada-related articles * Outline of Nevadaorganized list of topics about Nevada


Notes


References


External links

* * * Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Nevada state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.
State Tourism website

Nevada State Library and Archives

Energy Profile for Nevada

USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Nevada



1875 County Map at Texas Tech Southwest Collection

County Maps of Nevada
Full color maps. List of cities, towns and county seats
Nevada State Facts from USDA



Nevada's Historical Markers

Nevada State Seal
* *
Online Nevada Encyclopedia, Nevada Humanities
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