Clark County, Nevada

Clark County, Nevada
Clark County, Nevada
Seal of Clark County, Nevada
Map of Nevada highlighting Clark County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location in the U.S.
Founded February 5, 1908
Seat Las Vegas
Largest city Las Vegas
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

8,091 sq mi (20,956 km²)
7,910 sq mi (20,487 km²)
180 sq mi (466 km²), 2.23%
 - (2010)
 - Density

247/sq mi (95.2/km²)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area
—  MSA  —
Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson Metropolitan Statistical Area
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Area; From top left to bottom right: Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson
Map of Nevada with Clark County highlighted in red.

Clark County is a county located in Southern Nevada. The county had a population of 1,951,269 at the 2010 census,[1] and is the most populous county in the state of 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.

The county was formed by the Nevada Legislature by splitting off a portion of Lincoln County on February 5, 1909,[2] and came into existence on July 1, 1909.[3] The Las Vegas Valley, a 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) basin, includes Las Vegas as well as the other primary population center, the unincorporated community of Paradise.

Much of the county was originally part of Pah-Ute County, Arizona Territory before Nevada became a state. The county was named for William Andrews Clark, a Montana copper magnate and U.S. Senator. Clark was largely responsible for the construction of the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad through the area, a factor heavily contributing to the region's early development.

Clark County is today known as a major tourist destination, with 150,000 hotel and motel rooms. The Las Vegas Strip, home to most of the hotel-casinos known to many around the world, is located not within the City of Las Vegas, but in unincorporated Paradise.

Clark County is coextensive with the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan statistical area designated by the Office of Management and Budget and used by the United States Census Bureau and other agencies for statistical purposes.[4]



Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas with the World Market Center temporary buildings in background

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8,091 sq mi (20,960 km2). Land covers 7,910 sq mi (20,500 km2) and water covers 180 sq mi (470 km2) (2.23%).

The Colorado River forms the county's southeastern boundary, with Hoover Dam forming Lake Mead along much of its length. The lowest point in the state of Nevada is located on the Colorado River just south of Laughlin in Clark County, where it flows out of Nevada and into California and Arizona. Las Vegas is a valley. By definition, Greater Las Vegas is a tectonic valley, surrounded by four mountain ranges, with nearby Mount Charleston being the highest elevation at 11,918 ft (3,633 m), located to the northwest. Other than the forests on Mount Charleston, the geography in Clark County is a desert. Creosote bushes are the main native vegetation, and the mountains are mostly rocky with little vegetation.

Adjacent counties


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1910 3,321
1920 4,859 46.3%
1930 8,532 75.6%
1940 16,414 92.4%
1950 48,289 194.2%
1960 127,016 163.0%
1970 273,288 115.2%
1980 463,087 69.5%
1990 741,459 60.1%
2000 1,375,765 85.5%
2010 1,951,269 41.8%

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,375,765 people, 512,253 households, and 339,693 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 71.6% White (60.2% White Non-Hispanic), 9.1% Black, 5.7% Asian, 0.8% American Indian and 12.8% of other or mixed race. 22.0% were Hispanic of any race. As of 2009, the population in the metropolitan area had grown up to 1,902,834 people, being one of the fastest growing MSA in the United States.

In 1999, the median income for a household in the MSA was $44,616 and the median income for a family was $50,485. The per capita income was $21,785.

The United States Census Bureau 2009 estimates place the population for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area at 1,902,834 people, and the region is one of the fastest growing in the United States.[8] Large numbers of new residents in the state originate from California.[9]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,375,765 people, 512,253 households, and 339,623 families residing in the county. The population density was 174 people per square mile (67/km²). There were 559,799 housing units at an average density of 71 per square mile (27/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 61.58% white, 10.18% black or African American, 7.27% Asian, 0.79% Native American, 8.61% from other races, and 4.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.96% of the population.

In 2000 there were 512,253 households out of which 31.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.70% were married couples living together, 11.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 32.20% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 10.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 103.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $53,536, and the median income for a family was $59,485.[10] Males had a median income of $35,243 versus $27,077 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,785. About 7.90% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.


Historical Visitors and Hotel Rooms; Room Projections Las Vegas Convention Authority

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority post the historical numbers of visitors and hotel rooms in Clark County. The era of massive modern casino resorts began with the opening of the Mirage in November 1989. Generally the increase in hotel rooms has been matched by an increasing number of visitors until 2008. An unmatched building boom has been met with declining numbers of tourists. If the 7.2% percentage decrease in the first four months of 2009 were to continue for the year, visitors would dip below 35 million, which is the level that they were at before the year 2000.

Law and government

Presidential Election Results
Year Democrat Republican
2008 58.47% 380,765 39.48% 257,078
2004 51.72% 281,767 46.81% 255,337
2000 51.31% 196,100 44.72% 170,932
1996 48.71% 127,963 39.37% 103,431
1992 41.15% 124,586 32.17% 97,403
1988 40.86% 78,359 56.37% 108,110
1984 35.50% 53,386 62.60% 94,133
1980 30.07% 38,313 59.80% 76,194
1976 49.78% 51,178 46.92% 48,236
1972 40.94% 36,807 59.06% 53,101
The Clark County Detention Center.

Clark County Government is run by the Clark County Commission which consists of seven members who are elected to serve staggered four-year terms in biannual partisan elections.

After each election, the members elect a chairman who runs the commission meetings. Actual day-to-day operations are handled by the county manager who is hired by the commission. Its unincorporated towns also have appointed boards that provide advice to the commission.

The county operates out of the Clark County Government Center located in the City of Las Vegas. The building is unusual in shape, and includes an outdoor amphitheater where concerts and other events are held.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department provides most law enforcement services in the county, including operation of the county's central jail, the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC). The present department was created in 1973 when the Clark County Sheriff's Department merged with the Las Vegas Police Department.

Other entities that have their own police forces include University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Clark County School District, and cities such as Henderson, Mesquite, Boulder City and North Las Vegas. The Clark County Park Police is responsible for all of the parks operated by the county and some selected special venues, such as the Clark County Amphitheater, Clark County Archery Range, and the Desert Rose Golf Course.

The Regional Justice Center replaced the Clark County Courthouse in 2005, and is located about 3 blocks from downtown Fremont Street, at 200 Lewis Avenue.

Clark County is politically competitive, though marginally Democratic; Democratic presidential candidates have carried the county in each election since 1992, but usually with only small majorities or pluralities. The last Republican candidate to carry the county was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Regional agencies

Clark County Regional Flood Control District

The Clark County Regional Flood Control District (CCRFCD) was created in 1985 by the Nevada Legislature allowing Clark County to provide broad solutions to flooding problems.

Clark County School District

Public primary and secondary education is the responsibility of the Clark County School District.

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

Operates the RTC Transit system, and does planning for most major roadways.

Southern Nevada Water Authority

A multi-agency group that manages the water distribution for the Las Vegas valley.

Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee

The group that manages and protects the Las Vegas Wash.

Since 1999 the group has added more the 15,000 plants to stabilize the wash's banks and restore and expand the wetlands surrounding the wash. As part of the effort to restore the wash to a more natural state, they have also removed more than 500,000 pounds (230,000 kg) of trash.

State government

The Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center of the Nevada Department of Corrections is located in North Las Vegas. The facility, originally the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Facility opened September 1, 1997. It was built and operated by Corrections Corporation of America. Since then the state took direct control of the facility.[11] It houses the female death row.[12]


This map shows the incorporated and unincorporated areas in Clark County


Census-designated places

Other communities

Federal land


Major highways

Parks and recreation

Sunset, Valley of Fire State Park, in NE Clark County.

Gaming areas

The State of Nevada divides the state into several gaming districts. The reporting districts affecting Clark County are:[14][15]

Environmental factors

Clark County contains a diverse desert flora and fauna, including higher elevation mountain areas, the desert floor and the Colorado River/Lake Mead ecosystems. Variations in diurnal temperature as well as seasonal swings in temperature create demanding adaptation elements on the species of this county. Additional pressure has been placed on species survival by the rapid human population expansion, especially since 1970.

Correspondingly air quality levels prior to the 1960s were in a favorable range, but the proliferation of automobiles with the human population expansion created circumstances where some Federal Air Quality Standards began to be violated in the 1980s.

To plan for the wave of development forecast by 1980, Clark County embarked on a regional Environmental Impact Assessment funded by a Federal Section 208 program, with Sedway Cooke conducting the planning work and Earth Metrics performing environmental analysis. This endeavor projected future population growth, land use changes and environmental impacts.

To prevent the loss of federal funds due to unacceptable dust levels in the Las Vegas valley, in 2003 the Nevada Air Quality Management division (under direction of Clark County officials) created the massive "Don't Be a Dusthole" campaign. The campaign successfully raised awareness of dust pollution in the Las Vegas valley, quantifiably reducing pollutants and preserving ongoing federal funding.[16]

Located in Apex is the Apex Landfill which at 2,200 acres (890 ha) is the largest landfill in the United States.[17] Republic Services owns and operates the landfill.


The county is home to many gaming related companies. Station Casinos is headquartered in unincorporated Clark County, along with [18][19] Golden Casino Group, Golden Gaming, American Casino & Entertainment Properties, Bally Technologies, Cannery Casino Resorts, Golden Nugget Companies, International Game Technology, The Majestic Star Casino, LLC, Ameristar Casinos, Archon Corporation, Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Riviera Holdings, Aztar, DBT Online Inc., Gambler's Book Shop / GBC Press, Leroy's Horse & Sports Place, Millennium Management Group, Navegante Group, Pinnacle Entertainment and Tropicana Entertainment

Largest employers

According to the City of Las Vegas' 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[20] the top employers in the greater Clark County area are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Clark County School District 35,000
2 Clark County 8,500
3 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department 5,500
4 University of Nevada, Las Vegas 5,500
5 State of Nevada 4,000
6 University Medical Center of Southern Nevada 3,500
7 City of Las Vegas 3,000
8 Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center 2,500
9 College of Southern Nevada 2,000
10 Golden Nugget Las Vegas 2,000
11 Stratosphere Las Vegas 2,000
12 VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System 1,000
13 Citibank 1,000
14 Valley Hospital Medical Center 1,000
15 Suncoast Hotel and Casino 1,000
16 Palace Station 1,000
17 Cox Communications 1,000
18 Summerlin Hospital 1,000
19 HSBC Bank Nevada 1,000
20 Santa Fe Station 1,000

Notable government buildings

Regional Justice Center
  • Clark County Government Center
  • Regional Justice Center (opened October 3, 2005)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Las Vegas Sun, January 4, 2009; Joseph Nathan Kane, The American Counties (4th Ed.), (The Scarecrow Press, 1983), p479-480
  3. ^ Squires, C. P.. The History of Nevada. Nevada's Online State News Journal. p. 801. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Components, December 2005, with codes". Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  5. ^ Nevada population by county, 1900-90 accessed 2009-05-14
  6. ^ - Clark County accessed 2009-05-14
  7. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009". U.S. Census Bureau. 2009-04. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ "". 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  10. ^ Clark County, Nevada - Income in the Past 12 Months (In 2006 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars)
  11. ^ "Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center." Nevada Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 6, 2010.
  12. ^ "Lone woman on Nevada's death row dies in prison." Associated Press at North County Times. January 31, 2005. Retrieved on September 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Sunset Park at
  14. ^ "Abbreviated Revenue Release Index". Nevada Gaming Control Board. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  15. ^ February 2009 Nevada Gaming Revenues and Collections. . Nevada Gaming Control Board. 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  16. ^ - News - Dusty the Dusthole successful
  17. ^ Schoenmann, Joe (2008-12-17). "Official calls for sort reform". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 20 December 2008. 
  18. ^ "Interactive Map Viewer." City of Las Vegas. Retrieved on June 5, 2009.
  19. ^ "Map." Station Casinos. Retrieved on June 5, 2009.
  20. ^ City of Las Vegas Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

External links

Media related to Clark County, Nevada at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 36°12′N 115°01′W / 36.20°N 115.02°W / 36.20; -115.02

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