Southern Nevada (often abbreviated as SNV) is the region of Nevada which includes the Las Vegas Valley. Southern Nevada also includes the areas in and around Tonopah, Hawthorne, Pahrump, and Pioche. Geographically, Southern Nevada is partly, and in some cases, fully within the Mojave Desert. The population of the region, as measured by the 2000 U.S. Census, is 1,432,004, though the Las Vegas valley has now increased to over 2,000,000 itself.
The only higher education centers in Southern Nevada are located within Clark County. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is in Paradise, about three miles (5 km) south of the city limits and roughly two miles east of the Strip. The University of Nevada Medical School has a campus near downtown Las Vegas. Several national colleges, including the University of Phoenix, have campuses in the Las Vegas area. Nevada State College and Touro University Nevada are both in nearby Henderson. The College of Southern Nevada has campuses in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson. Henderson also is home to DeVry University and the Keller Graduate School of Management, as well as the University of Southern Nevada. Other private entities in the Las Vegas Valley include Apollo College, National University, ITT Technical Institute.
Interstates 15 and 515 and US 6 and 95 lead out of Southern Nevada in all four directions. Two major freeways - Interstate 15 and Interstate 515/U.S. Route 95 - cross in downtown Las Vegas. I-15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California and heads northeast to and beyond Salt Lake City, Utah. I-515 goes southeast to Henderson, beyond which US 93 continues over the Hoover Dam towards Phoenix, Arizona. US 95 connects the city to northwestern Nevada, including Carson City and Reno, and provides a link to the communities of south-central Nevada, such as Tonopah and Beatty. US 93 splits from I-15 northeast of Las Vegas and goes north through the eastern part of the state, serving Ely and Wells, and US 95 heads south from US 93 near Henderson through far eastern California. US 6 connects Tonopah with Ely and Utah on the east and Bishop, California, on the west. A three-quarters beltway has been built, consisting of Interstate 215 on the south and Clark County 215 on the west and north. Other radial routes include Blue Diamond Road (SR 160) to Pahrump and Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147) to Lake Mead.
McCarran International Airport handles international and domestic flights in Southern Nevada. Also, The Union Pacific Railroad is the only class one railroad to provide rail freight service to Southern Nevada.
A major part of Southern Nevada's economy is based on tourism, including gambling. The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy have been the confluence of tourism, gaming, and conventions which in turn feed the retail and dining industries. The city serves as world headquarters for the world's two largest Fortune 500 gaming companies, Harrah's Entertainment and MGM Mirage.
Tourism also benefits the areas around Pahrump, which as served as a bedroom community of Las Vegas. Prostitution is also legal in areas of Southern Nevada, outside of Clark County.
The Mojave Desert and Great Basin Desert cover all or most of Southern Nevada. Man made lakes, seasonal, and dry lakes periodically dot the landscape. Examples of these are Lake Mead, Lake Las Vegas and the Ivanpah Dry Lake.
Southern Nevada generally consists of 5 counties, which when combined form a total regional area of roughly 43,765 square miles (113,350 km2). The counties commonly included in the region are as follows:
Major cities and CDPs
- Southern Nevada travel guide from Wikivoyage