Clark County, Nevada

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Clark County, Nevada
Clark County
Seal of Clark County, Nevada
Motto: "Living Relentlessly, Developing Economically!"
Map of Nevada highlighting Clark County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the United States highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location in the U.S.
Founded July 1, 1909[1]
Named for William Andrews Clark
Seat Las Vegas
Largest city Las Vegas
 • Total 8,061 sq mi (20,878 km2)
 • Land 7,891 sq mi (20,438 km2)
 • Water 169 sq mi (438 km2), 2.1%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 2,069,681
 • Density 247/sq mi (95/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 3rd, 4th
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7

Clark County is a county located in southern Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,951,269, with an estimated population of 2,000,759 in 2012.[2] It is by far 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 established.

The county was formed by the Nevada Legislature by splitting off a portion of Lincoln County on February 5, 1909,[3] and came into existence on July 1, 1909.[4] 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 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 city limits, but in unincorporated Paradise. It is, however, located in the Las Vegas Valley.

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.[5]


Kyle Canyon in the Mount Charleston Wilderness

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8,061 square miles (20,880 km2), of which 7,891 square miles (20,440 km2) is land and 169 square miles (440 km2) (2.1%) is water.[6]

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[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

There are 20 official wilderness areas in Clark County that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Many of these are located in, or partially located in, one of the preceding protected areas, as indicated below. Many are separate entities that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM):


Historical population
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%
Est. 2014 2,069,681 [7] 6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[2]

At the 2010 census, there were 1,951,269 people residing in Clark County, an increase of 41.8% since 2000. The racial makeup of the population was: 72.4% White (48.0% Non-Hispanic whites), 11.6% Black, 0.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 10.2% Asian, 1.3% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 5.3% from two or more races. 28.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[12]

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.[13] Large numbers of new residents in the state originate from California.[14]

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.[15] 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.

Law and government[edit]

Presidential Election Results
Year Democrat Republican
2012 56.42% 389,936 41.82% 289,053
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 Center in Las Vegas with the World Market Center temporary buildings in background

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 was politically competitive at the federal level, but Democratic Presidential candidates have carried the county in each election since 1992, initially with small majorities or pluralities until 2004. In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama won by much wider margins (19% and 15%, respectively). The last Republican candidate to carry the county was George H.W. Bush in 1988. Democrats have also carried the county in all but two U.S. Senate contests since 1982, with the exception being those won by Republican former Las Vegas Congressman John Ensign in 2000 and 2006.

At the statewide (Gubernatorial) level, Republican candidates have fared better, winning 5 out of the last 10 elections since 1978, including 4 out of the last 5 races (with the exception of 2006). Brian Sandoval won with 49% in 2010 and 66% in 2014, with the latter being the highest percentage of the vote ever for a Republican Gubernatorial nominee in the history of the county.

Clark County Coroner[edit]

The office of the county coroner is responsible for determining the cause and manner of death for all deaths in the county as required under the NRS and local policy.

Regional agencies[edit]

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.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada operates the RTC Transit system, and does planning for most major roadways.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is a multi-agency group that manages the water distribution for the Las Vegas Valley.

The Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee 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[edit]

The Grant Sawyer State Office Building, which houses many branches of state government, is located within the City of Las Vegas.[16]

The Nevada Department of Corrections operates three prisons within Clark County. High Desert State Prison, a medium-maximum prison, and the Southern Desert Correctional Center, a medium security prison, are both near Indian Springs, Nevada.[17]

The Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center 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. On October 1, 2004, the Department of Corrections took direct control of the facility.[18] It houses the female death row.[19]


Major highways[edit]


The Clark County School District serves all of Clark County with 228 elementary schools, 59 middle schools, and 54 high schools being the fifth largest in the country. Current enrollment of students as of 2013 was 312,892.

Colleges serving the area are University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), College of Southern Nevada, and Nevada State College.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Sunset, Valley of Fire State Park, in NE Clark County.
  • Sunset Park, located at Sunset Road and Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas

Gaming areas[edit]

The State of Nevada divides the state into several gaming districts. The reporting districts affecting Clark County are:[20][21]

Environmental factors[edit]

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.[22]

Located in Apex is the Apex Landfill which at 2,200 acres (890 ha) is the largest landfill in the United States.[23] 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[24][25] Golden Entertainment, 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


The Las Vegas Strip looking South.

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.

Largest employers[edit]

Regional Justice Center

According to data collected by the Research and Analysis Bureau of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Clark County's largest employers, both public and private employers, as reported in the fourth quarter of 2012.[26]

30,000 to 39,999 Employees

5,000 to 10,000 Employees

2,500 to 4,999


Map of Clark County Nevada.svg

Bracketed number refers to location on map, right


Census-designated places[edit]

Air Force Bases[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable government buildings[edit]

See also[edit]


  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ Las Vegas Sun, January 4, 2009; Joseph Nathan Kane, The American Counties (4th Ed.), (The Scarecrow Press, 1983), p479-480
  4. ^ Squires, C. P. Sam P. Davis, ed. The History of Nevada. Nevada's Online State News Journal. p. 801. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  5. ^ "Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Components, December 2005, with codes". Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Clark County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  13. ^ "Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009". U.S. Census Bureau. April 2009. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ "". June 19, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  15. ^ "Clark County, Nevada – Income in the Past 12 Months (In 2006 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars)". Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "[1]." Nevada Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 6, 2010.
  19. ^ "Lone woman on Nevada's death row dies in prison." Associated Press at North County Times. January 31, 2005. Retrieved on September 5, 2010. Archived July 29, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Abbreviated Revenue Release Index". Nevada Gaming Control Board. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  21. ^ "February 2009 Nevada Gaming Revenues and Collections" (PDF). Nevada Gaming Control Board (Press release). April 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-03.  Archived February 17, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "– News – Dusty the Dusthole successful". Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  23. ^ Schoenmann, Joe (December 17, 2008). "Official calls for sort reform". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved December 20, 2008. 
  24. ^ "Interactive Map Viewer." City of Las Vegas. Retrieved on June 5, 2009.
  25. ^ "Map." Station Casinos. Retrieved on June 5, 2009. Archived May 8, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^

External links[edit]

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