5 Nevada Towns People Are Fleeing As Soon As Possible

Nevada presents a tapestry of contradictions, boasting vibrant urban hubs like Las Vegas and Reno alongside expansive deserts and mountains. However, not every town in the state offers an equally inviting living experience. Some grapple with significant challenges, encompassing elevated crime rates, meager incomes, subpar education, and environmental concerns. Here, we highlight five Nevada towns experiencing an exodus, as reported by various sources.

North Las Vegas

Located as a Las Vegas suburb, North Las Vegas contrasts sharply with its glamorous neighbor. Housing around 250,000 residents, it stands out as one of the state’s most perilous cities, recording a violent crime rate of 9.8 per 1,000 residents—far surpassing the national average of 3.7. With a poverty rate of 19.9% and a median household income of $54,375, the city grapples with ongoing challenges, including budget cuts, layoffs, and infrastructure woes.


Nestled in northern Nevada, Winnemucca, with its approximately 8,000 residents, hinges heavily on the mining industry’s fortunes. Subject to the unpredictable undulations of gold prices, the town experiences economic booms and busts. This economic instability exposes residents to layoffs, foreclosures, and a lack of economic diversity. The high cost of living, marked by a median home value of $224,900 (surpassing the state average of $216,400), compounds the town’s challenges.


A central Nevada mining town, Tonopah’s population of around 2,500 reminisces about its historic silver mines, once the state’s richest. Today, abandoned mines create a desolate ambiance, accompanied by scant amenities. The town contends with water quality issues, as arsenic, fluoride, and uranium contaminate the groundwater. Tonopah faces economic struggles, with a poverty rate of 23.4% and a low median household income of $40,625.

West Wendover

Situated on the eastern Nevada border with a population of roughly 4,500, West Wendover is recognized for its casinos and resorts. However, its allure is marred by a dark side—ranking among the state’s most violent places, with a crime rate of 12.3 per 1,000 residents. Coupled with a poverty rate of 20.6% and a median household income of $41,875, the town grapples with social and economic challenges.


Approximately 60 miles west of Las Vegas, Pahrump, with a population of around 36,000, has garnered a reputation as a retirement haven. Despite this, the town faces considerable issues, including a high unemployment rate of 10.9% (surpassing the state average of 7.7%) and elevated crime rates—6.6 violent crimes and 35.9 property crimes per 1,000 residents. These factors contribute to a declining appeal, potentially leading to population loss.


These five Nevada towns exemplify locales losing their allure and residents due to various factors, rendering them less desirable for habitation. While global market dynamics and environmental challenges may lie beyond local control, addressing issues through investments in public safety, education, health, and economic development could potentially reverse the decline. Otherwise, these towns may face a future marked by depopulation and abandonment.

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