Las Vegas, Nevada
Overview
 
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 and is also the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Clark County, Nevada
Clark County, Nevada
-Demographics:As of the census 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 , 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...

. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World
The Entertainment Capital of the World
The Entertainment Capital of the World is an advertising slogan first coined to refer to Los Angeles due to the presence of Hollywood, and the area's prominent radio, television, music, & movie production, as well as the abundance of tourist and amusement attractions in the region...

, and is famous for its casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 resorts and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, Las Vegas is the 28th-most populous city in the United States, with an estimated population by the U.S.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 and is also the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Clark County, Nevada
Clark County, Nevada
-Demographics:As of the census 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 , 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...

. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World
The Entertainment Capital of the World
The Entertainment Capital of the World is an advertising slogan first coined to refer to Los Angeles due to the presence of Hollywood, and the area's prominent radio, television, music, & movie production, as well as the abundance of tourist and amusement attractions in the region...

, and is famous for its casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 resorts and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, Las Vegas is the 28th-most populous city in the United States, with an estimated population by the U.S. Census Bureau of 583,756 as of 2010. The 2010 population estimate of the Las Vegas metropolitan area
Las Vegas metropolitan area
The Las Vegas Valley is the heart of the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada, and is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a ...

 was 1,951,269.

Established in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in that century (a distinction held by Chicago in the 19th century). The city's tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City
Sin City (description)
Sin City is an urban area that caters to various vices, perhaps the most well known example being the Las Vegas metropolitan area, USA...

, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. There are numerous outdoor lighting displays on Fremont Street
Fremont Street
Fremont Street is a street in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is the second most famous street in the Las Vegas metropolitan area after the Las Vegas Strip...

, as well as elsewhere in the city.

The name Las Vegas is often applied to unincorporated area
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

s that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...

. The 4.2 mi (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas Boulevard
State Route 604 is the route number designation for parts of Las Vegas Boulevard, a major north–south road in the Las Vegas metropolitan area of Nevada in the United States best known for the Las Vegas Strip and its casinos. Formerly carrying U.S...

 known as the Strip is mainly in the unincorporated communities of Paradise
Paradise, Nevada
Paradise is an unincorporated town in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in Clark County, Nevada, United States. The population was 223,167 at the 2010 census...

, Winchester
Winchester, Nevada
Winchester is a census-designated place in Clark County, Nevada, United States that contains part of the Las Vegas Strip. It is one of a number of CDPs in the unincorporated urbanized area directly south of Las Vegas. The population was 26,958 at the 2000 census. It is governed by the Clark County...

, and Enterprise
Enterprise, Nevada
Enterprise is an unincorporated town in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in Clark County, Nevada, United States. The population was 14,676 at the 2000 census, and estimated at 78,488 in 2008...

.

History

The first reported European visitor to the Las Vegas Valley was Raphael Rivera
Raphael Rivera
Raphael Rivera was a Spanish/Mexican scout and the first non-Native American to set foot in the Las Vegas Valley. Trader Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California in 1829. While his caravan was camped Christmas Day about 100 miles northeast of present day...

 in 1829. Las Vegas was named by Spaniards
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in the Antonio Armijo
Antonio Armijo
Antonio Armijo was a Spanish Mexican explorer and merchant who was famous for leading the first commercial caravan party across the Las Vegas Valley in 1829. His route is known as the Old Spanish Trail...

 party, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail
Old Spanish Trail (trade route)
The Old Spanish Trail is a historical trade route which connected the northern New Mexico settlements near or in Santa Fe, New Mexico with that of Los Angeles, California and southern California. Approximately long, it ran through areas of high mountains, arid deserts, and deep canyons. It is...

 from Texas. In the 19th century, areas of the valley contained artesian
Artesian aquifer
An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached. This type of well is called an artesian well...

 wells that supported extensive green areas or meadow
Meadow
A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

s
(vegas in Spanish); hence the name Las Vegas.

John C. Frémont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

 traveled into the Las Vegas Valley on May 3, 1844, while it was still part of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. He was a leader of a group of scientists, scout
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

s, and observers for the United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

. On May 10, 1855, following annexation
Mexican Cession
The Mexican Cession of 1848 is a historical name in the United States for the region of the present day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S...

 by the United States, Brigham Young
Brigham Young
Brigham Young was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the Western United States. He was the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death in 1877, he founded Salt Lake City, and he served as the first governor of the Utah...

 assigned 30 missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led by William Bringhurst to the area to convert the Paiute
Paiute
Paiute refers to three closely related groups of Native Americans — the Northern Paiute of California, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon; the Owens Valley Paiute of California and Nevada; and the Southern Paiute of Arizona, southeastern California and Nevada, and Utah.-Origin of name:The origin of...

 Indian population to Mormonism
Mormonism
Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

. A fort
Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park
Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park is a state park of Nevada, USA, containing the Old Mormon Fort, the first structure built by people of European blood in what would become Las Vegas fifty years later....

 was built near the current downtown area that served as a stopover for travelers along the "Mormon Corridor
Mormon Corridor
The Mormon Corridor is a term for the areas of Western North America that were settled between 1850 and approximately 1890 by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , who are commonly known as Mormons....

" between Salt Lake
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. The name of the city is often shortened to Salt Lake or SLC. With a population of 186,440 as of the 2010 Census, the city lies in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a total population of 1,124,197...

 and the briefly thriving colony of saints at San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino is a city located in the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area , and serves as the county seat of San Bernardino County, California, United States...

. Mormons abandoned Las Vegas in 1857, during the Utah War
Utah War
The Utah War, also known as the Utah Expedition, Buchanan's Blunder, the Mormon War, or the Mormon Rebellion was an armed confrontation between LDS settlers in the Utah Territory and the armed forces of the United States government. The confrontation lasted from May 1857 until July 1858...

. Las Vegas was established as a railroad town
Railway town
A railway town is a settlement that originated or was greatly developed because of a railway station or junction at its site.In Victorian Britain, the spread of railways greatly affected the fate of many small towns...

 on May 15, 1905, when 110 acres (44.5 ha) owned by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad
Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad
The Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad was a rail company that completed and operated a railway line between its namesake cities, via Las Vegas, Nevada. Incorporated in Utah in 1901 as the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, the line was largely the brainchild of William Andrews Clark,...

 was auctioned off in what is now downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas is the central business district of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the original gambling district of Las Vegas, prior to the Strip, and the area still incorporates downtown gaming.-Tourism:...

. Among the railroad's most notable owners and directors were Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 Senator William A. Clark, Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

 U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns
Thomas Kearns
Thomas Kearns was a mining, banking, railroad and newspaper magnate. He was elected United States Senator from Utah from 1901 to 1905.- Immigration and mining :...

, and R.C. Kerens of St. Louis. Las Vegas was part of Lincoln County
Lincoln County, Nevada
Lincoln County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2000 census, the population was 4,165. Its county seat is Pioche.-History:...

 until 1908, when it became part of the newly established Clark County
Clark County, Nevada
-Demographics:As of the census 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 , 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...

. The St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church near 4th and Bridger in downtown was founded in 1910. Las Vegas became an incorporated city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 on March 16, 1911; Peter Buol
Peter Buol
Peter Buol was the first mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada .-Biography:Peter Buol was born in Chicago, one of five sons born to Swiss immigrants Frank and Emma Buol. Like his brothers, Peter initially trained under his father as a chef...

 was the first mayor.

Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west, and became a popular railroad town in the early 20th century. It was a staging point for mines in the surrounding area, especially those around the town of Bullfrog, that shipped goods to the rest of the country. With the proliferation of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important, but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President...

 in 1935 resulted in growth in the number of residents and increased tourism. The dam, located 30 mi (48.3 km) southeast of the city, formed Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. It is located on the Colorado River about southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, it extends behind the dam, holding approximately of water.-History:The lake was...

, the US's largest man-made lake and reservoir. Today, tours are offered into lesser-known parts of the dam. The legalization of gambling in 1931 led to the advent of the casino hotels for which Las Vegas is famous. Major development occurred in the 1940s, "due almost entirely" to the influx of scientists and staff from the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

, an atomic bomb research project of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Atomic test watching parties were sometimes thrown. American organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 figures such as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel
Bugsy Siegel
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was an American gangster who was involved with the Genovese crime family...

 and Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky , known as the "Mob's Accountant", was a Polish-born American organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States...

 managed or funded most of the original large casinos. The rapid growth of Las Vegas is credited with dooming Galveston, Texas
Free State of Galveston
The Free State of Galveston was a whimsical name given to the island city of Galveston in the U.S. state of Texas during the early-to-mid-20th century. Today, the term is sometimes used to describe the culture and history of that era...

; Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs is the 10th most populous city in the U.S. state of Arkansas, the county seat of Garland County, and the principal city of the Hot Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area encompassing all of Garland County...

; and other major gaming centers in the 1950s.

Geography and climate

Las Vegas is situated within Clark County
Clark County, Nevada
-Demographics:As of the census 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 , 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...

 in an arid basin
Basin and Range
The Basin and Range Province is a vast physiographic region defined by a unique topographic expression. Basin and Range topography is characterized by abrupt changes in elevation, alternating between narrow faulted mountain chains and flat arid valleys or basins...

 on the desert floor, surrounded by dry mountains. The Spring Mountains
Spring Mountains
The Spring Mountains are a mountain range of southern Nevada in the United States, running generally northwest-southeast along the west side of Las Vegas and down to the border with California...

 lie to the west. Much of the landscape is rocky and dusty; the environment is dominated by desert vegetation and some wildlife, and the area is subject to torrential flash floods. The elevation is around 2030 ft (618.7 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 135.86 sq mi (351.9 km²), of which 131.81 sq mi (341.4 km²) is land and 0.05 sq mi (0.1294994055 km²) (0.03%) is water.

Within the city there are many lawns, trees, and other greenery. Due to water resource issues, there is now a movement to encourage xeriscapes
Xeriscaping
Xeriscaping and xerogardening refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation...

. Another part of the water conservation efforts include scheduled watering groups for watering residential landscaping. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant in 2008 funded a program that analyzed and forecast growth and environmental impacts through the year 2019. This study resulted in an expansion of the sewage treatment capacity, which enabled rapid population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

.

Climate

Las Vegas' climate is a subtropical desert climate (Koppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BWh), typical of the Mojave Desert
Mojave Desert
The Mojave Desert occupies a significant portion of southeastern California and smaller parts of central California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, in the United States...

 in which it lies. The city enjoys abundant sunshine year-round: it has an average of about 300 sunny days per year with more than 3,800 hours of sunshine.

The summer months of June through September are very hot and mostly dry, with average daytime highs of 94 to 104 °F (34.4 to 40 C) and night-time lows of 69–78 °F (20.6–25.6 C). There are an average of 133 days per year above 90 °F (32.2 °C), and 72 days above 100 °F (37.8 °C), with most of the days in July and August exceeding that benchmark. Humidity is very low, often under 10%.

Las Vegas' winters are of short duration and the season is generally mild, with daytime highs near 60 °F (15.6 °C) and nighttime lows around 40 °F (4.4 °C). The mountains surrounding Las Vegas accumulate snow during the winter but snow is rare in the Las Vegas Valley itself. Temperatures can sometimes drop to freezing 32 °F (0 °C) but winter nighttime temperatures will rarely dip below 30 °F (-1.1 °C).

Annual precipitation in Las Vegas is roughly 4.5 in (11.4 cm), which on average occurs on 29 days per year. Most of the precipitation falls in the winter, but the driest month (June) has only 2.9 fewer average days of precipitation than the wettest month (March).

Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Las Vegas was as follows:
  • White
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

    : 62.1% (Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    : 47.9%)
  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 31.5% (24.0% Mexican, 1.4% Salvadoran, 0.9% Puerto Rican, 0.9% Cuban, 0.6% Guatemalan, 0.2% Peruvian, 0.2% Colombian, 0.2% Honduran, 0.2% Nicaraguan)
  • Black or African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    : 11.1%
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 6.1% (3.3% Filipino, 0.7% Chinese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Japanese, 0.4% Indian, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.2% Thai)
  • Two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 4.9%
  • Native American: 0.7%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
    Pacific Islander American
    Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

    : 0.6%


Source:

As of the census of 2010, there were 583,756 people, 211,689 households, and 117,538 families residing in the city. The population density was 4222.5 /sqmi. There are 190,724 housing units at an average density of 1683.3 /sqmi.

As of 2006, there were 176,750 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.

The median income
Median household income
The median household income is commonly used to generate data about geographic areas and divides households into two equal segments with the first half of households earning less than the median household income and the other half earning more...

 for a household in the city was $53,000 and the median income for a family was $58,465. Males had a median income of $35,511 versus $27,554 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,060. About 6.6% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Las Vegas has one of the highest suicide and divorce rates of the U.S. A study that found Las Vegas residents are 40% less likely to commit suicide if they leave Las Vegas and visitors are more than twice as likely to commit suicide there as elsewhere was published in the Las Vegas Sun
Las Vegas Sun
The Las Vegas Sun is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper. It is one of Las Vegas, Nevada's two daily newspapers. It is owned by the Greenspun family and is affiliated with Greenspun Media Group....

 newspaper in 2008. The city's high divorce rate is not wholly due to Las Vegans themselves getting divorced. Since divorce is easier in Nevada than most other states, many people come from across the country for the easier process.

For similar reasons, Las Vegas has one of the highest marriage rates of U.S. cities, with many licenses issued to people from outside the area (see Las Vegas weddings
Las Vegas weddings
Las Vegas came to be known as the Marriage Capital of the World due to the ease in acquiring a marriage license and the minimal costs involved. The city continues to be known as a popular wedding destination for the same reasons, but also as a result of the various types of weddings...

).

Economy

The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy are tourism, gaming, and conventions, which in turn feed the retail and restaurant industries.

Redevelopment

When The Mirage
The Mirage
The Mirage is a 3,044 room hotel and casino resort located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, United States.The Mirage is connected by a free tram to Treasure Island. The marquee in front of the Mirage is the largest free standing marquee in the world.-History:The Mirage was built by...

 opened in 1989, it started a trend of major resort development of the southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...

 outside of the city. This resulted in a drop in tourism in the downtown area, but many recent projects and condominium construction have increased the number of visitors to downtown.

An effort has been made by city officials to diversify the economy by attracting light manufacturing, banking, and other commercial interests. The lack of state individual and corporate income tax and very simple incorporation
Incorporation (business)
Incorporation is the forming of a new corporation . The corporation may be a business, a non-profit organisation, sports club, or a government of a new city or town...

 requirements have fostered the success of this effort.

With the Strip expansion in the 1990s, Downtown Las Vegas (which has maintained an old Las Vegas feel) began to suffer. The city made an effort to turn around the fortunes of downtown. The city successfully lured the Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 operations from western side of the city to a new downtown area building that opened in April 2005. The IRS move was expected to create a greater demand for additional businesses in the area, especially in the daytime hours. The Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience
The Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall and attraction in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. The FSE occupies the westernmost 5 blocks of Fremont Street, including the area known for years as "Glitter Gulch," and portions of some other adjacent streets.The attraction is a barrel vault canopy,...

 (FSE) was built in an effort to draw tourists back to the area, and has been popular. Since the recession began in 2008, many of these shops have closed. The multi-level Neonopolis
Neonopolis
Neonopolis, a shopping mall, is a $100 million entertainment complex in Las Vegas, Nevada located on top of a $15 million city parking garage. It is located on the Fremont Street Experience, at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard...

 closed their 11 theaters and nearly all retail stores. Many high-rise condo projects have been under construction, but one of the highest profile buildings, The Streamline Towers, went into bankruptcy.

The city purchased 61 acres (24.7 ha) of property from the Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

 in 1995 with the goal of creating something to draw more people to the downtown area. In 2004 Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman
Oscar Goodman
Oscar Baylin Goodman is an American lawyer and politician. He was the mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada from 1999 to 2011. Mayor Goodman is an Independent and a former member of the Democratic Party.-Biography:...

 announced plans for Symphony Park
Symphony Park
Symphony Park, originally called Union Park, and formerly known as Parkway Center, is an under construction mixed-use urban community located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. The city of Las Vegas is undertaking the development of a parcel located on brownfield land purchased from Union Pacific...

, which will include residential and office high-rises, the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute
Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute
The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health , officially the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, opened on July 13, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada that is operated by the Cleveland Clinic and was designed by world-renowned architect, Frank Gehry of Gehry Partners in Santa Monica,...

, an academic medical center, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and a new City Hall. After failed negotiations with The Related Co.
The Related Companies
The Related Companies L.P. is a real estate developer, manager and financier. The developer of numerous high-profile projects in New York City and around the United States, Related is best known for its historic 2.8 million-square-foot $1,700,000,000 Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle...

 on the development of Union Park in October 2005, San Diego-based Newland Communities was chosen by the city as the new development firm. The Newland contract calls for Dan Van Epp, Newland's regional vice president and former president of The Howard Hughes Corporation
The Howard Hughes Corporation
The Howard Hughes Corporation is a major real estate development and management company based in Dallas, Texas, which was founded by Howard Hughes. Later sold to the Rouse Company, it became a separate company again in 2010, as a spinoff of General Growth Properties .Upon exiting bankruptcy, GGP...

, to oversee his company's work on Symphony Park. The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute
Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute
The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health , officially the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, opened on July 13, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada that is operated by the Cleveland Clinic and was designed by world-renowned architect, Frank Gehry of Gehry Partners in Santa Monica,...

 was completed in 2009.

In 2004 the city partnered with Cheetah Wireless Technologies and MeshNetwork to pilot a wide-area mobile broadband system. The pilot system is installed downtown, around the Fremont Street Experience. On a lot adjacent to the city's 61 acre site, the World Market Center
World Market Center
World Market Center Las Vegas, located at 495 S. Grand Central Parkway in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a showcase for the home and hospitality contract furnishings industry in downtown Las Vegas.World Market Center currently has about of space...

 opened in 2005. It was intended as a preeminent furniture wholesale showroom and marketplace to compete with the current furniture market capital of High Point, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina
High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. As of 2010 the city had a total population of 104,371, according to the US Census Bureau. High Point is currently the eighth-largest municipality in North Carolina....

.

On October 23, 2006, plans were unveiled to build a World Jewelry Center in Symphony Park. Similar to the World Market Center, the WJC will be a one stop shop for jewelry trade shows
Trade fair
A trade fair is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities...

 from around the world. The project proposes a 57-story, 815 ft (248.4 m) office tower. As of 2009 the project was still on hold.

Las Vegas decided to build a new city hall in the late 2000s. This had several consequences. One being that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is a joint city-county police force for the City of Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada. It is run by the Sheriff of Clark County, elected every four years. The current Sheriff of Clark County is Douglas C...

, which shared city hall, would have to find a new location. The second being that the old building would be vacated with the potential negative impact on the downtown area. The police department elected to build a headquarters building in another part of the city and consolidate most of its operations in one place. This increased the departments presence with in the city since it would be moving in employees not presently working in the city. The second problem was address when the city and Zappos reached an agreement for Zappos to move its headquarters into the old city hall.

Tourism

The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos and the hotels. There are many hotel casinos in the city's downtown area, which was the focal point of the city's gaming industry in its early days.

Most major downtown casinos are downtown on the Fremont Street Experience, The Stratosphere
Stratosphere Las Vegas
Stratosphere Las Vegas is a tower, hotel, and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Its tower is also the tallest observation tower, and the 5th-tallest structure, in the United States, as well as being the tallest structure in Las Vegas.It is owned by Whitehall...

 being the major exception. Fremont East, adjacent to the Fremont Street Experience, was granted variances to allow bars to be closer together, similar to the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. The goal being to attract a different demographic then the strip attracts.

Downtown area casinos

Las Vegas got its start with casinos in 1931 with the opening of the Northern Club (now the La Bayou
La Bayou
La Bayou is a casino located on the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada. The casino's only gaming options are 125 slot and video poker machines, there are no table games or sportsbooks. La Bayou is also one of the few casinos in Las Vegas that still has slot machines that cash out in...

). The most notable of the early casinos may have been Binion's Horseshoe
Binion's Horseshoe
Binion's Horseshoe, also known as the Horseshoe Casino or simply The Horseshoe, was a hotel and casino located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada on what is now the Fremont Street Experience. The casino was named for its founder, Benny Binion and had 366 rooms, three restaurants and a rooftop pool.The...

 (now Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel
Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel
Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel is a hotel and casino located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada on the Fremont Street Experience. The casino is named for its founder, Benny Binion and has 366 rooms, two restaurants and a rooftop pool...

) while it was run by Benny Binion
Benny Binion
Lester Ben "Benny" Binion was a well-known American casino owner, mobster, poker enthusiast, and convicted felon.-Early history:...

. Boyd Gaming
Boyd Gaming
Boyd Gaming Corporation is a Paradise, Nevada based business engaged in the development, ownership and operation of hotels and casinos throughout the United States...

 has a major presence downtown operating the California Hotel and Casino
California Hotel and Casino
The California Hotel and Casino, also known as The Cal opened in 1975 at a cost of $10 million with a hotel and casino located in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada near the Fremont Street Experience. When it opened it had 325 rooms which has since been expanded to 781.The California has been owned by...

, Fremont Hotel and Casino
Fremont Hotel and Casino
The Fremont Hotel & Casino is located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, on the Fremont Street Experience. The casino is operated by the Boyd Gaming Corporation.-History:...

 and the Main Street Casino. The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is located at One Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States. A part of the Fremont Street Experience, it is the oldest and smallest hotel on the Fremont Street Experience.-History:...

 is the oldest hotel in the Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience
The Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall and attraction in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. The FSE occupies the westernmost 5 blocks of Fremont Street, including the area known for years as "Glitter Gulch," and portions of some other adjacent streets.The attraction is a barrel vault canopy,...

. The Golden Nugget
Golden Nugget Las Vegas
The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is a luxury casino-hotel located in Las Vegas, Nevada on the Fremont Street Experience. The property is owned and operated by Landry's Restaurants....

 is the largest hotel and casino in the city. The Plaza Hotel & Casino
Plaza Hotel & Casino
The Plaza Hotel & Casino is a casino-hotel located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada owned by the Tamares Group and Play LV is the leaseholder and operator of the property. It currently has 1,037 rooms and suites, as well as an casino and there is more than of event space...

 on Main Street was the railway station until Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 discontinued service. Other casinos include the El Cortez
El Cortez
The El Cortez, a hotel and casino is a relatively small downtown Las Vegas gaming venue a block from the Fremont Street Experience and Las Vegas Boulevard. The official marketing slogan has been "Where locals come to play" since the El Cortez has traditionally attracted Las Vegas residents weary of...

, Fitzgeralds, Four Queens
Four Queens
The Four Queens Hotel and Casino is located in downtown Las Vegas on the Fremont Street Experience. Home to the Queen's Machine, the world's largest slot machine, the 690 room hotel and casino is owned and operated by TLC Enterprises, which acquired the property from the Elsinore Corporation in...

, Gold Spike Hotel and Casino
Gold Spike Hotel and Casino
Gold Spike Hotel and Casino is a boutique 112-room, seven floor hotel-casino, connected with the Oasis at the Gold Spike, a 50-room three floor hotel located in downtown Las Vegas.-History:...

 and the Las Vegas Club
Las Vegas Club
The Las Vegas Club is a casino-hotel located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada owned by the Tamares Group and operated by Navegante along with the Plaza Hotel & Casino across Main street.-History:...

.

Nearby communities

  • Henderson, Nevada
    Henderson, Nevada
    -Demographics:According to the 2000 census, there were 175,381 people, 66,331 households, and 47,095 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,200.8 people per square mile . There were 71,149 housing units at an average density of 892.8 per square mile...

    , incorporated
    Municipal corporation
    A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which...

  • North Las Vegas, Nevada
    North Las Vegas, Nevada
    North Las Vegas is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States, located in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The city was incorporated on May 16, 1946.-Geography:...

    , incorporated
    Municipal corporation
    A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which...

  • Paradise, Nevada
    Paradise, Nevada
    Paradise is an unincorporated town in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in Clark County, Nevada, United States. The population was 223,167 at the 2010 census...

    , unincorporated
    Unincorporated area
    In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

  • Enterprise
    Enterprise, Nevada
    Enterprise is an unincorporated town in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in Clark County, Nevada, United States. The population was 14,676 at the 2000 census, and estimated at 78,488 in 2008...

    , unincorporated
    Unincorporated area
    In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

  • Sunrise Manor, Nevada
    Sunrise Manor, Nevada
    Sunrise Manor is an unincorporated town in Clark County, Nevada, United States, located on the western base of Frenchman Mountain, east of Las Vegas. The population was 189,372 at the 2010 census...

    , unincorporated
    Unincorporated area
    In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

  • Spring Valley, Nevada
    Spring Valley, Nevada
    Spring Valley is an unincorporated town in Clark County, Nevada, United States located two miles west of the Las Vegas Strip. The population was 117,390 at the 2000 census.-Background:...

    , unincorporated
    Unincorporated area
    In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

  • Boulder City, Nevada
    Boulder City, Nevada
    Boulder City is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States. It is approximately from the City of Las Vegas. As of the 2010 census the population of Boulder City was 15,023.Boulder City is one of only two cities in Nevada that prohibit gambling....

    , incorporated
    Municipal corporation
    A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which...


Culture

The city is home to several museums including the Neon Museum home to many of the historical signs from the valley, The Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement
Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement
The Mob Museum, officially called the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is an under-construction museum in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, planned to open in February 2012...

, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is a private, nonprofit natural history museum that is located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. The Museum opened on July 16, 1991, and is located across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Lied Discovery Children's Museum, as part of the downtown area known as the...

, Lied Discovery Children's Museum
Lied Discovery Children's Museum
The Lied Discovery Children's Museum is a facility located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The museum is located across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Las Vegas Natural History Museum...

 and the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park
Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park
Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park is a state park of Nevada, USA, containing the Old Mormon Fort, the first structure built by people of European blood in what would become Las Vegas fifty years later....

.

On the first Friday of each month, the "First Friday" celebration is held, which exhibits the works of local artists and musicians in a section of the city's Downtown region called the "Arts District".

The Thursday prior to First Friday is known in the 18b Arts District as "Preview Thursday". This evening event highlights new gallery exhibitions just opening throughout the district.

The Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park
Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park
The Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park, informally known as the Las Vegas Zoo, is a , nonprofit Zoological park and botanical garden located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is located northwest of the Las Vegas Strip, about 15 minutes away. It focuses primarily on the education of desert life and...

, also known as the Las Vegas Zoo, exhibits over 150 species of animals and plants.

The $485 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Smith Center for the Performing Arts
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, also known as the Smith Performing Arts Center, located in Downtown Las Vegas Nevada's Symphony Park is a theater facility consisting of three theaters in two buildings. Groundbreaking for the $470 million project was May 26, 2009. The design style is...

 (scheduled for completion in 2012) is located downtown in Symphony Park. The center will host Broadway shows and other major touring attractions as well as orchestra, opera, and dance performances.

The city hosts annual events like the Helldorado Days (Las Vegas)
Helldorado Days (Las Vegas)
Helldorado Days is an annual cowboy themed festival that hosts a rodeo, parade and carnival that began in 1934. Helldorado is an annual event in Las Vegas, Nevada...

.

Sports

Las Vegas does not have major-league sports, although the metropolitan population is as large or larger than many cities that have them. The two main reasons are concern about legal sports betting and competition for the entertainment dollar. The only minor league sports team that plays in the City of Las Vegas is baseball's Las Vegas 51s
Las Vegas 51s
The Las Vegas 51s, formerly known as the Las Vegas Stars, are a minor league baseball team. They are the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. They play at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team competes in the Pacific Coast League...

 of the Pacific Coast League
Pacific Coast League
The Pacific Coast League is a minor-league baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball.The...

, the AAA farm club of the Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball 's American League ....

.

Parks and recreation

Las Vegas has dozens of parks, including Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Las Vegas Springs Preserve consists of dedicated to nature walks and displays and is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Valley Water District. The Preserve is located approximately three miles west of downtown Las Vegas, Nevada...

, a recreational and educational facility, and Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. The city operates 4 golf courses (Angel Park Golf Club, Desert Pines Golf Course, Durango Hills Golf Club and the Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course), 5 dog park
Dog park
A dog park is a facility set aside for dogs to exercise and play off-leash in a controlled environment under the supervision of their owners...

s, 9 community centers, 8 senior centers and 20 sports facilities including 9 skate parks and 6 swimming pools.

Attractions

Las Vegas is a popular destination for Hawaiians. In 2002, almost 80,000 former residents of Hawaii lived in Las Vegas, and nearly 3,000 Hawaiians visited Las Vegas every week. Las Vegas is sometimes referred to as Hawaii's Ninth Island. The city is the home to the first ABC Stores branch outside the state of Hawaii.

Government

The City of Las Vegas government operates as a council-manager government
Council-manager government
The council–manager government form is one of two predominant forms of municipal government in the United States; the other common form of local government is the mayor-council government form, which characteristically occurs in large cities...

. The Mayor sits as a Council member-at-large and presides over all of the City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 meetings. In the event that the Mayor cannot preside over a City Council meeting, the Mayor Pro-Tem is the presiding officer of the meeting until such time as the Mayor returns to his seat. The City Manager is responsible for the administration and the day-to-day operation of all of the municipal services
Municipal services
Municipal services or city services refer to basic services that residents of a city expect the city government to provide in exchange for the taxes which citizens pay. Basic city services may include sanitation , water, streets, schools, food inspection fire department, police, ambulance, and...

 and city departments. The City Manager maintains intergovernmental relationships with federal, state, county, and other local governments.

Much of the Las Vegas metropolitan area is split into neighboring incorporated cities or unincorporated communities. Approximately 700,000 people live in unincorporated areas governed by Clark County
Clark County, Nevada
-Demographics:As of the census 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 , 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...

, and another 465,000 live in incorporated cities such as North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas, Nevada
North Las Vegas is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States, located in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The city was incorporated on May 16, 1946.-Geography:...

, Henderson
Henderson, Nevada
-Demographics:According to the 2000 census, there were 175,381 people, 66,331 households, and 47,095 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,200.8 people per square mile . There were 71,149 housing units at an average density of 892.8 per square mile...

, and Boulder City
Boulder City, Nevada
Boulder City is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States. It is approximately from the City of Las Vegas. As of the 2010 census the population of Boulder City was 15,023.Boulder City is one of only two cities in Nevada that prohibit gambling....

. Las Vegas and nearly all of the surrounding metropolitan area share a police department, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is a joint city-county police force for the City of Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada. It is run by the Sheriff of Clark County, elected every four years. The current Sheriff of Clark County is Douglas C...

, which was formed after a 1973 merger of the Las Vegas Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff's Department. North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and some colleges have their own police departments.

A Paiute
Paiute
Paiute refers to three closely related groups of Native Americans — the Northern Paiute of California, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon; the Owens Valley Paiute of California and Nevada; and the Southern Paiute of Arizona, southeastern California and Nevada, and Utah.-Origin of name:The origin of...

 Indian reservation
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 occupies about 1 acre (0.404686 ha) in the downtown area.

Las Vegas, as the county seat and home to the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse, draws numerous legal service industries providing bail, marriage, divorce, tax, incorporation
Incorporation (business)
Incorporation is the forming of a new corporation . The corporation may be a business, a non-profit organisation, sports club, or a government of a new city or town...

, and other legal services.

City council

Name Position Term
ends
References Comments
Stavros Anthony  4th Ward Council member 2013
Ricki Barlow  5th Ward Council member 2015
Carolyn Goodman  Mayor and Council member at-large 2015 Replaced her husband, Oscar Goodman
Oscar Goodman
Oscar Baylin Goodman is an American lawyer and politician. He was the mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada from 1999 to 2011. Mayor Goodman is an Independent and a former member of the Democratic Party.-Biography:...

, who was term-limited
Bob Coffin
Bob Coffin
Bob Coffin is a Las Vegas city councilman, representing the city's east side in Ward 3. He was previously a Democratic member of the Nevada Senate, representing Clark County District 10 from 1987-2011. Previously he was a member of the Nevada Assembly from 1983 through 1985. Mr...

 
3rd Ward Council member 2015
Steve Ross  6th Ward Council member 2013
Lois Tarkanian  1st Ward Council member 2015
Steve Wolfson, Esq  2nd Ward Council member 2013

Primary and secondary schools

Primary and secondary public education
Public education
State schools, also known in the United States and Canada as public schools,In much of the Commonwealth, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, the terms 'public education', 'public school' and 'independent school' are used for private schools, that is, schools...

 is provided by the Clark County School District
Clark County School District
The Clark County School District, , is the 5th largest school district in the United States. It serves all of Clark County, Nevada, including the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, and Mesquite; plus the census-designated places of Laughlin, Blue Diamond, Logandale,...

, which is the fifth most populous school district in the nation (projected enrollment for the 2007–2008 school year was 314,000 students in grades K–12).

Colleges and universities

The College of Southern Nevada (the third largest community college in the United States by enrollment) is the main higher education facility in the city. Other institutions include the University of Nevada School of Medicine, with a campus in the city, and the for-profit private school Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas was founded in 2003 and is affiliated with Le Cordon Bleu Paris. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology...

. Many educational opportunities exist around the city. These include University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a public, coeducational university located in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada, USA. The campus is located approximately east of the Las Vegas Strip. The institution includes a Shadow Lane Campus, located just east of the University Medical Center of...

 and Nevada State College
Nevada State College
Nevada State College is a four-year public college located in Henderson, Nevada, and is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education...

 run by the Nevada System of Higher Education
Nevada System of Higher Education
The Nevada System of Higher Education was formed in 1968 to oversee all state-supported higher education in the U.S. state of Nevada. The name was changed in 2004. Two doctoral-granting research universities, one state college, four community colleges and one research institute comprise the...

, Desert Research Institute
Desert Research Institute
The Desert Research Institute is the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education , the organization that oversees all publicly-supported higher education in the U.S. state of Nevada...

, The International Academy of Design & Technology Las Vegas
The International Academy of Design & Technology Las Vegas
The International Academy of Design & Technology was founded in 1977. It is located in Henderson, Nevada and offers Bachelor’s or Associate degree....

, Touro University Nevada
Touro University Nevada
Touro University Nevada, , is a private non-profit institution of higher and professional education. Its campus is located in Henderson, Nevada. A sister campus, Touro University - California, is located in Mare Island, California. These two institutions make up the Touro Western Division,...

 and the University of Southern Nevada.

Transportation

RTC Transit is a public transportation system providing bus service throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and other suburban areas of the valley. Inter-city bus service to Las Vegas is provided by Greyhound
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

, many charter services, including Green Tortoise
Green Tortoise
The Green Tortoise is a bus tour company founded by Gardner Kent in 1974 and based in San Francisco, California that hosts tours in North America, mostly within the United States. It operates a bus line and two hostels...

, and several Chinatown bus lines
Chinatown bus lines
Chinatown bus lines are discount intercity bus services that have been established in the Chinatown communities of the East Coast of the United States since 1998. Similar Chinese American-run bus services are cropping up on the West Coast...

. Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 California operates Deluxe Express Thruway Motorcoach dedicated service between the City and its passenger rail station in Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield is a city near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley in Kern County, California. It is roughly equidistant between Fresno and Los Angeles, to the north and south respectively....

.

A bus rapid transit link in Las Vegas called the Strip & Downtown Express (previously ACE Gold Line) with limited stops and frequent service was launched in March 2010, and connects Downtown Las Vegas, the Strip, the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Town Square.

With some exceptions, including Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas Boulevard
State Route 604 is the route number designation for parts of Las Vegas Boulevard, a major north–south road in the Las Vegas metropolitan area of Nevada in the United States best known for the Las Vegas Strip and its casinos. Formerly carrying U.S...

, Boulder Highway (SR 582)
Nevada State Route 582
State Route 582 is a major highway in the Las Vegas valley. It connects Downtown Las Vegas with Henderson and Boulder City to the southeast. The highway is primarily known as Boulder Highway, but is named Fremont Street within the Las Vegas city limits. The highway is the former route of U.S....

, and Rancho Drive (SR 599)
Nevada State Route 599
State Route 599 is a state highway in Clark County, Nevada. The route follows Rancho Drive, a major arterial connecting downtown Las Vegas to the northwest part of the city. Much of SR 599 was previously designated as U.S. Route 95 prior to completion of the Las Vegas Expressway.-Route...

, the majority of surface streets in Las Vegas are laid out in a grid along Public Land Survey System
Public Land Survey System
The Public Land Survey System is a method used in the United States to survey and identify land parcels, particularly for titles and deeds of rural, wild or undeveloped land. Its basic units of area are the township and section. It is sometimes referred to as the rectangular survey system,...

 section lines. Many are maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation
Nevada Department of Transportation
The Nevada Department of Transportation is a government agency in the U.S. state of Nevada. NDOT is responsible for maintaining and improving Nevada's highway system, which includes U.S. highways and Interstate highways within the state's boundaries. The department is notable for its...

 as state highway
State highway
State highway, state road or state route can refer to one of three related concepts, two of them related to a state or provincial government in a country that is divided into states or provinces :#A...

s. The street numbering system is divided by the following streets:
  • Westcliff Drive, US 95 Expressway, Fremont Street
    Fremont Street
    Fremont Street is a street in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is the second most famous street in the Las Vegas metropolitan area after the Las Vegas Strip...

    , and Charleston Boulevard divide the north-south block numbers from west to east.
  • Las Vegas Boulevard
    Las Vegas Boulevard
    State Route 604 is the route number designation for parts of Las Vegas Boulevard, a major north–south road in the Las Vegas metropolitan area of Nevada in the United States best known for the Las Vegas Strip and its casinos. Formerly carrying U.S...

     divides the east-west streets from the Las Vegas Strip
    Las Vegas Strip
    The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...

     to near the Stratosphere, then Main Street becomes the dividing line from the Stratosphere to the North Las Vegas border, after which the Goldfield Street alignment divides east and west.
  • On the east side of Las Vegas, block numbers between Charleston Boulevard and Washington Avenue are different along Nellis Boulevard, which is the eastern border of the city limits.


Interstates 15, 515, and US 95 lead out of the city in four directions. Two major freeways – Interstate 15 and Interstate 515
Interstate 515
Interstate 515 is a spur of Interstate 15 that runs from the junction of I-15, US 93 and US 95 near Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada approximately southeast to Railroad Pass near the borders of Henderson and Boulder City....

/U.S. Route 95 – cross in downtown Las Vegas. I-15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and heads northeast to and beyond Salt Lake City, Utah. I-515 goes southeast to Henderson
Henderson, Nevada
-Demographics:According to the 2000 census, there were 175,381 people, 66,331 households, and 47,095 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,200.8 people per square mile . There were 71,149 housing units at an average density of 892.8 per square mile...

, beyond which US 93 continues over the Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge towards Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

. US 95 connects the city to northwestern Nevada, including Carson City
Carson City, Nevada
The Consolidated Municipality of Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada. The words Consolidated Municipality refer to a series of changes in 1969 which abolished Ormsby County and merged all the settlements contained within its borders into Carson City. Since that time Carson City has...

 and Reno. US 93 splits from I-15 northeast of Las Vegas and goes north through the eastern part of the state, serving Ely
Ely, Nevada
Ely is the largest city and county seat of White Pine County, Nevada, United States. Ely was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. Ely's mining boom came later than the other towns along US 50, with the discovery of copper in 1906...

 and Wells
Wells, Nevada
Wells is a city in Elko County, in northeast Nevada in the western United States. The population was 1,346 at the 2000 census. Wells is located at the junction of U.S. Route 93 and Interstate 80, approximately east of Elko and is part of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area.-History:The site...

. US 95 heads south from US 93 near Henderson through far eastern California. A partial beltway has been built, consisting of Interstate 215
Interstate 215 (Nevada)
The Las Vegas Beltway is the name of the beltway route circling three-quarters of the Las Vegas Valley in southern Nevada. The Las Vegas Beltway carries two numerical designations. Approximately of the beltway, from its southern terminus at Interstate 515/U.S. Route 93/U.S...

 on the south and Clark County 215 on the west and north. Other radial routes include Blue Diamond Road (SR 160) to Pahrump
Pahrump, Nevada
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 24,631 people, 10,153 households, and 7,127 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 82.7 people per square mile . There were 11,651 housing units at an average density of 39.1 per square mile...

 and Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147) to Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. It is located on the Colorado River about southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, it extends behind the dam, holding approximately of water.-History:The lake was...

.

East-west roads, north to south

North-south roads, west to east
McCarran International Airport
McCarran International Airport
McCarran International Airport is the principal commercial airport serving Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada, United States. The airport is located five miles south of the central business district of Las Vegas, in the unincorporated area of Paradise in Clark County. It covers an area of and...

 handles international and domestic flights into the Las Vegas Valley. The airport also serves private aircraft and freight/cargo flights. Most general aviation traffic uses the smaller North Las Vegas Airport
North Las Vegas Airport
- Runway Incursions:The airport has continuously worked on a runway incursion prevention program to help curtail the number of runway incursions happening at the airport. For the year of 2007, North Las Vegas ranked #2 in airports with most runway incursions....

 and Henderson Executive Airport
Henderson Executive Airport
Henderson Executive Airport is a public airport located south of the central business district of Las Vegas, in Clark County, Nevada, United States. The airport is owned by Clark County and operated by the Clark County Department of Aviation. According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated...

.

The Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

 is the only class-one railroad to provide rail freight service to the city. Until 1997, the Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 Desert Wind train service ran through Las Vegas using the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Amtrak service to Las Vegas goes to Needles, California
Needles, California
Needles is a city located in the Mojave Desert on the western banks of the Colorado River in San Bernardino County, California. It is located in the Mohave Valley, which straddles the California–Arizona border. The city is accessible via Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 95...

 and continues on Amtrak's Thruway Motorcoach bus service. Plans to restore Los Angeles to Las Vegas Amtrak service using a Talgo
Talgo
Talgo is a Spanish manufacturer of railway vehicles. It is best known for a design of articulated railway passenger cars in which the wheels are mounted in pairs, but not joined by an axle, and being between rather than underneath the individual coaches...

 train were discussed in the late 1990s, but the plan was not implemented. The Las Vegas Amtrak station was located in the Plaza Hotel; it held the distinction of being the only train station in the US that was located in a casino.

Walkability

A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Las Vegas 25th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities.

Sister cities

Ansan
Ansan
Ansan is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It lies south of Seoul, and is part of the Seoul National Capital Area. It is connected to Seoul by rail via Seoul Subway Line 4....

, South Korea Jeju City
Jeju City
Jeju is the capital of Jeju province in South Korea and the largest city on the island of Jeju. Its geographical location is . The city is served by Jeju International Airport ....

, South Korea Huludao
Huludao
Huludao is a prefecture-level city in southwestern Liaoning Province, China. It is one of the two principal cities in the Liaoxi Corridor . Known as Jinxi until 1994, Huludao has a total area of 10,415 square kilometers and a population of 2.87 million, of which some 531,000 live in the city proper...

, Liaoning, People's Republic of China Phuket
Phuket Province
Phuket , formerly known as Thalang and, in Western sources, Junk Ceylon , is one of the southern provinces of Thailand...

, Thailand Angeles City
Angeles City
The City of Angeles , located within the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, is locally classified as a first-class, highly-urbanized city. Its name is derived from El Pueblo de los Ángeles in honor of its patron saints, Los Santos Ángeles de los Custodios , and the name of its founder, Don...

, Philippines Pamukkale
Pamukkale
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water...

, Turkey

See also


External links

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