Nevada Population 2016

The landlocked state of Nevada is situated towards the western edge of the United States. It covers a vast area of some 110,000 square miles which makes it the seventh largest state in the country in terms of sheer land mass.

However, this vast territory is very sparsely filled with Nevada’s citizens and in fact, there are only eight states in the country that are less densely populated. The current population for Nevada in 2013 is estimated at 2,788,593, which is a good increase from its 2.70 million population at the 2010 Census. Nevada currently has one of the strongest growth rates in the country of 1.08%, which ranks 16th in the nation.

Nevada Population 2014

To gauge the Nevada population in 2013, you have to go back to the last set of confirmed figures which were declared at the US Census in 2010. At that time, it was revealed that 2,700,551 people had made Nevada their home, representing a sizeable increase of over 35% from the numbers declared at the end of the 2000 survey.

Based on those figures, the Census Bureau provides a new population estimate each year. In 2012, it estimated that the population of Nevada had increased to 2,758,931. The population in 2013 is now estimated at 2,788,593.

A relatively small percentage of Nevada's population lives in rural areas, such as Ely, West Wendover and Tonopah. The culture of rural Nevada is vastly different than the metropolitan areas, as most people in rural counties are native to the state, whereas Reno and Las Vegas are dominated by populations from other states, especially California. Rural populations are also less diverse, both racially and ethnically.

The largest metropolitan areas, and where the majority of the population is concentrated, includes Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas in Clark County and Reno in Washoe County.

Nevada Population History

Most states in the US tend to follow a similar pattern when it comes to their population history. Explosions in numbers tend to occur throughout the 19th century and, while the increases begin to slow down in the 1900’s, the overall pattern is one of healthy growth through the 20th century as well.

In Nevada however, that isn’t the case and throughout the state’s history, numbers have fluctuated greatly with impressive rises followed by clear falls on a census by census basis. In 1860, the population of Nevada was recorded at just 6,857 but an explosion of over 500% over the next ten years took those numbers to 42,941 by 1870. Much of the boom was as a result of a mining boom – while other states had their Gold Rush, Nevada had its very own Silver Rush.

After the boom, though, came a devastating depression, and Nevada’s population dropped dramatically. In the ten years from 1880 to 1890, the population fell from over 60,000 to 47,355. A further fall of 10% between 1890 and 1900 reduced the population to just 42,335.

Another boom was just round the corner though, and the discovery in 1900 of a rich seam of gold and silver near Tonopah saw fortune seekers flock once again to the Silver State – so many, in fact, that it’s population almost doubled within a decade.

It wasn’t until the latter half of the 20th century that changes settled down to record fairly stable increases. Even during this period, though, growth has been pretty spectacular by national standards. In every decade between 1950 and 2000 the population of Nevada grew by more than 50%. In fact, it’s growth of just 35% between 2000 and 2010 might be considered a bit disappointing.

Nevada was also hit especially hard by the housing collapse and economic recession, forcing many residents to flee back to their state of origin, in most cases California. Nevada is recovering nicely from this, however, and it has a very healthy growth rate.

Nevada Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the racial distribution of Nevada was as follows:

  • 66.2% White (54.1% non-Hispanic)
  • 8.1% African American
  • 1.2% American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 7.2% Asian American
  • 0.6% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 4.7% Multiracial
  • 12.% some other race

Hispanics and Latinos of any race make up 26.5% of Nevada's population. The most common ancestries include: Mexican (20.8%), German (13.3%), Irish (10%), English (9.2%) and Italian (6.3%). Las Vegas in particular is a minority majority city with a fast-growing amount of ethnic communities, including Armenians, Spaniards, Greeks, Poles and Italians.

Asian Americans have had a significant population in Nevada since the California Gold Rush in the 1850's brought thousands of Chinese miners to Washoe County, who were followed by Japanese farm works, then immigrants from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, India and Vietnam. Las Vegas now has the U.S.'s most prolific Asian American communities. The city has remained a large destination for immigrants from Latin America and South Asia seeking jobs in hospitality and gaming industries, along with farming and construction.

Nevada also has the highest population of illegal immigrants of any state in the United States, accounting for an estimated 8.8% of the total population.

Nevada Population Growth

Figures released in relation to natural growth tell the story of Nevada’s recent growing population and the main contributory factor comes with net migration. Between 2000 and 2007 natural growth (births minus deaths) had resulted in a gain of 81,661 citizens. However, net migration added to those numbers by an incredible 337,043.

Nevada clearly has the space for such gains, and it’s almost certain that the trend will continue. The question isn’t whether Nevada’s population will increase in the next ten years; the question is by how much.

Henderson and North Las Vegas are currently among the 20 fastest-growing cities in the United States over 100,000. Interestingly, as Nevada continues to grow, its population becomes more diverse. The non-Hispanic white population has shrunk in every county in the state between 2010 and 2012 except for three counties, with Hispanic and Asian populations continuing to grow faster than any other.

According to Census bureau figures, the growth in the state is driven mostly by people moving here from other countries and other states, and because the two biggest counties have lower mortality rates than the national average, despite typical fertility rates among residents.

Nevada's population is expected to continue its healthy climb and reach 3.36 million residents by 2030.

Population Data via US Census