Las Vegas Population 2017
The 2010 Census placed the population of Las Vegas at 583,756, but its population in 2016 is estimated at 623,747.
Las Vegas' estimated population of over 600,000 accounts for just the city proper. The Las Vegas metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million. When most people talk about Las Vegas, they refer to the city as well as areas beyond its city limits, especially the Las Vegas Strip (known for its resorts and casinos) or even the whole Las Vegas Valley.
The 4.2 mile stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard, or what is known as the Strip, is actually in unincorporated areas of Enterprise, Winchester and Paradise, not Las Vegas proper.
Based on its population, Las Vegas has a population density of 4,376 people per square mile.
Las Vegas Demographics
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Las Vegas was:
- White: 62.1% (non-Hispanic: 47.9%)
- Black or African American: 11.1%
- Asian: 6.1%
- Native American: 0.7%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.6%
- Two or more races: 4.9%
- Hispanic or Latino of any race: 31.5%
Non-Hispanic whites are still the largest ethnic group in Las Vegas. While their proportion of the city's population has declined (72% in 1990 to under 48% in 2010), their total numbers are still increasing.
Interestingly, Las Vegas is sometimes referred to as the 9th island of Hawaii because so many people from the state have moved to Las Vegas. As the Las Vegas Sun recently reported, about 20% of all Hawaiians have visited Las Vegas in one year, and many stay.
It's also worth noting that Las Vegas has one of the highest marriage (and divorce) rates in the United States. This is because Nevada marriages are easy to get, and it's easier to get a divorce in Nevada than most states in the country. Many people travel from other states just to get an easier divorce.
Las Vegas History
The first European to visit Las Vegas Valley was Raphael Rivera in 1829. The name comes from Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party, however, who used water in the region before continuing on their path along the Old Spanish Trail.
In 1844, while the area was still part of Mexico, a group of observers and scientists for the US Army Corps of Engineers moved into the Las Vegas Valley. In 1855, after annexation by the US, Brigham Young assigned missionaries of the LDS Church to convert local Paiute Indians to Mormonism.
A fort was built in present-day downtown to serve as a stopping point on the "Mormon Corridor" between San Bernardino, California and Salt Lake. Mormons eventually abandoned Las Vegas in 1857 during the Utah War, and it became a railroad town.
By the early 20th century, Las Vegas was a popular railroad town and a staging point for nearby mines. As railroads were built across the country, the area became less important, although the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1935 led to some growth in population and tourism.
It was the legalization of gambling in 1931 that led to modern-day Las Vegas and the casino hotels it is now famous for. Developments starting going up, almost completely due to the scientists and staff working on the Manhattan Project, but organized crime figures quickly jumped in to finance and manage most of the large casinos in the beginning.
Las Vegas today is known for its tolerance of many forms of adult entertainment, which earned it the nickname Sin City, and it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations on earth.
Las Vegas Population Growth
Before the recession, Clark County's population was expected to top 2 million in 2006, but this figure has still not been hit. The county where Las Vegas is located should reach 2.5 million by 2031.
Las Vegas itself is steadily recovering from the recession. It's now the 11th fastest growing metropolitan area, according to Forbes, and it's finally pushing past the plateau it hit during the recession.
The area still has one of the highest foreclosure rates and largest inventories of vacant homes in the country, but it is attracting new people and new business. The Las Vegas-Paradise metropolitan area is expected to grow from 1.988 million in 2012 to 3.32 million in 2042. This is a 67% increase, and one of the largest expected population booms in the United States.