Want to Relocate to Nevada? Here's Our List of Pros & Cons

According to a recent press release put out by the United States Census Bureau, Nevada (along with Idaho) is one of the fastest-growing states in the country.

The Silver State's population increased by an astonishing 2.1% between 2017 and 2018. If you don't think that's a lot, think again: that dinky little 2.1% figure corresponds, roughly speaking, to an estimated 61,987 people.

So, how do we account for this recent influx of brand-new Nevadans? What's compelling people to uproot their families and make new homes in a state that's mostly desert, sees temperatures well in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit—on a near daily basis—in the summertime (not to mention below freezing temperatures at night), and receives as little as seven inches of rain per year?

Contrary to what we may be implying, it's not all bad in Nevada. Check out our list of pros and cons below to get a better sense of what makes life worthwhile, and what makes it a challenge, in this most arid of states.

Pro: Limited taxes means more income for you

Here's a major lure for you money-conscious penny-pinchers out there: like Florida, Texas, and four other states in our union, there's no state-level income tax in Nevada.

Business owner? Don't worry. The State of Nevada doesn't collect corporate income taxes, either.

Plus, there's no state sales tax levied on food purchases—or on medicine purchases, either, for that matter. Make no mistake: those extra pennies add up over time, so this is just another financial blessing for which to be grateful.

Con: The terrain

Ask any Nevadan. The desert is both a blessing and a curse. (We'll get to the blessing part in just a moment.)

Quite unsurprisingly, in a state that is incredibly arid, climatically speaking—with limited access to water and a rapidly expanding population depending on an already strapped amount of resources—there are myriad issues with hydrating cities both large and small.

Plus, these environments are ripe for the nastiest kinds of critters, from scorpions and venomous snakes to black widow spiders and more. If you're in a less densely populated area, skewing toward rural Nevada, expect to encounter more than your fair share of these little buggers as you go about your day-to-day routine.

Our recommendation? Might be best to carry a snake stick on you if you're out walking. Or have a specially designated spider-stomping boot by your front door.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of going outdoors, in this terrain, whether you're going for a drive in the car or just catching some rays on a backcountry hike, there are a few things you're going to want with you at all times for safety purposes:

  • Plenty of drinking water
  • A fully charged, functioning cellphone
  • A hat, sunscreen, and desert-appropriate clothing to shield your skin from too much exposure to the sun, which could lead to sunstroke

Going outside isn't as simple as just stepping out the door and breathing in that crisp desert air. So, if this is a dealbreaker for you, consider yourself warned.

Pro: The terrain, part two

All of that being said, the terrain is also part of the lure of the Silver State.

While the southern part of Nevada is mostly desert, there are all kinds of little oases that folks can escape to, from the beautiful Red Rock Canyon area (where an actual waterfall flows), to the wooded Mt. Charleston area—which is known to have seen snow in winters past. (Fun fact: the name Nevada means "snow-covered" in Spanish. Ironic, right?)

There are plenty of stunning desert road trip options along Nevada's many scenic byways, like Valley of Fire, Angel Lake, and the utterly desolate Route 50. Known as the country's "loneliest road," the route stretches a jaw-dropping 287 miles across the whole of the Silver State.

If you're going on a road trip, though, just be sure you adhere to the recommendations we outlined in the section above. You don't want to get stranded in the desert without gas, water, or a cellphone to keep you company while you wait for help.

If you prefer water to the heat of the desert, Lake Tahoe—the largest alpine lake of its kind in the whole of the United States—Lake Mead, and Cathedral George State Park offer a more lush and verdant escape from the arid expanses that surround you.

What's more, close proximity to other equally gorgeous states—California, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and Oregon, to name a few—is another big draw.

Con: The skyrocketing population

We know, we know: at the beginning of this article, we were touting the major population growth as a plus.

But with a vastly overinflated housing market, a high unemployment rate (12.6%), and a high cost of living relative to the national average (over 6.91%), there are more than a few economic considerations you'll have to take into account before making the big move. And, bear in mind, these concerns are only likely to grow given the rapidly expanding number of new residents here.

Also, if you're planning on settling in the Las Vegas area, be advised that nearly three-fourths of the state population resides there, too.

With a bad freeway system gumming up traffic, high gas prices, and a twenty-four-hour workday (courtesy the all-day-every-day ethos of the casino and nightlife circuit), all this could spell trouble for you if what you're after is increased quality of life and a quiet, relatively stress-free existence.

So, how are you feeling about that impulse to pack up and head for the Silver State? Still on board? Questioning your decision? It helps to do more research on your destination, but if you're dead-set on Nevada and are gearing up for the transition, check out our relocation guide for additional recommendations moving forward. Happy packing!