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Jul 26, 2021

In the city of Las Vegas, new homes, shopping centers and schools are an ever-present sign of growth and progress. As they have for decades, the city and Southern Nevada, as a whole, remain an attractive location for new residents, who are drawn to the sunny climate, tax-friendly environment and relative affordability the region provides. This trend is readily apparent in population figures, which consistently show thousands of people voting with their feet to make Southern Nevada their new home.

In the latest population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Las Vegas continued its growing ways, adding 8,400 residents in 2020 and bolstering its position as the state’s largest incorporated city with a population of 662,400.

New residents translated to a 1.3 percent annual growth rate, which ranked 16th among the 100 largest incorporated cities in the United States. Over the prior decade the city’s population grew by 77,800 residents, which was higher than the total growth for many larger U.S. cities, including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and San Francisco. Since 2010, the city of Las Vegas population grew by 13.3 percent, ranking 28th among the 100 largest cities. Over that decade, the city’s population growth has moved it from the 30th largest incorporated city to the 25th largest.

Population growth in the city of Las Vegas is part of broader national and regional trends. Sun Belt states in the West and South parts of the US have been the leading sources of population growth for years, as states in other parts of the country have stagnated or even lost population. Nevada had the fourth-fastest population growth since 2010, and in 2020 it ranked third with a 1.5 percent annual population growth rate. Only Idaho and Arizona grew faster.

Southern Nevada has been a primary driver of statewide population growth. The region’s 1.8 percent annual growth rate in 2020 was the third-fastest among the 30 largest metropolitan areas, trailing Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. Southern Nevada’s population growth over the past 10 years was tempered by the Great Recession, but it finished the decade with the eighth-fastest growth rate at 18.6 percent.

As it has for most for decades, the primary driver of population growth in Southern Nevada has been the inflow of new residents from other states. And no state provides more new residents than neighboring California. In 2020, Californians accounted for more than a third of all driver’s license surrenders at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Southern Nevada. That number is right in line with historical trends going back decades, as residents of the Golden State continue flowing across the state line in search of new economic opportunities, more affordable housing and a better way of life. 

To keep up to date with city of Las Vegas data from Applied Analysis, visit the COMMUNITY DASHBOARD

Photo: View of downtownLas Vegas, courtesy of city of Las Vegas

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