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Clark County, Nevada facts for kids

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Clark County
Clark County
Official seal of Clark County
"Living Relentlessly, Developing Economically!"
Map of Nevada highlighting Clark County
Location within the U.S. state of Nevada
Map of the United States highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Nevada
Founded July 1, 1909
Named for William A. Clark
Seat Las Vegas
Largest city Las Vegas
 • Total 8,061 sq mi (20,880 km2)
 • Land 7,891 sq mi (20,440 km2)
 • Water 169 sq mi (440 km2)  2.1%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 247/sq mi (95/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 3rd, 4th

Clark County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,951,269, with an estimated population of 2,114,801 in 2015. It is by far the most populous county in Nevada, accounting more than two-thirds of its residents. Las Vegas, Nevada's most populous city, has been the county seat since the county was established.

The county was formed by the Nevada Legislature by splitting off a portion of Lincoln County on February 5, 1909, and came into existence on July 1, 1909. The Las Vegas Valley, a 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) basin, includes Las Vegas as well as the other primary population center, the unincorporated community of Paradise.

Much of the county was originally part of Pah-Ute County, Arizona Territory before Nevada became a state. The county was named for William Andrews Clark, a Montana copper magnate and U.S. Senator. Clark was largely responsible for the construction of the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad through the area, a factor heavily contributing to the region's early development.

Clark County is today known as a major tourist destination, with 150,000 hotel rooms. The Las Vegas Strip, home to most of the hotel-casinos known to many around the world, is located not within the City of Las Vegas city limits, but in unincorporated Paradise. It is, however, located in the Las Vegas Valley.

Clark County is coextensive with the Las Vegas–Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan statistical area designated by the Office of Management and Budget and used by the United States Census Bureau and other agencies for statistical purposes.


Kyle Canyon Big Falls 1
Kyle Canyon in the Mount Charleston Wilderness

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8,061 square miles (20,880 km2), of which 7,891 square miles (20,440 km2) is land and 169 square miles (440 km2) (2.1%) is water.

The Colorado River forms the county's southeastern boundary, with Hoover Dam forming Lake Mead along much of its length. The lowest point in the state of Nevada is located on the Colorado River just south of Laughlin in Clark County, where it flows out of Nevada into California and Arizona. Las Vegas is a valley. By definition, Greater Las Vegas is a tectonic valley, surrounded by four mountain ranges, with nearby Mount Charleston being the highest elevation at 11,918 ft (3,633 m), located to the northwest. Other than the forests on Mount Charleston, the geography in Clark County is a desert. Creosote bushes are the main native vegetation, and the mountains are mostly rocky with little vegetation.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

There are 20 official wilderness areas in Clark County that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Many of these are located in, or partially located in, one of the preceding protected areas, as indicated below. Many are separate entities that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM):

  • Arrow Canyon Wilderness (BLM)
  • Black Canyon Wilderness (Nevada) (Lake Mead NRA)
  • Bridge Canyon Wilderness (Lake Mead NRA)
  • Eldorado Wilderness (Lake Mead NRA / BLM)
  • Ireteba Peaks Wilderness (Lake Mead NRA /BLM)
  • Jimbilnan Wilderness (Lake Mead NRA)
  • Jumbo Springs Wilderness (BLM)
  • La Madre Mountain Wilderness (BLM / Toiyabe NF)
  • Lime Canyon Wilderness (BLM)
  • Meadow Valley Range Wilderness (BLM) mostly in Lincoln County, NV
  • Mormon Mountains Wilderness (BLM) mostly in Lincoln County, NV
  • Mount Charleston Wilderness (Toiyabe NF / BLM)
  • Muddy Mountains Wilderness (BLM / Lake Mead NRA)
  • Nellis Wash Wilderness (Lake Mead NRA)
  • North McCullough Wilderness (part of Sloan Canyon NCA, which is managed by BLM)
  • Pinto Valley Wilderness (Lake Mead NRA)
  • Rainbow Mountain Wilderness (BLM / Toiyabe NF)
  • South McCullough Wilderness (BLM)
  • Spirit Mountain Wilderness (Lake Mead NRA / BLM)
  • Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness (BLM)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 3,321
1920 4,859 46.3%
1930 8,532 75.6%
1940 16,414 92.4%
1950 48,289 194.2%
1960 127,016 163.0%
1970 273,288 115.2%
1980 463,087 69.5%
1990 741,459 60.1%
2000 1,375,765 85.5%
2010 1,951,269 41.8%
Est. 2015 2,114,801 8.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2013

2000 census

In 2000 there were 512,253 households out of which 31.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.70% were married couples living together, 11.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 32.20% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 10.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 103.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $53,536, and the median income for a family was $59,485. Males had a median income of $35,243 versus $27,077 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,785. About 7.90% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.

The United States Census Bureau 2009 estimates place the population for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area at 1,902,834 people, and the region is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Large numbers of new residents in the state originate from California.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,951,269 people, 715,365 households, and 467,916 families residing in the county. The population density was 247.3 inhabitants per square mile (95.5/km2). There were 840,343 housing units at an average density of 106.5 per square mile (41.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 60.9% white, 10.5% black or African American, 8.7% Asian, 0.7% Pacific islander, 0.7% American Indian, 13.5% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 29.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 11.7% were German, 9.1% were Irish, 7.6% were English, 6.3% were Italian, and 2.7% were American.

Of the 715,365 households, 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.6% were non-families, and 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.26. The median age was 35.5 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $56,258 and the median income for a family was $63,888. Males had a median income of $43,693 versus $35,324 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,422. About 8.7% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.9% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.


Major highways

  • I-11 (Future).svg Interstate 11 (Future)
  • I-15 (NV).svg Interstate 15
  • I-215 (NV).svg Interstate 215
  • I-515 (NV).svg Interstate 515
  • US 93.svg U.S. Route 93
  • US 95.svg U.S. Route 95
  • Business plate.svg
    US 95.svg U.S. Route 95 Business (Las Vegas)
  • Nevada 146.svg State Route 146
  • Nevada 147.svg State Route 147
  • Nevada 156.svg State Route 156
  • Nevada 157.svg State Route 157
  • Nevada 158.svg State Route 158
  • Nevada 159.svg State Route 159
  • Nevada 160.svg State Route 160
  • Nevada 161.svg State Route 161
  • Nevada 163.svg State Route 163
  • Nevada 164.svg State Route 164
  • Nevada 165.svg State Route 165
  • Nevada 168.svg State Route 168
  • Nevada 169.svg State Route 169
  • Nevada 170.svg State Route 170
  • Nevada 171.svg State Route 171
  • Nevada 172.svg State Route 172
  • Nevada 562.svg State Route 562
  • Nevada 564.svg State Route 564
  • Nevada 573.svg State Route 573
  • Nevada 574.svg State Route 574
  • Nevada 578.svg State Route 578
  • Nevada 579.svg State Route 579
  • Nevada 582.svg State Route 582
  • Nevada 589.svg State Route 589
  • Nevada 592.svg State Route 592
  • Nevada 593.svg State Route 593
  • Nevada 594.svg State Route 594
  • Nevada 595.svg State Route 595
  • Nevada 596.svg State Route 596
  • Nevada 599.svg State Route 599
  • Nevada 602.svg State Route 602
  • Nevada 604.svg State Route 604
  • Nevada 610.svg State Route 610
  • Nevada 612.svg State Route 612
  • Clark County Route 215 NV.svg County Route 215
  • Summerlin Parkway

Parks and recreation

Around sunset, Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Sunset, Valley of Fire State Park, in NE Clark County.
  • Sunset Park, located at Sunset Road and Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas

Environmental factors

Clark County contains a diverse desert flora and fauna, including higher elevation mountain areas, the desert floor and the Colorado River/Lake Mead ecosystems. Variations in diurnal temperature as well as seasonal swings in temperature create demanding adaptation elements on the species of this county. Additional pressure has been placed on species survival by the rapid human population expansion, especially since 1970.

Correspondingly air quality levels prior to the 1960s were in a favorable range, but the proliferation of automobiles with the human population expansion created circumstances where some Federal Air Quality Standards began to be violated in the 1980s.

To plan for the wave of development forecast by 1980, Clark County embarked on a regional Environmental Impact Assessment funded by a Federal Section 208 program, with Sedway Cooke conducting the planning work and Earth Metrics performing environmental analysis. This endeavor projected future population growth, land use changes and environmental impacts.

To prevent the loss of federal funds due to unacceptable dust levels in the Las Vegas valley, in 2003 the Nevada Air Quality Management division (under direction of Clark County officials) created the massive "Don't Be a Dusthole" campaign. The campaign successfully raised awareness of dust pollution in the Las Vegas valley, quantifiably reducing pollutants and preserving ongoing federal funding.

Located in Apex is the Apex Landfill which at 2,200 acres (890 ha) is the largest landfill in the United States. Republic Services owns and operates the landfill.

Earthquake hazards

Nevada is the third most seismically active state in the U.S. (after Alaska and California); it has been estimated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that over the next 50 years Clark County has a 10–20% chance of a M6.0 or greater earthquake occurring within 50 km of Las Vegas.


Map of Clark County Nevada.svg

Bracketed number refers to location on map, right


Census-designated places

Air Force Bases

Other unincorporated communities

Notable government buildings

  • Clark County Government Center
  • Regional Justice Center (opened October 3, 2005)

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