Nevada Population Grows 1.5 Percent as California Exodus Continues

Posted on: December 28, 2020, 04:27h. 

Last updated on: December 28, 2020, 05:08h.

The population of Nevada increased 1.5 percent between July 2019 to July 2020, the US Census Bureau estimating the Silver State’s population at 3.138 million residents.

Nevada population Las Vegas
Nevada is home to more residents this year than it was in 2019. (Image: AP)

The Census Bureau says roughly 47,500 people moved to Nevada during the 12-month time frame. It’s the 10th consecutive year that Nevada has seen its population increase.

Nevada is the third-fastest growing state behind Idaho and Arizona. Conversely, neighboring California saw its population decrease 0.2 percent to 39.3 million residents.

Nevada hits the jackpot when it comes to being an attractive state to relocate. It boasts a reasonable cost of living, a strong economy with diverse job opportunities — at least prior to the COVID-19 pandemic — and there is no personal income tax.

Pandemic Setbacks

Nevada’s economy relies heavily on the gaming, leisure, and hospitality sectors. With domestic and international travel largely grounded in 2020 by the coronavirus, Nevadans have faced reductions in their hours, furloughs, and terminations.

MGM Resorts, Nevada’s largest employer, has permanently laid off 10,000 workers in Las Vegas.

The Economic Policy Institute says COVID-19 is negatively impacting Nevada harder than any other state. The economic research think tank, based in DC is forecasting that Nevada’s workforce will shrink by more than five percent as a result of the coronavirus.

In Nevada, where two out of every five jobs are in leisure, hospitality, or retail, the state will likely lose 5.3 percent of private-sector jobs,” the Economic Policy Institute said in March.

Nevada is currently worse off than what the Economic Policy Institute predicted.

Nevada’s unemployment rate was 10.1 percent in November, far higher than the 6.7 percent nationwide rate. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says there were approximately 304,400 jobs in the “Leisure and Hospitality” data series. That’s down 13.9 percent compared with November 2019.

Before the pandemic, Nevada’s Leisure and Hospitality market employed more than 350,000 Nevadans.

The Nevada Economic Forum warned earlier this month that it could be several years before state tax revenue rebounds to pre-pandemic levels. The forum projected Nevada to collect $8.5 billion in general fund revenue over the next two years, a five percent reduction from previous estimates.

As the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed over the next months, the panel is optimistic that travel will slowly resume.

“The minute we get the vaccine disseminated and we get travel back — like I said, the demand for gaming has proven to be there — so I feel very comfortable with seeing those numbers bounce back to pre-pandemic levels and even above,” opined Linda Rosenthal, the panel’s vice chair.

Little Bit of Everything

Nearly three-quarters of Nevada’s population calls the Las Vegas Metro area home. But for those who venture outside the gaming capital of the US, the Silver State offers something for everyone.

From deserts to lakes to snowy mountains, Nevada’s geography is unlike many other states.

Nevada ranks second in the US by number of mountains with 172 summits. Nevada’s weather also appeals to many, as it’s the driest in the country.