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Updated November 30, 2023 | Infoplease Staff
Nevada flag


Nevada State Information

Capital: Carson City

Official Name: State of Nevada

Organized as a territory/republic: March 2, 1861

Entered Union (rank): October 31, 1864 (36th state)

Present constitution adopted: 1864

State abbreviation/Postal code: Nev./NV

State Area Codes: 702, 725, 775

Fun Facts About Nevada

Nickname: The Silver State

Origin of name: The state's name comes from the Spanish word "Nevada", which means snow-capped, referring to the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Motto: "All for Our Country" and "Battle Born"

Slogan: "A World Within. A State Apart."

State symbols

Flower: Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) (1917)

Tree: Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) (1953)

Animal: Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) (1973)

Bird: Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) (1967)

Fish: Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) (1981)

Gem: Virgin Valley Black Fire Opal (1987)

Colors: Silver and Blue (No specific year instituted)

Song: "Home Means Nevada" (1933)

Grass: Indian Ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) (1977)

Fossil: Ichthyosaur (Shonisaurus) (1977)

Dinosaur: Ichthyosaur (Shonisaurus) (1977)

Insect: Vivid Dancer Damselfly (Argia vivida) (2009)


Governor: Steve Sisolak, D (to Nov. 2027)

Lieut. Governor: Stavros S. Anthony, R (to Nov. 2027)

Secretary of State: Cisco Aguilar, D (to Nov. 2027)

General Treasurer: Zach Conine, D (to Nov. 2027)

Atty. General: Aaron D. Ford, D (to Nov. 2027)

U.S. Representatives: 4

Senators: Catherine Cortez Masto, D (incumbent); Jacky Rosen, D (to Jan. 2025)

Historical biographies of Congressional members

State website:


Residents: Nevadan

Resident population: 3,198,164 (7th Largest State, 2023)

10 largest cities (2023): Las Vegas, 662,000; Henderson, 320,000; Reno, 255,601; North Las Vegas, 251,974; Sparks, 105,006; Carson City, 55,916; Fernley, 21,003; Elko, 20,467; Mesquite, 19,726; Boulder City, 15,971.

Race/Ethnicity: White (Non-Hispanic) (47.2%); Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (12.4%); White (Hispanic) (11.7%); Other (Hispanic) (10.8%); Asian (6%); Two or More Races (5.1%); Native American and Alaskan Native (1.1%); Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders (0.9%).

Religion: Evangelical Protestant (25%); Catholic (25%); Unaffiliated (20%); Mainline Protestant (10%); Other Faiths (10%); Historically Black Protestant (5%); Mormon (4%); Hindu (1%); Buddhist (1%); Jewish (1%).

Sex: Male: 1,586,328 (49.6%); Female: 1,611,836 (50.4%).

Age: Under 18: 22.8%; 18-64: 62.9%; 65 and over: 14.3%. Median Age: 39.4.


GDP: 170 billion dollars (32nd in U.S., 2023)

Unemployment: 5.4% (2023)


Land area: 110,577 sq mi. (286,382 sq km)

Geographic center: In Lander Co., 26 mi SE of Austin

Number of counties: 16

Largest county by population and area: Clark County, 2,266,715 (2020); Nye County, 18,159 sq mi.

State forests: 0 (Nevada does not have any designated state forests)

State parks/recreation areas: 27

See additional census data

Tourism office


Nevada, fondly known as the Silver State, became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War (the first being West Virginia).

Nevada was made famous by the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the richest known U.S. silver deposit, in 1859, and its mines have produced large quantities of gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, mercury, barite, and tungsten. Oil was discovered in 1954. Gold now far exceeds all other minerals in value of production.

Today, Nevada is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, expansive mountain ranges, and rich history. The state’s population is diverse and dynamic, with a strong sense of community among Nevadans.

Nevada’s capital and largest city is Carson City, located in the western part of the state. With a desert climate that ranges from hot summers to cold winters, Nevada has no shortage of natural beauty and exciting activities for visitors and residents alike.

Nevada Geography

Nevada is nestled between Utah to the east and California to the west. Its southern border adjoins Arizona, while Idaho is its northern neighbor. The state’s most prominent geographical feature is the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which offers breathtaking views and a myriad of outdoor activities. Nevada houses the famed city of Las Vegas, the state capital, Carson City, and other major cities like Reno and Elko. Its notable water bodies include Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, and Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the U.S. in terms of water capacity. The Hoover Dam, constructed on the Colorado River at the border with Arizona, is a significant landmark. The state's climate varies greatly, from the arid deserts of Southern Nevada to the snow-capped mountains of Washoe County.

Interestingly, the federal government owns around 85% of Nevada's land, administered through the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service.[1] This extensive federal ownership has led to ongoing debates about land use and conservation, and it also influences many aspects of life in Nevada, from the economy to environmental management.

Nevada People and Population

Nevada’s population is multicultural, with a significant Hispanic community. The state is home to both Clark County, one of the most populous U.S. counties, and Washoe County, known for its thriving arts scene. The residents of Nevada, known as Nevadans, are renowned for their resilience, hospitality, and penchant for outdoor activities.

Nevada Government

The government of Nevada operates under a model of limited government, with local law enforcement playing a crucial role in maintaining peace and order. The governor, who heads the executive branch, is the chief officer of the state. The Nevada Legislature is a bicameral body comprising the Assembly and the Senate. The Secretary of State oversees the state's public records. The state leans both Republican and Democratic, with a mix of both parties in the government. Nevada's Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state.

Nevada Economy

Nevada’s economy is diverse, with significant contributions from tourism, mining, and manufacturing. Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, draws millions of tourists annually. The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services is a major employer, highlighting the state's focus on health and human services.

Nevada Interesting Facts

Nevada is best known for its glittering casinos, high-profile boxing matches, and mesmerizing live shows. One of its most distinguished law enforcement figures is Joe Lombardo, the Clark County Sheriff. Nevada is also home to the famed Winnemucca Indian Colony, which has a rich pre-colonial history.

Las Vegas Nightlife

Las Vegas’s nightlife is a major draw for tourists from around the globe, offering an array of entertainment options from casinos to world-class dining and live performances.

Popular venues include the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and the Venetian. While most residents of Las Vegas are adults looking for an exciting nightlife experience, there are also family-friendly activities available, such as shows featuring magicians and acrobats.

The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam remains one of the country’s most significant architectural feats, attracting a high volume of tourists each year. Constructed between 1931 and 1936, the dam was built to contain Lake Mead and generate electricity. Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility or go on a boat ride around its base.

Lake Tahoe

Renowned for its crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountain ranges, Lake Tahoe offers recreational activities all year round. During the summer, visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, kayaking, and other water sports. In the winter months, skiing and snowboarding are popular activities.

Nevada History

Nevada, known as the "Battle Born" state, boasts a fascinating and diverse history that dates back to its founding in 1864. Let's delve deeper into the captivating story of this remarkable state.

Pre-Colonial History

Before colonization, Nevada's vast landscapes were home to numerous Native American tribes, including the Shoshone, Paiute, and Washoe. These indigenous communities thrived in harmony with their surroundings, relying on their deep knowledge of the land and its resources.

Colonial History

During the 1700s, Nevada caught the attention of Spanish explorers who ventured into the region. As a result, Spanish colonization took hold, leaving its own cultural and architectural influences within the state. However, the true transformation of Nevada was yet to come.

Pre-Civil War History

In the years leading up to the Civil War, Nevada was part of the Utah Territory. It was a time of great anticipation and excitement, as the discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859 brought forth a remarkable influx of fortune seekers. The Comstock Lode, a massive silver deposit, triggered a population boom and fueled the growth of towns such as Virginia City, which became a bustling hub of activity.

Post-Civil War History

Following the conclusion of the Civil War, Nevada experienced a period of growth and prosperity statewide. The state's economy flourished, driven by the mining industry, agricultural pursuits, and ranching. The dynamic landscape of Nevada was shaped by the dedication and resilience of those who sought opportunities in this rugged terrain.

Modern History

In the modern era, Nevada has evolved into a vibrant state with a diverse economy. While renowned for its world-class entertainment and bustling city of Las Vegas, Nevada also prides itself on its commitment to renewable energy and the preservation of its vast public lands. Today, visitors and residents alike can explore the state's natural wonders, embrace its rich heritage, and witness the pioneering spirit that continues to shape Nevada's future.

People Also Ask…

If you are interested in more information about the state of Nevada, then keep reading — we have compiled answers to the most common FAQs below. Plus, test your newfound state knowledge by taking our quiz on The Oldest U.S. States!

What Is Nevada Famous For?

Nevada is most famous for its glitzy Las Vegas Strip, which draws thousands of visitors every year. Aside from gambling, Nevada is also renowned for its nearby Hoover Dam, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and numerous outdoor recreational activities.

Is Nevada Good State To Live?

Nevada is considered a great state to live in for many reasons. It has no individual income tax, and it also offers year-round sunshine and mild winters. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other states in the U.S., making it an attractive option for those looking for affordability without sacrificing lifestyle comforts.

Is Nevada a Cheap State To Live In?

Yes, Nevada is a relatively affordable state to live in. The cost of living is generally lower than the national average, and housing costs are significantly cheaper compared to other states.

What Are 5 Interesting Facts About Nevada?

  1. Nevada is the driest state in the U.S., receiving less than 8 inches of rainfall annually.

  2. The largest man-made structure in Nevada is the Hoover Dam, which was built between 1931 and 1936.

  3. Las Vegas is located in Nevada, and it is known for its brightly lit casinos, resorts, and entertainment venues along its famous Strip.

  4. Nevada is home to the Area 51 U.S. Air Force base, where popular conspiracy theories about alien activity are said to take place.

  5. The state of Nevada has a rich history related to mining and other industries that have shaped its economy and culture over the years.

Why Is Nevada Special?

Nevada is special due to its stunning geography and culture. The state has wide open spaces, deserts, and mountains, making it an ideal destination for those seeking outdoor recreation activities. Additionally, Nevada is known for its booming tourist industry, with Las Vegas being one of the most popular cities in the world.

See more on Nevada:
Encyclopedia: Nevada
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Monthly Temperature Extremes

Selected famous natives and residents:

  • Eva Adams former director of U.S. Mint;
  • Andre Agassi tennis player;
  • Raymond T. Baker former director of U.S. Mint;
  • Helen Delich Bentley government official and newspaperwoman;
  • Robert Caples painter;
  • Walter Van Tilburg Clark writer;
  • Henry Comstock prospector;
  • Abby Dalton actress;
  • Michele Greene actress;
  • Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins author and Paiute interpreter and peacemaker;
  • Jack Kramer tennis player;
  • Paul Laxalt politician;
  • Robert Laxalt writer;
  • William Lear aviation inventor;
  • Robert C. Lynch surgeon;
  • John W. Mackay benefactor, one of Big Four of Comstock Lode;
  • Emma Nevada opera singer;
  • Thelma “Pat” Nixon first lady;
  • James W. Nye territory governor and senator;
  • Lute Pease cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner;
  • Edna Purviance actress;
  • Patty Sheehan golfer;
  • Jack Wilson Paiute Indian prophet;
  • George Wingfield mining millionaire.
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Sources +

[1] Harris, Edward W. (n.d.). NEVADA’S PUBLIC LANDS: Who Owns and Controls Nevada? State Bar of Nevada. Retrieved November 10, 2023, from

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