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Clark County is a county located in Southern Nevada.The county had a population of 1,375,765 at the 2000 census, and a 2008 estimated population of 1,996,542, which accounts for over three-quarters of the population of Nevadamarker. It contains the city of Las Vegasmarker, the state's most populous city. Las Vegas has been the county seat since the county was created. The county was formed by the Nevada Legislature by splitting off a portion of Lincoln Countymarker on February 5, 1909, and came into existence on July 1, 1909.

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 Montanamarker 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 also a major tourist destination, with 150,000 hotel and motel rooms. 'The Las Vegas Strip,' home to most of the Hotel-Casinos known to many around the world is not located within the City of Las Vegas, but in unincorporated Clark County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of . Land covers and water covers (2.23%).

The Colorado Rivermarker forms the county's southeastern boundary, with Hoover Dammarker forming Lake Meadmarker along much of its length. The lowest point in the state of Nevada is located on the Colorado River just south of Laughlinmarker in Clark County, where it flows out of Nevada and into Californiamarker and Arizonamarker. Las Vegas is frequently, yet incorrectly, labeled a valley. By definition, Greater Las Vegas is a land basin or bowl, surrounded by four mountain ranges, with nearby Mount Charlestonmarker being the highest elevation at 11,918 ft, 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


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,375,765 people, 512,253 households, and 339,623 families residing in the county. The population density was 174 people per square mile (67/km²). There were 559,799 housing units at an average density of 71 per square mile (27/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 61.58% white, 10.18% black or African American, 7.27% Asian, 0.79% Native American, 8.61% from other races, and 4.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.96% of the population.

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.
Historical Visitors and Hotel Rooms; Room Projections Las Vegas Convention Authority


The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority post the historical numbers of visitors and hotel rooms in Clark County. The era of massive modern casino resorts began with the opening of the Mirage in November 1989. Generally the increase in hotel rooms has been matched by an increasing number of visitors until 2008. An unmatched building boom has been met with declining numbers of tourists. If the 7.2% percentage decrease in the first four months of 2009 were to continue for the year, visitors would dip below 35 million, which is the level that they were at before the year 2000.

Law and government

Presidential Election Results
Year Democrat Republican
2008 58.47% 380,765 39.48% 257,078
2004 51.72% 281,767 46.81% 255,337
2000 51.31% 196,100 44.72% 170,932
1996 48.71% 127,963 39.37% 103,431
1992 41.15% 124,586 32.17% 97,403
1988 40.86% 78,359 56.37% 108,110
1984 35.50% 53,386 62.60% 94,133
1980 30.07% 38,313 59.80% 76,194
1976 49.78% 51,178 46.92% 48,236
1972 40.94% 36,807 59.06% 53,101
The Clark County Detention Center.
Clark County Government is run by the Clark County Commission which consists of 7 members who are elected to serve staggered 4 year terms in biannual partisan elections.

After each election, the members elect a chairman who runs the commission meetings. Actual day-to-day operations are handled by the county manager who is hired by the commission. Its unincorporated towns also have appointed boards that provide advice to the commission.

The county operates out of the Clark County Government Center located in the City of Las Vegasmarker. The building is unusual in shape, and includes an outdoor amphitheater where concerts and other events are held.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department provides most law enforcement services in the county, including operation of the county's central jail, officially named the Clark County Detention Center, usually called CCDC for short. The present department was created in 1973 when the Clark County Sheriff's Department merged with the Las Vegas Police Department.

Other entities that have their own police forces include University of Nevada, Las Vegasmarker, the Clark County School District, and cities such as Hendersonmarker, Mesquitemarker, Boulder Citymarker and North Las Vegasmarker. The Clark County Park Police is responsible for all of the parks operated by the county and some selected special venues, such as the Clark County Amphitheater, Clark County Archery Range, and the Desert Rose Golf Course.

The Regional Justice Center replaced the Clark County Courthouse in 2005, and is located about 3 blocks from downtown Fremont Street, at 200 Lewis Avenue.

Regional agencies

Clark County Regional Flood Control District

The Clark County Regional Flood Control District (CCRFCD) was created in 1985 by the Nevada Legislature allowing Clark County to provide broad solutions to flooding problems.

Clark County School District

Public primary and secondary education is the responsibility of the Clark County School District.

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

Operates the Cat Bus and does planning for most major roadways.

Southern Nevada Water Authority

A multi-agency group that manages the water distribution for the Las Vegas valley.

Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee

The group that manages and protects the Las Vegas Wash.

Since 1999 the group has added more the 15,000 plants to stabilize the wash's banks and restore and expand the wetlands surrounding the wash. As part of the effort to restore the wash to a more natural state, they have also removed more than 500,000 pounds of trash.



Census-designated places

Other communities

Federal land


Major highways

Parks and recreation

* Sunset Park located at Sunset and Pecos is one of the largest

Gaming areas

The State of Nevada divides the state into several gaming districts. The reporting districts affecting Clark County are:

Environmental factors

Clark County contains a diverse desert flora and fauna, including higher elevation mountain areas, the desert floor and the Colorado Rivermarker/Lake Meadmarker 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 is the largest landfill in the United States. Republic Services owns and operates the landfill.


Station Casinos is headquartered in unincorporated Clark County.

Notable government buildings

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

See also


External links

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