Nevada’s population expanded by about 400,000 people between the 2010 and 2020 Census reports. That equates to a growth rate of 15 percent, which is the fifth fastest among the states. While that represents a decline from past growth rates and is Nevada’s slowest 10-year expansion since 1920, it’s clear that Nevada is an attractive locale for many people.
While violent crime understandably grabs the headlines, property crime is far more common in Nevada and across the country. For those who want to protect their investment, it’s helpful to explore in depth how common property crime is in Nevada and which communities appear the safest.
At A Glance:
- With #1 being the best, Nevada is ranked #31 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
- You have a 2.32% chance of being a property crime victim in Nevada in the next 12 months.
- Nevada’s property crime rate is 10% higher than the average crime rate in the United States.
- Las Vegas has the highest property crime rate in Nevada (27.7 incidents per 1,000 people).
- It’s important to note here that city-level data in Nevada was limited, but the property crime rate is highest in Las Vegas, the largest city in Nevada and one of the biggest tourist-friendly cities in the nation. Communities with high rates of tourism tend to have higher rates of property crime, due to the influx of people.
Nevada’s combined property crime rate is about two points higher than the overall U.S. rate. While it’s above average compared to all other states, it’s roughly average when looking only at Nevada and its neighbors. Among those states, Oregon has the highest property crime rate (27 incidents per 1,000 people), while Idaho has the lowest (12 per 1,000).
Nevada’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)
- Rate of Property Crime
- Nevada average:: 23.2 crimes per 1,000 people
- National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people
Property crime has fallen in Nevada by 16 percent since 2010. This is a trend that bears out in almost every other state, as only Alaska and North Dakota have seen property crime expand over the decade. However, Nevada’s decline is well below the average drop, which is 27 percent.
Nevada’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Average Rate of Property Crime:
- Nevada 10-year average: 26.23 crimes per 1,000 people
- National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
- -16% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
- There was a 16% decrease in property crime in Nevada from 2010 as compared to 2019.
- 2013 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Nevada?:
- The highest rate of property crime in Nevada was 2013 (28.4 crimes per 1,000 people)
- 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Nevada?:
- The lowest rate of property crime in Nevada was 2019 (23.2 crimes per 1,000 people)
What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.
Nevada’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Which type of property crime occurred the most in Nevada over the past decade?
- Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 15.3 crimes per 1,000 people.
- Average property crime rate by category
- Average burglary rate: 7.1 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average larceny rate: 15.3 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average vehicle crime rate: 3.9 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average arson rate: 0.1 crimes per 1,000 people
- Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Nevada.
- +3% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
- All types of property crime have decreased, but the decline in vehicle theft was the lowest, just 3%.
- -63% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
- The biggest decline was in arson, which fell 63%.
What factors play into propelling Nevada’s property crime rate above the U.S. rate? That’s a complex question with few easy answers, but researchers have linked high rates of poverty, unemployment, and urbanization with elevated rates of property crime. Looking at how the state ranks on those metrics, there could be further evidence to support that connection.
That’s because while the state has about an average poverty rate, it’s much more urbanized than the average state, and unemployment is higher. Here’s how Nevada stacks up:
- Poverty: Nevada’s poverty rate is 12.5 percent, which is slightly higher than the U.S. rate of 12.3 percent.
- Unemployment: Nevada’s most recent unemployment rate (eight percent) is the sixth highest in the country.
- Urbanization: About 94 percent of Nevada’s residents live in urban areas, which is the fourth highest rate in the U.S. and well above the national rate of 81 percent. That also represents a 16 percent increase in urbanization since the 1970s.
However, crime is a hyperlocal issue, even down to the street level. Indeed, looking at how available data for Nevada cities and towns stacks up, it’s clear to see rates vary dramatically across the state. For example, the combined property crime rate in Yerington (about 1.6 incidents per 1,000 people) is a fraction of the rate of Las Vegas (27.7 per 1,000). Importantly, only 12 communities in the state had available data.
Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- Yerington, Nevada (Lyon County)
- Boulder City, Nevada (Clark County)
- Mesquite, Nevada (Clark County)
- Carlin, Nevada (Elko County)
- Henderson, Nevada (Clark County)
Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- Las Vegas, Nevada (Clark County)
- Winnemucca, Nevada (Humboldt County)
- Elko, Nevada (Elko County)
- Sparks, Nevada (Washoe County)
- Lovelock, Nevada (Pershing County)