Nevada is once again one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, a trend driven primarily by in-migration of new residents from around the United States. About three-quarters of incoming new residents move to southern Nevada, which had the second-fastest growth rate among the 30 largest metropolitan areas in 2017. The reasons for southern Nevada’s attractiveness remain the same as those that have driven the region’s rapid growth over the past 50 years – job growth and economic opportunity, a beneficial tax environment for both individuals and businesses, and a relatively low cost of living.
The last factor is especially relevant in comparison to California, which alone accounts for one third of all residents moving into the Silver State. Southern Nevada’s affordability is illustrated by the cost-of-living index, a comparative measure of affordability for metro areas across the nation published by The Council for Community and Economic Research. The overall index consists of separate indices that compare the costs of essentials, such as food, housing, transportation and healthcare, to the national average. In 2017, the Las Vegas metro area recorded a cost-of-living index of 102.5, or 2.5 percent higher than the national average of 100. While southern Nevada’s cost of living has traditionally been slightly higher than the national average, it is significantly more affordable compared to southern California.
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