Clark County is a county located in Southern Nevada. The county had a population of 2,000,759 at the 2012 census estimate, and is the most populous county in the state of Nevada, accounting for nearly three-quarters of its residents. Las Vegas, Nevada’s most populous city, 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 County on February 5, 1909, and came into existence on July 1, 1909. The Las Vegas Valley, a 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) basin, includes Las Vegas as well as the other primary population center, the unincorporated community of Paradise. 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 Montana 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 today known as 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 located not within the City of Las Vegas, but in unincorporated Paradise. Clark County is coextensive with the Las Vegas–Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan statistical area designated by the Office of Management and Budget and used by the United States Census Bureau and other agencies for statistical purposes. Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8,091 sq mi (20,960 km2). Land covers 7,910 sq mi (20,500 km2) and water covers 180 sq mi (470 km2) (2.23%).
The Colorado River forms the county’s southeastern boundary, with Hoover Dam forming Lake Mead along much of its length. The lowest point in the state of Nevada is located on the Colorado River just south of Laughlin in Clark County, where it flows out of Nevada and into California and Arizona. Las Vegas is a valley. By definition, Greater Las Vegas is a tectonic valley, surrounded by four mountain ranges, with nearby Mount Charleston being the highest elevation at 11,918 ft (3,633 m), 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.
At the 2010 census, there were 1,951,269 people residing in Clark County, an increase of 41.8% since 2000. The racial makeup of the population was: 60.9% White (48.0% Non-Hispanic white), 10.5% Black, 0.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 8.7% Asian, 0.7% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 5.1% from two or more races. 29.1% were Hispanic of any race. In 1999, the median income for a household in the MSA was $44,616 and the median income for a family was $50,485. The per capita income was $21,785. The United States Census Bureau 2009 estimates place the population for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area at 1,902,834 people, and the region is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Large numbers of new residents in the state originate from California. 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.