- Carson City; 54,311
- 110,561 square miles (286,351 square kilometers)
- Per Capita Income:
- U.S. $30,169
- Date Statehood Achieved:
- October 31, 1864
No rivers flow to the sea from the Great Basin, whose high ridges and alkali sinks dominate this driest state. In 1859 prospectors struck the Comstock Lode in western Nevada. Today gold and silver mines are reopening, but casino gambling, legalized in 1931, added more than nine billion dollars of revenue to the economy in 2002—more than agriculture, manufacturing, and mining combined. Nevada is 87 percent federally owned. It is the fastest growing state—its population has more than doubled since 1980.
- Industry: Tourism and gaming, mining, printing and publishing, food processing, electrical equipment
- Agriculture: Cattle, hay, dairy products
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
They say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But you don’t need an alibi—or an excuse—to visit one of the country’s fastest growing metropolitan areas.
Amid all the high rollers and glitz of the Las Vegas Strip are a surprising number of things to do that won't cost you a thing.
Get Great Basin information, facts, photos, and more in this Great Basin National Park guide from National Geographic.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
Browse Stunning Images of These Natural Marvels
Shop National Geographic
Special Ad Section
Watch as Nat Geo photographers reveal what drives them to create iconic images.