The largest city in Nevada, Las Vegas or the ‘Sin City’, is one of the top tourist destinations of the world. This city sports a population of 651,314 and draws more than 41 million visitors annually. I wouldn’t blame you if the first thing you thought of when you heard Las Vegas was its casinos, gambling, vibrant nightlife, non-stop wild parties and gaming slots (hence, the name ‘Sin City’).
Las Vegas has carried this reputation as the ultimate entertainment capital of the world for years. With the Strip, Las Vegas’s most iconic 2.5 miles long resort-lined street, towering the area with luxury hotels, casinos and entertainment centres, there’s no doubt why the city is regarded as the entertainment capital.
However, it’s important to remember that this city offers plenty of other opportunities besides all these entertainment establishments. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, the city harbours famous landmarks from the Grand Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Hoover Dam to Lake Mead, meaning you’ll have wide range options for outdoor activities.
Moreover, living in Las Vegas means having amazing local neighbourhoods, resort-styled 55 plus retirement and spectacular dining scene, all withing your close limits. Honestly, Vegas offers so much to everyone living here, no matter their age. So, before you pack your bags and decide to move here, here is the cost of living and some of the pros and cons you need to consider.
Cost of Living in Las Vegas
For a family of four, living in Las Vegas costs around $2930 monthly, this is excluding the housing. If you want to buy a house, the median home price is around $300,000, according to City-Data.com. To rent an apartment, you’ll have to pay from a range of $760 to $1800, which is highly dependent on where you choose to live.
Although, the housing price might appear expensive at first, when compared to other major cities such as LA, housing price of Las Vegas is quite reasonable. To get a rough idea, a spacious two-bedroom apartment (with garage) go for $1550. Whereas in New York City, you get a tiny studio apartment that equal in size of only one room in Las Vegas’s apartment for $2500, that’s almost double the price.
According to the stats by worldpopulationreview.com, the percentage of people over 25, who holds a bachelor’s degree is 15.67%, and their average earning is $48,928. About 27.80% are high-school graduate and 8.27% hold graduate degree.
There are 30 universities, colleges and career schools in the Las Vegas’ metro area. With over 37,000 students, College of Southern Nevada is the largest university in Las Vegas. Other notable universities include the University of Nevada, Touro University, Nevada State College.
Unfortunately, healthcare in Las Vegas is not the best. Nevada was ranked 48th in the US for overall healthcare in a 2019 report by Commonwealth Fund, a private organization that focuses on healthcare and health policies.
The state ranked 50th for affordability and access, 39th for the resident’s healthiness and lifestyles and 51st for treatment and prevention. A short private appointment (about 15 mins) with the doctor costs $104.
Las Vegas has spectacularly diverse culinary genre. From luxurious restaurants to fast-food chains, you can find delicacies from almost every corner of the world. Yet, the food cost isn’t much higher than the national average.
The average spending on food is around $500 per month. A basic lunch should cost you about $18 and a combo fast-food chain should cost about $8. On to the more specific items, a dozen eggs would approximately cost around $2.25, around $3.02 for 1 kg of apples and almost $1 for 1 litre of whole fat milk.
The main form of transportation is a taxi in Las Vegas. It’s convenient as you can find taxis, most likely, waiting in a hotel taxi line, even in late hours. However, note that you can’t hail taxis from the street. The taxis are usually waiting at a physical address from where you can pick a fair. Or, another common alternative is ride-sharing which you can do via apps such as Uber and Lyft.
The regional transportation committee, also, operates decent public transportation, called The Deuce. It runs its service throughout the town and offers reduced-rate travel from senior citizens, veterans, people with disabilities and children from age 6-17. However, if you want to live here, owning a car might be the most convenient. Here are some specific prices,
- An 8km taxi trip on business day costs around $21.
- Monthly ticket for public transportation costs $59.
- 1 litre of gas costs $0.74 (10-15% higher than national average)
Pros of Living in Las Vegas
Here are the top 6 pros of living in Las Vegas
1. World Class Entertainment
Las Vegas is said to be the entertainment capital of the world. You’ll never run out of things to do here. And it’s not just gambling, partying and drinking, there are world-famous shows, major concerts and amazing live entertainment performances that’ll always keep you begging for more.
If this doesn’t excite you enough, there are even professional sports here now, like the NHL Vegas Golden Knights and NFL Raiders. Besides that, there are more than 50 golf courses ranging from beginners to champion level courses. And numerous interesting museums too!
2. The Strip
The most iconic part of the city is obviously the Strip, a 2.5 miles long resort lined street. Lined with casinos, entertainment centre and luxury hotels including Bellagio, The Stratosphere and Caesars Palace, this concrete city is always buzzing. As you stroll down the street, you’ll be met with impressive sights of live entertainers, amazing restaurants, shopping centres and resorts. This place is even more magical at night when the street is completely covered in lights.
3. No State Tax Income
One of the perks of living in Las Vegas is that Nevada has no state tax income, and additionally, no state tax on inheritance or real estate. This makes Nevada one of the 7 states that don’t have personal state income. Unlike in high-tax states like New York, Illinois and California, where the state income taxes can get up to 12%, living here means you’ll be saving a lot of money. This is a great place for entrepreneurs to start new businesses.
4. The Weather
Although Las Vegas is extremely hot for 3 months, the rest of the year is greeted with a pleasant climate. Las Vegans get to enjoy over 300 days with sunshine each year, with temperature averaging around 80 degrees and with very low precipitation. This means that 3/5 has weather suited for outdoor activities. Plus, the spring and fall are great, and the winter isn’t too extreme.
5. Great Outdoor Recreational Activities
With the Red Rock Canyon, just 20 mins drive away from the city, you can head there anytime you want to- especially during the mountain climbing seasons. There are also beautiful lakes including the Lake Mead and Lake Las Vegas, which expands one’s to-do lists as it offers kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming.
Plus, Nevada has world-class skiing. So, it’s not only hiking or rock climbing, you’ll have endless outdoor exercise and recreation options- whether it be mountain biking, boating, running or camping.
The food scene of Las Vegas is diverse and impressive- thanks to its strip, which has become a culinary hub, attracting celebrity chefs and popular chains to all over the city. Whether you crave for Mexican, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese or seafood, you have access to food from all over the nation.
You can head over to Bacchanal buffet, the biggest buffet ever with over 500 items on the menu! Or, swing by Mizumi, a Japanese restaurant that serves real Kobe beef and wagyu. Or, go to Forte (one of Las Vegas’s best restaurant in 2019, according to Thrillist) for Eastern European tapas and handcrafted drinks. The list goes on and on!
Compared to other major cities such as LA, California and New York, Las Vegas is surprisingly cheaper. According to the stats from nitethrive.com, the overall cost of living here is only 6% above the national average. The overall housing and apartment price are affordable. Standard one-bedroom apartments go for under $1000 dollar and the median housing price is about $300,000.
Cons of Living in Las Vegas
Here are the cons of living in Las Vegas
1. Extreme Summer
One of the biggest cons of living in Las Vegas is its brutal summers. Although the temperature is good for the rest of the year, in the summer it normally exceeds over 110 degrees and gets really hot! Some say, when you go outside, it feels like you’re opening a piping hot oven.
This weather is not made for everyone thus, it might take major adjustment for you to live here. Of course, you’ll have air-conditioners on when you’re at home, but this increases your monthly spending on electricity. Make sure to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and hats to protect from the heat.
As mentioned earlier, Las Vegas attracts over 41 million annual visitors! This means parts of the town can get extremely busy and crowded, especially the Strip area. It will take time for you to get used to the constant tourist vibes send by some parts of towns.
3. Lack of Public Transportation
Technically Las Vegas does have public transportation service, like the Deuce, but it’s not convenient as the subways in New York. There are fewer routes that connect one suburb to another suburb. It’s much easier to commute in a car. Plus, the city is easy to familiarize yourself with. Or else, luckily, there are services such as Uber and Lyft.
4. Its Really Dry
Las Vegas is only 160 km east of Death Valley, one of the driest and hottest places in the US. Once you get to Vegas, you immediately notice how dry it is. The area gets average precipitation of just 4 inches, with most of it in winter months. This kind of extreme weather can damage your skin. So, regularly moisturize, drink plenty of water and keep humidifiers in your rooms!
5. Lack of Greenery
Since this place is in a desert climate, you don’t find trees and greenery all around you. There are golf courses and landscaped lawns, but you’ll still miss the beautiful trees and greenery.