Nevada Crime Stats

Nevada’s Crime Ranking: Accurate or Not?

According to statistics released by the FBI late last year, Nevada ranks second in the nation when it comes to the number of violent crimes committed by her citizens. According to Andrew Spivak, a professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who studies crime trends, that ranking may be a bit deceiving based upon the state’s propensity for tourism.The FBI report noted that there were 600 crimes for every 100,000 people in the state. To determine ranking, the FBI used information from the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported there were 2.7 million people who called Nevada home. Spivak claims this unfairly elevates Nevada’s crime rate, since it does not take into account the more than 300,000 people who may be visiting Las Vegas at any given time.

Spivak noted that when tourists report being a victim of crime, it counts as an incident, yet the actual crime rate is based upon population; however, that may not actually have much bearing on Nevada’s ranking. Even if the number of tourists were included in the population count, Nevada would still rank number six among all states.

The FBI claims the reason for Nevada’s high ranking is largely due to the number of people living below the poverty level. Sixteen percent of all Nevada residents currently live in poverty, and the state also has one of the lowest high school graduation rates anywhere in the country.

Although Spivak feels Nevada is unfairly ranked, he doesn’t think it will affect tourism. He remarked “… I don’t necessarily think it’s going to affect the way people think of Nevada.”