STUDY OF URBANISATION IN THE CITY OF LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

THE CITY
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and the county seat of Clark County. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its consolidated casino–hotels and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, Las Vegas is the 31stmost populous city in the United States, with a population at the 2010 census of 5,83,756. The 2010 population of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 19,51,269.

POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS

The racial composition of Las Vegas was as follows: White: 62.1% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 47.9%) Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 31.5% (24.0% Mexican, 1.4% Salvadoran, 0.9% Puerto Rican, 0.9% Cuban, 0.6% Guatemalan, 0.2% Peruvian, 0.2% Colombian, 0.2% Honduran, 0.2% Nicaraguan) Black or African American: 11.1% Asian: 6.1% (3.3% Filipino, 0.7% Chinese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Japanese, 0.4% Indian, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.2% Thai) Two or more races: 4.9% Native American: 0.7% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.6%

For the 14th consecutive year, Nevada has claimed the title of fastest growing state in the nation and much of that growth has occurred in the City of Las Vegas. This trend is expected to continue well into the next millennium.

The graph indicates the change in the ethnic composition of the city with time owing to factors such as migration and job opportunities along with the transformations in the mindset of the people
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STUDY OF URBANISATION IN THE CITY OF LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Suggests a negative population growth that might be due to any number of factors, including high death rates, low birth rates, and increased emigration from the area. It indicates a larger working population in the age group of 25 to 35 years which can be persons from nearby regions migrating temporarily for making a living from the ample amount of opportunities the city has to offer.

The ratio of births to deaths is much higher for the Hispanic. Black and Asian populations, indicative of a generally younger population for these race and ethnic groups. As such, changes in jobs/employment may affect these segments of the population more strongly. The birth/death ratio may be indicative of disproportionately high in-migration of White retirees moving to the area. Migration of White retirees to Las Vegas is not tied to employment, at least not as strongly, as it is with minorities of all ages. This would suggest that as long as the amenities retirees seek (quality of life, cost of living, etc.) remain favorable, they will continue to move to Las Vegas. The natural increase in population, that is births minus deaths, accounted for 16 percent of the total population increase in Clark County between 1990 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2007, natural increase accounted for nearly 24 percent of the population increase. Las Vegas is likely to continue to become more diverse in the future.

Historically, more than 80 percent of the County’s total population growth has come from net migration (inmigration minus out-migration) as the economy produces jobs that attract workers and as retirees continue to find Las Vegas attractive. Migration appears to be closely related to changes in employment. However, the influx of Seniors, many of whom are retired and not seeking employment, continues to be strong.

PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES OF THE CITY

Since the 1930s, Las Vegas has generally been identified as a gaming center as well as a resort destination, primarily targeting adults. Relatively inexpensive real estate prompted a residential population boom in the Las Vegas Valley in the 1990s and is still expanding in every direction. The population doubling time in the greater metropolitan area was under ten years, since the early 1970s and the Las Vegas metropolitan area now has a population approaching two million people. This rapid population growth led to a significant urbanization of desert lands into industrial and commercial areas.
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STUDY OF URBANISATION IN THE CITY OF LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

ECONOMY

Since the second world war, the sun-belt cities in the south of the US have experienced faster economic and population growth in the country. The driving force in Las Vegas is the tourism industry and the area has about 150,000 hotel rooms, more than any city in the world. Las Vegas has had a high concentration of technology companies in electronic gaming and telecommunications industries. Construction in Las Vegas is a major industry and quickly growing with the population. Since the mega resorts that have defined Las Vegas today, began going up in the early 1970s, construction has played a vital role in both commercial and non commercial developments. Las Vegas is the Wedding Capital of the World and these marriages are recognized in every country. More than 100 thousand couples tie the knot in Sin City every year. Getting married in Las Vegas is incredibly easy. It takes about 10 minutes to get a marriage license. Nevada legalized gambling and liberalized divorce laws in 1931. After only six weeks of residency, a “quickie” divorce could be granted. It paved the way for Las Vegas to become the nation's divorce capital. The travelers that came for divorces stayed at dude ranches.

Las Vegas climbed the ranks of large cities in the U.S. growing from 63rd largest in 1990 to 32nd by 2000. Since Census 2000, the City has continued to add population and climb the ranks of U.S. cities. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), Las Vegas had a population of 562,582, an increase of 17.5%, making it the 28th largest city in the U.S in 2007.

URBANISATION

Las Vegas' rapid urbanization over the last forty years has put pressure on the area and its water supply. The city of Las Vegas is incorporated into Clark County with 5 neighboring cities, expanding into a megapolis in recent decades. It is accepted that the western region of the United States has grown to a degree that it is nearing the point where water may become scarce. By viewing the physical expansion from 1970 to the present using remote sensing technology, it is possible to see the spatial explosion. Public officials have been campaigning to change Las Vegas' image from a gambling mecca to a family oriented place to live as well as visit. In order to highlight the physical changes of the community as it expanded, it is possible to calculate the acreage shifts in land cover types for each year of imagery using unsupervised classification techniques. With a greater metropolitan population of more than two million, Las Vegas has in a generation transformed from desert resort to urban center, and city planners, at least until the current recession, expected another two million in the next decades. Such phenomenal expansion has provided opportunity for many newcomers, and the city’s boosters are legion. Las Vegas is now a sophisticated urban environment, combining high-end entertainment and recreation with the dining and shopping amenities of "lifestyle" economies. As such it is a complex 21st-century city. But it is also a simple boomtown, in the tradition of the American West towns that grow quickly with multitudes coming to strike it rich in industries like mining, but rarely staying to attend to the social or environmental costs.
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