Nevada Economy


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The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Nevada’s total state product in 2006 was $100 billion. Resort areas such as Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Laughlin attract visitors from around the world. Nevada’s per capita personal income in 2005 was $46,108, 11th in the nation. Its agricultural outputs are alfalfa, dairy products, cattle, hay, onions and potatoes. Its industrial outputs are mining, machinery, tourism, printing and publishing, food processing, and electric equipment. Prostitution is legal in parts of the state in the form of brothels but only counties with populations under 400,000 people can legalize it, and those counties may choose to outlaw it if they wish. Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, Washoe County and several other counties around the state.

In portions of the Nevada outside of the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas, mining and cattle ranching are the major economic activities. By value, gold is by far the most important mineral mined. In 2004, 6.8 million ounces of gold worth $2.84 billion were mined in the state, and the state accounted for 8.7% of global gold production. Silver is a distant second, with 10.3 million ounces worth $69 million mined in 2004. Other minerals mined in the state include construction aggregates, gypsum, diotomite, copper and lithium. Despite its rich deposits, the cost of mining in the state is generally high, and output is very sensitive to global commodity prices.

As of January 1, 2006 there were an estimated 500,000 head of cattle and 70,000 head of sheep in the state. Most of these animals forage on rangeland in the summer, with supplemental feed in the winter. Calves are generally shipped to out-of-state feedlots in the fall to be fattened for market. Over 90% of the state’s 484,000 acres of cropland is used to grow hay, mostly alfalfa, for livestock feed.







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