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Living Comparison: Nevada vs Arizona in 2024 [Explained]

With both neighboring states landlocked in the Western region, it’s often common for the locals in pits with each other over supremacy.

Nevada, nicknamed the Silver State, and Arizona, the Copper State, for their heavy presence of these metals, one thing they have in common is sunshine, sizzling summers, and stunning landscapes. 

Yes, it’s true; Nevada and Arizona beckon those seeking a vibrant desert escape. 

Now, choosing between living in Nevada vs. Arizona can be a delightful dilemma. Even though they are similar in some ways, these two states present their distinct flavor. 

For better understanding, let’s explore in detail what to expect while living in any of these states to pick your perfect slice of the western U.S.

Cost of Living: What to Expect

The cost of living is a significant factor when considering a move to Nevada or Arizona. Both states offer relatively higher costs of living compared to the national average, with Arizona slightly edging out as more expensive. 

It is especially so in urban areas like Lake Havasu City, Gilbert, and Scottsdale where the cost of living is 24%, 15%, and 13% higher than the national average, respectively. 

But the more expensive cities of Nevada like Reno, Sparks, and Sun Valley all have costs of living 8% higher than the national average.

Before booking with a moving company, you should know that housing and transportation pricing can be marginally higher in Arizona vs. Nevada cost of living. But you might find some wiggle room in your grocery and utility bills.

Compared to the National Average:

Cost of LivingNevada Average Arizona Average
Housing 17% higher18% higher
Utilities3% lower4% lower
Food0%0%
Healthcare5% lower4% lower
Transportation17% higher4% higher

Housing Market: Renting or Buying

Having seen how the cost of living in the two states compare, you may still be wondering, ‘Is it cheaper to live in Nevada or Arizona?’ 

The housing market in Nevada and Arizona has seen substantial growth over the years. But they present different opportunities for renters and buyers. 

The median home price has surged in Nevada, particularly in Las Vegas. Renting, also has turned out to be pricey in popular urban centers. 

Arizona, while also experiencing a boom in the housing market, offers more varied options. Phoenix and Scottsdale in Arizona have seen increases in housing costs. However, cities like Tucson and Mesa provide more affordable alternatives. 

Note:

Nevada’s entry point for buying a property might be more enticing. However, remember that location matters. Prices can fluctuate in different neighborhoods, depending on proximity to city centers and amenities.

NevadaArizona
Average Rent$2,294$2,405
Median Home Sales Price$425,000$468,000

Your Tax Obligations

When considering the Nevada vs. Arizona cost of living, factor in your tax obligations. 

Tax time doesn’t have to be a headache, as Nevada boasts an advantage—no state income tax. Keeping more of your money translates into substantial savings over time for both businesses and individuals.

Arizona, on the other hand, now has a flat state income tax. It can be beneficial depending on your income bracket. However, property taxes in Arizona vary by county and are relatively low compared to other states. 

It can offset some of the income tax burdens. Although the property tax rate of Nevada is higher than that of Arizona, it is lower than the national average.

Both states have competitive sales tax rates, so factor that in when budgeting for your daily expenses. However, local taxes can vary by city.

  • Nevada 
  • 6.85% state sales tax rate, 
  • No state income tax,
  • Average property tax rate of 0.64%
  • Arizona
  • 5.6% state sales tax rate, 
  • 2.5% state income tax,
  • Average property tax rate of 0.63%

What’s Hot in the Job Market?

The job market in both Nevada and Arizona is thriving, though each state has its particular strengths. 

Nevada’s economy is heavily influenced by tourism, hospitality, and entertainment. Its city, Las Vegas, is a global hub for these industries. 

There’s also a growing tech and logistics sector, especially around Reno. If you thrive in fast-paced, customer-centric environments, Nevada might just be right for you with its slew of hotels, casinos, and exciting restaurants.

Arizona, meanwhile, boasts a diversified economy with strong healthcare, retail, and education sectors booming. 

Technology and hospitality are increasing as Phoenix has emerged as a tech and innovation center, attracting numerous startups and established companies. So, if you’re a coding whiz, Phoenix might be calling your name.

NevadaArizona
Population3,104,6147,151,502
Median Household Income$72,333$74,568
Unemployment Rate3.6%5.1%
Poverty Rate12.7%13.1%

Fun, Culture, and Must-See Spots

While living in Nevada vs. Arizona debate persists, both offer rich cultural and recreational activities. 

Although the experience differs, it remains memorable. 

Nevada is famous for the vibrant nightlife and entertainment of Las Vegas, with dazzling casinos and pulsating shows. The electrifying Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire State Park are sights for sore eyes. 

Simply put; there’s always something happening in Nevada, from concerts to outdoor adventures.

Farther southeast, Arizona is a paradise for nature lovers and history buffs—it’s more than neon lights. 

The Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park, Saguaro National Park, and Pima Air and Space Museum provide breathtaking natural scenery. Cultural highlights include Native American history and vibrant art scenes in cities like Scottsdale. 

It attracts lots of artists yearly!

So, whether you crave the thrill of Las Vegas or the serenity of the Arizona desert, both states offer a wealth of cultural experiences and breathtaking natural wonders.

Crime Rates: A Look at Each City’s Safety

Safety is a key consideration when choosing where to live. 

For instance, Nevada crime rates can vary significantly across cities. Las Vegas, while generally safe for tourists, has areas with higher crime rates. Reno is safer, but it still has its hotspots. 

Some of the safest cities in Nevada include:

  • Boulder City
  • Mesquite
  • Elko

Arizona also has varying crime rates, with larger cities like Phoenix experiencing the most in certain areas. However, cities like Gilbert and Sahuarita have low crime rates and more family-friendly environments.

A few of the safest cities in Arizona include:

  • Gilbert
  • Paradise Valley
  • San Luis

Generally, Arizona boasts an overall safer environment than Nevada. For instance, there is a 1 in 42 chance of falling victim to property crime in Nevada, while it is 1 in 49 in Arizona. 

Although the margin may not seem wide, Arizona is more densely populated, which leads to the narrative that crime occurs less often here than in Nevada.

Per 1,000 ResidentsNevadaArizonaNational Median
Violent Crime Rate4.544.314.0
Property Crime23.8020.5820.0

Summary—Living in Nevada vs. Arizona

Choosing between living in Nevada vs. Arizona in 2024 comes down to your priorities and lifestyle preferences. Nevada offers the excitement of a tax-friendly environment and a vibrant entertainment scene, particularly in Las Vegas. 

Even though there isn’t a wide gap between these two states, Arizona provides a relatively lower cost of living in many areas and stunning natural landscapes. 

Although Nevada offers a lower entry price point for home ownership, more people tend to own homes in Arizona. 

So, if you are looking to own a home, you should be looking to move to Arizona. If your priority is a more budget-friendly real estate deal, then moving northwest toward Nevada might be your perfect match.

Remember, when it comes to safety, Arizona breaks the finish line tape!

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