Moving to Nevada from California 17 Pros and Cons

Moving to another state is a big decision, and there is a lot to consider. What is good about the state you already live in? What is good about the state you want to move to?

Nevada and California both have good and bad aspects, and it is important for you to consider all of these aspects when deciding whether or not to move. So, to help you out, here are 17 pros and cons of moving to Nevada from California.

Pro: Cheaper

The cost of living in NevadaOpens in a new tab. is significantly cheaper than in CaliforniaOpens in a new tab.. Though both are above the national average, the total cost of living including housing, grocery, health, transportation, etc. is much higher in California than in Nevada. If you move to Nevada, you’ll most likely end up paying far less in total than if you stay in California.

On the other hand, the average salary for California residents is a few thousand dollars more than the average salary for Nevada residents. You will need to play it by ear, but if you want to save money, chances are that Nevada is a better place to live.

Pro: Lower Taxes

Nevada has no income tax, estate tax, or tax on pensionsOpens in a new tab.. Nevada also has a lower sales tax than California. In contrast, California has one of the highest income taxes in the country. So, not only will you have a lower cost of living in Nevada, but you also won’t have to pay as much money in taxes.

If you’re hoping to save money by moving from California to Nevada, then it is probably the right move and will likely save you money.

Pro: Less Traffic

You’ve probably heard a lot of stories about the terrible Los Angeles traffic, and living in California you’ve probably seen your share of it. CaliforniaOpens in a new tab. is ranked as having the most traffic out of any state. Nevada is 25th on the list, so there is a significant improvement.

If you’re absolutely sick of sitting in traffic jams, moving to Nevada is the right move. Then again, since California is number one on the list, you could move to any other state and it would be better.

Pro: Higher Speed Limits

Perhaps one of the reasons that Nevada has better traffic is because it generally has higher speed limits than California. In Nevada, the max speed limit on rural interstates is 80 mphOpens in a new tab., while the max in California on similar roads is around 70 mph.

As you may know, most of Nevada is made up of uninhabited land, so most of the roads are rural interstates. In Nevada, you are legally able to drive faster than you are in California most of the time.

Pro: Lower Population Density

Population density is the number of people in an area per square mile of that area. California, despite being larger than Nevada, has a higher population density. The population density of California is 97 people per square mileOpens in a new tab.. California is the most populated state in the United States.

In contrast, Nevada has a population density of 25 people per square mileOpens in a new tab.. While California is the 11th most densely populated state, Nevada is the 9th least densely populated state.

A lower population density is going to mean that the state has fewer people around, which most people would consider a positive thing. There is more space, less traffic, and fewer people crowding popular restaurants. Because Nevada has a lower population and population density, there are just not as many people to wait in line behind or dodge on the sidewalk. If you want to avoid people as much as you possibly can, then moving to Nevada will probably be a good move (unless you move to Las Vegas).

Pro: More Centrally Located

California is on the edge of the country, backed up against the sea. Though Nevada is only one state over, it is closer to most other states in the country. From California, it tends to be a long drive to other states, especially if you live near the coast rather than inland. You’ll be able to visit other states faster by car if you live in Nevada as opposed to if you live in California.

If you plan on driving to other states often, whether to visit family, see the sights, or go on business trips, moving to Nevada will make the journey that much shorter.

Pro: Scenery

Though California is beautiful, Nevada has some truly stunning outdoor vistas. From Lake Tahoe to Mount Rose to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada has gorgeous natural scenery to enjoy. Even the desert landscape is pretty in its own way, and there are many rock formations, canyons, and other beauties to see.

If you want the opportunity to appreciate some beautiful natural wonders that you wouldn’t get the chance to see in California, Nevada is a good place to go.

Pro: Outdoor Activities

Not only is there a lot of gorgeous scenery in Nevada, but there are also a lot of outdoor activities that you can enjoy. There are numerous hikes that you can take that will help you enjoy unique views. You can raft down rivers or camp by the side of a lake. There are so many fun things that you can do in Nevada while also enjoying the sunshine and the outdoors. California may have beaches, but there are so many other opportunities for outdoor adventures in Nevada.

Pro: Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a very popular city to visit for a variety of reasons. It has shows, gambling, and numerous buffets. There is also a variety of fancy hotels and cool sights. Las Vegas can be a lot of fun depending on what you enjoy doing in your free time.

There are a lot of entertainment options in the city that attract many different types of people. Even if you don’t enjoy gambling, there are lots of other fun things to do in Las Vegas. Being closer to Vegas may be a really great thing for you since you will be able to go there and enjoy it more often. If you like Vegas and the things you can do there, you may want to consider moving closer.

Con: Las Vegas

As you may be aware, Las Vegas has a reputation for being…trashy. It has a few nicknames such as Sin City, Lost Wages, and the Divorce Capital of America. Many people consider it a city for those of low moral character. So, while for some it may be a positive part of Nevada, for others it may be negative.

And while it isn’t hard to avoid a city for most of your life, Las Vegas is home to most of Nevada’s population, so most of the stores, restaurants, etc. that Nevada has to offer are in Las Vegas. Being closer to Las Vegas may end up being a bad thing for you, even though other people may see it as a good thing.

Con: Extremely Hot Summers and Cold Winters

If you have ever been to Las Vegas in July, you know that it is extremely hot. It feels like the heat is pressing in on your skin; it can be very uncomfortable to be outside during the hot months in Nevada. Being outside during the hottest times on a summer day in Nevada can even end up being dangerous. The average high temperature in the summers is 85% to 90%Opens in a new tab., which means it can get higher.

California has a much more temperate climate. Though it can still get very hot in California, especially in certain areas, the temperatures don’t fluctuate very much in California. Nevada has very hot summers and very cold winters, but California has mildly cold winters and mildly hot summers.

The temperature changes in different seasons are much less extreme, and the weather is more likely to be a comfortable temperature in California than in Nevada. If you prefer the temperate climate of California, Nevada may not be the right place for you to live.

Con: Dry Climate

Nevada is the driest stateOpens in a new tab. in the country. The average annual precipitation is only about 10.2 inches. If you don’t like rain, this may sound like a good thing, but living in a dry climate can cause a lot of problems. It can affect your water supply. It can also dry out your skin and increase allergy symptoms.

Your house can also be damaged if it doesn’t get enough moisture. People can adjust to living in dry climates, but it may be difficult and uncomfortable. If you don’t want to deal with moving to a super dry state, you may want to stay in California.

Con: Cities are More Spread Out

If you’ve ever driven through Nevada for a while, you know that the cities are usually dispersed throughout a vast expanse of uninhabited desert. As you now know, Nevada has the ninth lowest population density in the country. This is because much of the land in Nevada is not very appealing to those who want to build or grow plants there.

If you need to get to another city in Nevada, you may have to drive a lot farther to get there because of the large amount of uninhabited land.

This means that, depending on where you live in Nevada and where you travel to, you may end up spending more time and more gas money than you would in California, where the cities and people are much closer together.

It also means that, if you live in a smaller city, the big city amenities will be even farther away. If you like having different cities close by and not having to drive through the desert, you may not want to move to Nevada.

Con: Fewer Large Cities

There are more large cities in California than in Nevada. There are only 10 citiesOpens in a new tab. in Nevada with over 50,000 people living in them. In California, there are 187 citiesOpens in a new tab. with over 50,000 people. For some people, being further away from a big city is a good thing, but there are many positive parts of living in or near a big city.

There are a lot more options for jobs, shopping, entertainment, etc. If you end up living far from a big city, you may find that it is harder than you thought it would be.

Con: No Beaches

One of the best parts about California is that it is on the coast, so there are lots of beautiful beaches that you can visit. Though a lot of places in California are still several hours from the ocean, any city in Nevada is going to be farther.

If you enjoy going to the beach often, you should realize that living in Nevada is not going to give you the same opportunities for going to the beach. Say goodbye to the beautiful coastlines and relaxing ocean sounds, as you won’t be getting any of those in Nevada.

Con: No Disneyland

One of the most common reasons that people travel to California is to go to Disneyland. Whether they are going as families, couples, or even the occasional individual, Disneyland is a very popular place to visit.

If you like to visit Disneyland a lot, moving to Nevada is going to put distance between you and the park. You won’t be able to take the occasional day trip to the park when you need something to do. If you enjoy having Disneyland close by, it might be better to stay in California.

Con: Lower Quality Education

In quality of education, California ranks 20thOpens in a new tab. out of all the states in the United States. Nevada ranks 40th overall. Though the rankings can vary based on the factors considered, California always comes out ahead of Nevada by a considerable amount.

California also spends more money on its students than Nevada does. Quality education is very important for families. If you have kids and want to make sure that they get a great education, moving to Nevada may not be the best for them.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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