According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16.4 percent of Nevadans fell below the official poverty line ($23,492 for a family of four) in 2012, slightly higher than the 15.9 percent national average. The Great Recession of 2007 through 2008 hit Nevada particularly hard. As many Americans could no longer afford to vacation, the state’s major industry—tourism, particularly at casinos in Las Vegas and Reno—plummeted. As tourism declined, unemployment rose, with 11 percent of the state’s population remaining unemployed in 2012, and 23 percent of Nevadans receiving unemployment insurance in 2012. Nevada also had a record number of foreclosures on much of the housing built during the real estate bubble that preceded the recession.

African American families in Nevada had the highest rate of poverty at ...

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