10 March 2023
Nevada’s first southern boundary was set about 60 miles north of what is now Las Vegas.
Congress formally created the Nevada territory in 1861 out of lands previously contained within the Utah territory. Nevada officially became a state in 1864, but it wasn’t until 1867 that the state acquired its current southern boundary, which includes all of Clark County, as well as parts of Lincoln, Nye and Esmeralda counties.
The decision to expand the state’s southern boundary was based on Congress’s assessment that Nevada would be better suited to manage an anticipated population boom following the discovery of gold in the region. The additional land was carved out of the Arizona territory, which had been organized in 1863. Arizonans protested, but their alignment with the Confederacy during the Civil War put them at a political disadvantage.
Clark County’s population of nearly 2.3 million made up about 73% of Nevada’s population in July 2021, according to the Census Bureau.
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