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Nevada Ranks Last In Study, First In Hearts Of Residents
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Nevada Ranks Last In Study, First In Hearts Of Residents

Nevada residents know about the great things their state has going for it. There are beautiful rivers, mountain ranges, a mild desert, thriving agriculture, and of course, Las Vegas entertainment. But on the Opportunity Index, a nationwide ranking of states for economic opportunity, Nevada has come in dead last just like it did last year. The Opportunity Index ranks each state by measuring unemployment rate, household income, housing costs, and education rates. It also measures volunteerism, civic engagement, safety, access to health care, and access to healthy food and supermarkets.

Crime is directly related to economic opportunities, and when a state has poor education rates, high unemployment, little access to healthcare and low per capita income, it is likely to have property and violent crime problems as well. Nevada home security is a serious concern for residents, and they are choosing to do something about it. Many families are installing alarm security systems to deter burglars from breaking in to their homes. They are using the resources and jobs that they have to support themselves as they wait for the economy to pick up. And these families are upset about the rankings, which will ultimately harm the state more than it could help.

Steven Brown, the director at the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada explains that reports and studies such as the Opportunity Index, “give the wrong impression.” People are finding jobs, homes and healthy communities in Nevada, but the report gives the impression that the state is so bad, and it may deter other businesses from moving to the area. When the economy is bad, even the slightest thing can make business owners flee to another area.

The study also only considers specific economic factors and educational factors, and ignores others, including the fact that the state provides more education funding than many other states, and has lower taxes, and less expensive real estate than many other areas. The people who live in Nevada may not feel more or less safe than residents of any other state, and may have the same number of job opportunities. The reality is, Nevada home security is not compromised, and neither is business security.

Nevada businesses are actually flocking to the state in order to take advantage of many of the positive aspects of doing business in the state, including cheap real estate and low taxes. There are plenty of potential employees available and many are well-educated. Nevada residents are happy living in their home state, and appreciate the benefits available to them. Sometimes reports such as the Opportunity Index cause panic and destroy hope by assigning a numerical score or rating to an abstract concept such as quality of life. If Nevada was as desperate as the study determined it to be, every resident would have an alarm security system and be in the grips of poverty. Since that is clearly not the case, perhaps the Index isn’t as accurate as it claims to be.


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