Nevada ranked 2nd in nation for violent crimes - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Nevada ranked 2nd in nation for violent crimes

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Crime scene tape blocks off a Las Vegas street in this undated image. (File/FOX5) Crime scene tape blocks off a Las Vegas street in this undated image. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A recently released report ranked Nevada second in the nation for the number of violent crimes, but one expert said the rank may be a little deceiving.

The Crime In the United States report, released by the FBI each year, tracks eight different types of violent and non-violent crimes. The report ranked the Silver State behind only Tennessee as the most violent state in the country.

Andrew Spivak, a sociology professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who studies crime trends, said the rank did not come as a surprise.

"At any given time, there may be as many as 300,000 or so visitors just in the Las Vegas Valley," Spivak said.

According to the report, there were more than 600 crimes for every 100,000 people in the state.

Spivak said the report used a population of 2.7 million, which came from the U.S. Census. He said the report did not take into account the hundreds of thousands of tourists that are in Nevada each day, which would likely lower the crime rate in the state.

"If a visitor comes to Las Vegas and reports being assaulted or reports being robbed, that counts as an incident, but the rate of crime is only based on the resident population," Spivak said.

However, even if the report counted tourists in the population, Nevada would still rank as the sixth in the list of most violent states.

"I don't think it's going to affect visitation in Nevada, and I don't necessarily think it's going to affect the way people think of Nevada," Spivak said.

The report cited higher poverty and lower education can contribute to increased crime rates. Nevada's poverty rate is more than 16 percent. The Silver State has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country.

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