Valószínű, hogy az állam lakosságának növekedését a szerencsejátéknak köszönheti, de a Hoover gát már iparágakat is idevonzott, mint pl. a "Basic Magnesium Plant"-et.
Over 80% of the state's area is owned by the federal government. The primary reason for this is that [[homestead principle|homesteads]] were not permitted in large enough sizes to be viable in the arid conditions that prevail throughout desert Nevada. Instead, early settlers would homestead land surrounding a water source, and then graze [[livestock]] on the adjacent public land, which is useless for [[agriculture]] without access to water (this pattern of [[ranching]] still prevails). The deficiencies in the [[Homestead Act]] as applied to Nevada were probably due to a lack of understanding of the Nevada environment, although some firebrands (so-called "Sagebrush Rebels") maintain that it was due to pressure from mining interests to keep land out of the hands of common folk. This debate continues to be argued among some state historians today.