The Brookings Institute is reporting that Las Vegas and much of the Intermountain West (Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah) will replace the Midwest as the nation’s heartland in the future as population growth brings increased diversity, a thriving economy and political influence. Brookings is a private, nonprofit organization that analyzes various issues and offers solutions. It has been active for nearly a century.
Brookings has identified five emerging mega-urban areas, one of which is Las Vegas, including northern Mohave County in Arizona. It has found that, statistically, from 1980 to 2000, Las Vegas was second among 100 metro areas nationwide in the conversion of rural acres for suburban uses per new home. This means Las Vegas has made efficient use of land. The number of annual vehicle miles driven, per capital, in Las Vegas, is 6,469. This is also the second lowest among 10 cities, which average 10,058 vehicle miles a year. This indicates that Las Vegans live closer to where they work and that the city has less sprawl than other metro areas.