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Living in Las Vegas vs. Phoenix – What You Need to Know

The great debate — Las Vegas vs. Phoenix. Which city is better? If you are planning to move to Las Vegas or Phoenix, you have probably heard about the differences between the two cities. When considering whether or not to make a move, it is helpful to know how these two cities stack up against each other and which one will be best for your personal needs.

But what do these differences mean for your day-to-day life? What kind of lifestyle will you have in either city? How much money will you need to live comfortably? What types of amenities do these two cities offer? This article will answer all of these questions and more.


These southwestern cities are hot year-round and experience similar record-hitting temperatures during the summer. However, Las Vegas is on the sunnier side than Phoenix, a city with 84 percent more rainy days than its counterpart. Las Vegas also experiences lower highs and lower lows in temperature due to its higher elevation. The city’s comfort index, an American-devised metric that measures the suitability of the environment for physical activities, is also slightly higher than Phoenix’s. Vegas’ high comfort index rating indicates the temperature and relative humidity are better enjoyed in Las Vegas than in Phoenix.


Though Phoenix’s population size has eclipsed that of Las Vegas for some time now, Las Vegas’ population growth has outpaced Phoenix’s for the past 30 years. As of 2022, Phoenix boasts a population of just over 1.7 million, surpassing Las Vegas’ population of about 662,000. However, Phoenix’s land area is about 3.6 times that of Las Vegas. This means Las Vegas experiences a higher population density than Phoenix.


Beautiful the Strip

It is safe to say Las Vegas reigns supreme regarding entertainment and the nightlife scene. The city never sleeps, and locals and visitors have 24/7 access to some of the nation’s best shows, sporting events, bars, and restaurants. Las Vegas is also home to one of the most famous streets in the world — the Strip. Visited by 43 million people a year on average, the Las Vegas Strip offers everything you need for the real Vegas experience, from mega-resorts with poolside clubs to residential shows performed by some of the most iconic entertainers.

Phoenix also offers a variety of entertainment choices, from sports to concerts and local art and music shows. However, it is hardly a comparison to the enigmatic pleasures of Las Vegas. More importantly, entertainment is subjective. If you enjoy clubbing, then Las Vegas would be the perfect destination. However, if you’re looking for more outdoor sports and family activities, Phoenix has more options.


Phoenix, also known as the Valley of Sun, virtually has year-round sun, and residents and vacationers take full advantage of having sun-kissed fun. Besides the nightlife, these two sunny cities are home to quite a few noteworthy family-friendly attractions and activities. Phoenix has gorgeous botanical gardens and sprawling golf courses. The city has also perfected the delicious Southwestern cuisine visitors and residents can enjoy at some of the city’s world-class restaurants. But Vegas is a popular destination for vacationers and offers plenty of activities, including hiking the Grand Canyon, boating, and sightseeing.


These desert cities are home to international airports with direct service to over 100 global cities. The Harry Reid International Airport is conveniently located just a few miles from Las Vegas Boulevard. Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport is a three-mile drive from downtown. You can travel in style and add a luxury flair to your daily outings with limousine rides in Las Vegas. The metro rails and city buses are easily accessible and affordable in both cities. Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft can also make traversing these cities easier and keep you cool in the heat. Phoenix also offers a unique form of transportation called e-scooters that locals and tourists can rent from designated zones.



The education options in Phoenix are plentiful and far outpace the public and private schools of Las Vegas. Phoenix has one of the best public school systems in the U.S. and offers several higher learning opportunities through its universities. Comparatively, the Las Vegas Clark Country School District is one of the largest school districts in America. Many of its schools perform quite well academically and athletically. However, Las Vegas has limited higher education choices, with just two colleges within its city limits.


A common reason for relocation is the prospect of new job opportunities. Both cities have relatively low unemployment rates compared to the rest of the nation. Phoenix’s job market is quickly growing in the aviation, transportation, and technology fields. In contrast, the focal point of Las Vegas’ job market remains in the hospitality, touring, and gaming industries. If you are looking to get hired in either of these cities, you will have plenty of options.



Each city has reputable options with highly rated health facilities and medical centers. Though Phoenix has more hospitals than Las Vegas, it is essential to remember that Phoenix is a larger city. Currently, Las Vegas has 154 physicians per 100,000, while Phoenix sits at 201 physicians per 100,000 people, closer to the national average. Both healthcare systems offer various services like emergency visits, medical and cosmetic surgeries, specialized research and development, and more.


The cost of living in both cities is also similar, with Las Vegas ranking higher than Phoenix by a slight margin. The overall cost of living in Las Vegas is around 111, while Phoenix stands at 104. These metrics are compared to the national average of 100. Therefore, both cities’ amenities, such as groceries, housing, healthcare, utilities, and transportation, are slightly higher than the national average. However, the median salary in Las Vegas and Phoenix reflects how the job market supports residents as they experience a slightly higher cost of living.


The housing market in these southwestern destinations is comparable with a few notable differences. While Las Vegas offer more short-term rentals and caters to the more transient homebuyer and those who do not plan to reside in the city year-round, Phoenix offers more permanent, family-centric dwellings.

Both locations boast iconic adobe rooves and neutral colors inspired by the desert landscape. Housing costs are similar in both areas, with Las Vegas leading by only a few thousand dollars for home purchase and about 60 dollars more for the average rent price for a one-bedroom. Regardless of the slightly higher housing cost, 53% of Vegas’ population still chooses to buy over rent.

Las Vegas has become a hotspot for young people and families, but Phoenix remains a retirement haven. The two cities are both beautiful, but if you’re looking for a place to settle down, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. If you want to buy your next luxury home in Las Vegas, contact Maureen Robison at LV Real Estate. Her knowledge of the Las Vegas housing market and her ability to find the perfect home for you will make your home search a breeze.

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