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May 26, 2015

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Report: Nevada ranks last in nation in job opportunity

For people looking to move up the economic ladder, the worst place in the nation to live is Nevada, according to a report released today.

Nevada scored 21.3 out of 100 on the Opportunity Index, putting the state in last place in the ranking by Opportunity Nation, a campaign from Be the Change, and the American Human Development Project, part of the Social Science Research Council.

The ranking is based on criteria in three general categories: Economy, education and community health and civic life.

Nevada scored 4 out of 10 in the economy category, 1 out of 10 in education and 1 out of 10 in community health and civic life. The national averages for all three categories were between 5.4 and 5.6.

Nevada had the lowest scores in the nation of the percentage of high school students who graduate on time and the number of preschool-aged children enrolled in school. Plus, the report said 11.2 percent of Nevada teenagers are not in school or working.

The Silver State also received the lowest score in the nation on access to health care, with 86.7 primary care providers per 100,000 residents.

And the state had the second highest violent crime score in the nation, with 707 crimes per 100,000 people.

"Having scored at or below the national average in many of the metrics used to formulate their Opportunity Score, Nevada residents have much work to do before they can say they provide their residents with the opportunities to improve their lives," said Opportunity Nation Executive Director Mark Edwards in a statement. "Providing quality education, sound economies, and safe communities are the stepping stones to economic mobility in this country, and Nevada leaders should view the results of the index as a guide to seeing areas that need to improve."

In a breakdown of counties, Clark received a D grade, with scores of three out of five in economy, one out of five in education and two out of five in community.

All of the bottom 15 states in the index are in the South or Southwest. Nevada is ranked 51, behind Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana.

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