Nevada is the 5th worst state to raise a family, according to a recent study from WalletHub.
The study evaluated all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 40 key metrics of family-friendliness.
Nevada came in 49th for affordable child care, 49th for violent crime rate, 49th in unemployment, 39th in median family salary (adjusted for cost of living), and 50th in household divorces.
New Mexico was named the worst state to raise a family for scoring low marks in education, child care, affordability, and socioeconomics. North Dakota, on the other hand, was considered the best for its affordable housing, high family salaries, and low divorce rates. New Jersey was first in education.
Parents in the Las Vegas valley are on the defensive.
"I do take it personally because I was raised here and I've never left here," said Alison Kasner, a former Clark County School District principal.
Despite the low scores, there was one category where Nevada scored second -- family fun.
"My son is 2 years old and we go to the parks all the time here," said Andi Donahue, a mother in Henderson. "The city is really safe, at least the areas we go to, and our neighborhood is extremely safe."
The city of Las Vegas, not counting Henderson and Clark County, boasts nearly 100 parks, community centers, pools and similar facilities.
Avril Markey is from Australia and has lived in the valley for six years.
She sees the last-place education ranking as just more motivation to do her research for her son.
"There are good schools that you can find," Markey said. "That's something that I'm trying to do right now because I have a 4-year-old who's going to start kindergarten."
Kasner agreed with that sentiment, and she said more research would also be helpful to families thinking of moving here who are only looking at the rankings.
"Everybody has their own responsibility to get information and to validate it before they make a judgment," Kasner said.