The Las Vegas Valley is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada, and is the heart of the Las Vegas–Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) basin area that contains the largest concentration of people in the state. The history of the Valley significantly intertwines with the history of the city of Las Vegas and one of the two primary cities (as used by the census bureau) in the MSA, with the other being Paradise. The valley is home to the three largest incorporated cities in Nevada: Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas. The six unincorporated towns in the valley make up Las Vegas Township which is the largest community in the state of Nevada. The valley is also known as the ninth island of Hawaii by Hawaiians and Las Vegans since so many Hawaiians live here.
The names Las Vegas and Vegas are used to indicate the valley, the strip, the city and are used as a brand by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and used to denominate the entire region. The metropolitan area’s population was at 741,459 in 1990. The population was approximately 2 million in 2010 (estimated). Today, Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The valley is an area generally defined by the Spring Mountains on the west, Sheep Mountains to the north, Muddy Mountains and Lake Mead to the east, and the Black Mountains to the south.
The valley is known for its extensive gaming, shopping, fine dining, and outdoor activities. Outdoor lighting displays are everywhere on the many tourist destination buildings in the area. Las Vegas, which bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of casino resorts and associated entertainment. Las Vegas is also home to a growing retirement community and numerous celebrities. As seen from space, Las Vegas is the brightest city in the world.