|Table of contents|
As of the census of 2000, there are 24,631 people, 10,153 households, and 7,127 families residing in the town. The population density is 31.9/km² (82.7/mi²). There are 11,651 housing units at an average density of 15.1/km² (39.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 91.02% White, 1.30% African American, 1.29% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.37% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. 7.63% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 10,153 households out of which 24.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% are married couples living together, 7.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% are non-families. 23.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.42 and the average family size is 2.83.
In the town the population is spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 45 years. For every 100 females there are 102.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 101.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $34,860, and the median income for a family is $39,812. Males have a median income of $35,862 versus $21,586 for females. The per capita income for the town is $17,708. 10.7% of the population and 7.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 14.8% are under the age of 18 and 7.0% are 65 or older.
Originally inhabited by the Shoshone, it was discovered and slowly inhabited by American settlers in the late 19th century. They reportedly chose the name for the valley which Pahrump is named after from the original indigenous name Pah-Rimpi, or "Water Rock," so named because of the abundant artesian wells in the valley. Because of these artesian wells, the new inhabitants of Pahrump Valley began a number of large ranch-style holdings, mostly over 1000 acres in size. On these ranches, alfalfa, cotton, and livestock were raised.
Until the 1960s, Pahrump had no telephone service and the only roads in were gravel or dirt. However, as Las Vegas grew, real estate speculation became more popular in the area, which led to increased interest in Pahrump. This led to the introduction of telephone service and the construction of a paved highway, from Las Vegas to Pahrump, during the late 1960s. Later, this road was extended from Pahrump northward to Highway 95, near Amargosa Valley. A second paved road was introduced that went from Pahrump to neighboring Shoshone, California, which provided a link to the Death Valley area, as well as a shorter route to those wishing to travel to Los Angeles or other areas in California. In 1972 Pahrump's first high school was constructed.
Since the late 1970s, Pahrump has grown almost exponentially, increasing from about 2000 residents in 1980 to almost 25,000 in 2000. Almost all significant agriculture has ceased in the valley as a result, and the surface aquifers have dried up. Pahrump has also attracted a number of interesting people, including paranormal talk show host Art Bell, along with a number of individuals with stronger libertarian political beliefs than most.
(Note: The history was written by a former resident of Pahrump, and is a short synopsis of the history of Pahrump as remembered and told to the individual. As a result, there are going to be some historical inconsistencies, but most of it should be about right. There are a couple of books written about Pahrump, including "A History of Pahrump, Nevada" [ISBN: 1878138510 1-878138-51-0], among others, which should be consulted for a more formal study of the region.)