Gerlach-Empire is a census-designated place (CDP) in Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The combined population was 499 at the 2000 census. A former company town for United States Gypsum Corporation, Empire was once home to more than 750 people. It is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area. Most of the population lives in the two tiny settlements of Gerlach, a neighboring hamlet with fewer than 200 people that shares its schools with Empire; the rest live on outlying rural ranching properties. The nearest town, Nixon, is 60 miles to the south on a reservation owned by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 94.1 sq mi (244 km2), all of it land. Its elevation is 3,946 ft (1,203 m).
As of the census of 2000, there were 499 people, 234 households, and 146 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 5.3 people per square mile (2.0/km2). There were 297 housing units at an average density of 3.2 per square mile (1.2/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.18% White, 2.81% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 4.61% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.02% of the population.