Best Small Towns In Nebraska For 2020


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Nebraska are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our sixth time ranking the best small places to live in Nebraska.

You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Nebraska, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Cornhusker State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Nebraska based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Nebraska ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Nebraska for 2020.

The 10 Best Small Towns To Live In Nebraska For 2020

  1. Hickman (Photos | Homes)
  2. Bennington (Photos | Homes)
  3. Springfield (Homes)
  4. Louisville (Homes)
  5. Aurora (Photos | Homes)
  6. Doniphan (Homes)
  7. Bennet (Homes)
  8. Pierce (Homes)
  9. Waverly (Photos | Homes)
  10. Arlington (Photos | Homes)

What’s the best small town in Nebraska? Hickman is the best small town in Nebraska based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Hickman, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Cornhusker State check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Nebraska For 2020

Hickman, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,146
Median Income: $96,719 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $191,300 (3rd Best)
More on Hickman: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Bennington, NE

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,839
Median Income: $85,156 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $205,800 (2nd Best)
More on Bennington: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,344
Median Income: $66,435 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $137,900 (13th Best)
More on Springfield: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,199
Median Income: $72,125 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $142,200 (9th Best)
More on Louisville: Data | Homes For Sale

Aurora, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,481
Median Income: $63,053 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $132,700 (16th Best)
More on Aurora: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,020
Median Income: $59,821 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $137,500 (14th Best)
More on Doniphan: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,049
Median Income: $69,922 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $152,700 (6th Best)
More on Bennet: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,910
Median Income: $59,138 (25th Best)
Median Home Value: $99,500 (40th Best)
More on Pierce: Data | Homes For Sale

Waverly, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,804
Median Income: $84,321 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $165,000 (4th Best)
More on Waverly: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Arlington, NE

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,534
Median Income: $74,844 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $164,600 (5th Best)
More on Arlington: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,501
Median Income: $51,818 (43rd Best)
Median Home Value: $120,100 (22nd Best)
More on Albion: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,342
Median Income: $60,156 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $97,900 (41st Best)
More on Grant: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,339
Median Income: $69,464 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $140,700 (11th Best)
More on Battle Creek: Data | Homes For Sale

O

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,631
Median Income: $54,375 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $112,100 (26th Best)
More on O’neill: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Imperial, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,857
Median Income: $60,018 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $138,400 (12th Best)
More on Imperial: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Nebraska

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2014-2018 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 89 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 89, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Nebraska. Top of that list — Hickman. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Nebraska.

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Nebraska are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Nebraska:

  1. Red Cloud
  2. Pawnee City
  3. Wymore

For more nebraska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Nebraska

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Hickman, NE 2,146 $96,719.0 $191,300.0
2 Bennington, NE 1,839 $85,156.0 $205,800.0
3 Springfield, NE 1,344 $66,435.0 $137,900.0
4 Louisville, NE 1,199 $72,125.0 $142,200.0
5 Aurora, NE 4,481 $63,053.0 $132,700.0
6 Doniphan, NE 1,020 $59,821.0 $137,500.0
7 Bennet, NE 1,049 $69,922.0 $152,700.0
8 Pierce, NE 1,910 $59,138.0 $99,500.0
9 Waverly, NE 3,804 $84,321.0 $165,000.0
10 Arlington, NE 1,534 $74,844.0 $164,600.0
11 Albion, NE 1,501 $51,818.0 $120,100.0
12 Grant, NE 1,342 $60,156.0 $97,900.0
13 Battle Creek, NE 1,339 $69,464.0 $140,700.0
14 O’neill, NE 3,631 $54,375.0 $112,100.0
15 Imperial, NE 1,857 $60,018.0 $138,400.0
16 Wakefield, NE 1,533 $66,786.0 $87,200.0
17 Syracuse, NE 2,110 $50,772.0 $123,400.0
18 Alma, NE 1,378 $50,057.0 $100,400.0
19 Ceresco, NE 1,054 $74,097.0 $136,000.0
20 Milford, NE 2,327 $52,500.0 $149,300.0
21 Ashland, NE 2,447 $59,038.0 $149,700.0
22 Pender, NE 1,164 $62,500.0 $95,300.0
23 Wahoo, NE 4,487 $55,544.0 $141,800.0
24 Hartington, NE 1,611 $45,543.0 $108,500.0
25 Gothenburg, NE 3,482 $64,286.0 $105,700.0
26 Sutherland, NE 1,561 $71,154.0 $106,300.0
27 Valentine, NE 2,777 $44,219.0 $125,700.0
28 Hebron, NE 1,694 $50,990.0 $76,000.0
29 Burwell, NE 1,239 $44,135.0 $83,200.0
30 David City, NE 2,831 $50,902.0 $109,200.0
31 Auburn, NE 3,322 $55,263.0 $91,100.0
32 Atkinson, NE 1,418 $46,250.0 $91,900.0
33 Blue Hill, NE 1,028 $45,313.0 $106,600.0
34 St. Paul, NE 2,451 $50,647.0 $117,200.0
35 Dakota City, NE 1,919 $63,750.0 $113,100.0
36 Friend, NE 1,133 $61,705.0 $122,400.0
37 Stromsburg, NE 1,136 $56,500.0 $85,200.0
38 Sutton, NE 1,606 $58,929.0 $103,000.0
39 Creighton, NE 1,194 $48,182.0 $84,200.0
40 Valley, NE 2,703 $72,907.0 $234,800.0
41 Minden, NE 2,890 $49,643.0 $132,300.0
42 Cambridge, NE 1,281 $48,977.0 $67,500.0
43 Wilber, NE 1,790 $51,908.0 $119,400.0
44 North Bend, NE 1,324 $69,250.0 $102,200.0
45 Ainsworth, NE 1,722 $41,064.0 $74,500.0
46 Ponca, NE 1,009 $54,063.0 $89,900.0
47 Gibbon, NE 2,072 $58,427.0 $123,200.0
48 Elm Creek, NE 1,160 $56,458.0 $100,900.0
49 Geneva, NE 1,997 $52,292.0 $85,100.0
50 Fullerton, NE 1,459 $43,125.0 $77,800.0
51 Neligh, NE 1,548 $44,602.0 $81,900.0
52 Laurel, NE 1,047 $47,700.0 $87,300.0
53 Franklin, NE 1,041 $47,150.0 $62,500.0
54 Tilden, NE 1,136 $51,000.0 $72,400.0
55 Arapahoe, NE 1,206 $49,083.0 $81,700.0
56 West Point, NE 3,327 $45,087.0 $108,500.0
57 Woodland Park, NE 1,653 $63,333.0 $106,100.0
58 Bridgeport, NE 1,700 $47,153.0 $89,100.0
59 Benkelman, NE 1,015 $41,150.0 $74,600.0
60 Wisner, NE 1,258 $47,649.0 $96,300.0
61 Ravenna, NE 1,512 $46,875.0 $97,900.0
62 Cozad, NE 3,832 $44,985.0 $88,300.0
63 Stanton, NE 1,642 $57,685.0 $94,100.0
64 Broken Bow, NE 3,522 $43,068.0 $87,500.0
65 Shelton, NE 1,201 $53,167.0 $92,500.0
66 Ord, NE 2,284 $48,239.0 $87,400.0
67 Bayard, NE 1,013 $40,972.0 $69,700.0
68 Superior, NE 1,929 $36,422.0 $61,100.0
69 Fairbury, NE 3,711 $37,386.0 $60,600.0
70 Plainview, NE 1,350 $42,202.0 $75,600.0
71 Gordon, NE 1,726 $35,976.0 $57,200.0
72 Kenesaw, NE 1,132 $60,855.0 $108,400.0
73 Mitchell, NE 1,827 $45,304.0 $93,900.0
74 Madison, NE 2,301 $53,036.0 $87,000.0
75 Falls City, NE 4,176 $43,363.0 $64,200.0
76 Tecumseh, NE 1,794 $43,350.0 $73,400.0
77 Kimball, NE 2,762 $43,063.0 $78,000.0
78 Wood River, NE 1,444 $53,083.0 $97,400.0
79 Oakland, NE 1,506 $61,250.0 $85,700.0
80 Crawford, NE 1,116 $40,547.0 $59,000.0
81 Ogallala, NE 4,561 $38,733.0 $100,200.0
82 Genoa, NE 1,075 $45,000.0 $72,200.0
83 Tekamah, NE 1,824 $48,500.0 $89,400.0
84 Central City, NE 2,893 $44,539.0 $87,200.0
85 Terrytown, NE 1,160 $38,688.0 $82,100.0
86 Harvard, NE 1,176 $53,125.0 $76,800.0
87 Wymore, NE 1,438 $41,552.0 $47,500.0
88 Pawnee City, NE 1,062 $41,635.0 $65,800.0
89 Red Cloud, NE 1,118 $32,300.0 $49,000.0

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.