These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Nebraska For 2018


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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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 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Nebraska for 2018:

  1. Hickman (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Springfield (Homes For Sale)
  3. Waverly (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Bennington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Pierce (Homes For Sale)
  6. Arlington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Aurora (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Battle Creek (Homes For Sale)
  9. Grant (Homes For Sale)
  10. O’Neill (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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:

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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 2012-2016 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 – 85 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 85, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Nebraska. Top of that list — Hickman.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Nebraska.

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1. Hickman

Hickman, NE

Source: Public domain

Population: 1,891
Median Income: $77,727 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $167,300 (2nd Best)
More on Hickman: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

2. Springfield


Population: 1,516
Median Income: $64,242 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $128,600 (10th Best)
More on Springfield: Data| Homes For Sale

3. Waverly

Waverly, NE

Source: Public domain

Population: 3,686
Median Income: $82,500 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $157,000 (3rd Best)
More on Waverly: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

4. Bennington

Bennington, NE

Population: 1,608
Median Income: $71,058 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $189,500 (1st Best)
More on Bennington: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

5. Pierce


Population: 1,963
Median Income: $55,813 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $93,400 (40th Best)
More on Pierce: Data| Homes For Sale

6. Arlington

Arlington, NE

Population: 1,322
Median Income: $69,342 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $147,600 (5th Best)
More on Arlington: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

7. Aurora

Aurora, NE

Source: Public domain

Population: 4,459
Median Income: $58,567 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $110,300 (24th Best)
More on Aurora: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

8. Battle Creek


Population: 1,264
Median Income: $70,000 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $127,800 (11th Best)
More on Battle Creek: Data| Homes For Sale

9. Grant


Population: 1,280
Median Income: $52,917 (31st Best)
Median Home Value: $86,800 (53rd Best)
More on Grant: Data| Homes For Sale

10. O’neill

O

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,664
Median Income: $46,250 (48th Best)
Median Home Value: $106,100 (27th Best)
More on O’neill: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

11. Louisville


Population: 1,032
Median Income: $57,500 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $123,400 (15th Best)
More on Louisville: Data| Homes For Sale

12. Milford

Milford, NE

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,389
Median Income: $46,583 (47th Best)
Median Home Value: $148,200 (4th Best)
More on Milford: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

13. Ceresco

Ceresco, NE

Source: Public domain

Population: 1,000
Median Income: $66,250 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $135,900 (6th Best)
More on Ceresco: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

14. Sutherland


Population: 1,490
Median Income: $67,431 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $110,500 (22nd Best)
More on Sutherland: Data| Homes For Sale

15. Hartington


Population: 1,764
Median Income: $41,528 (68th Best)
Median Home Value: $105,800 (28th Best)
More on Hartington: Data| Homes For Sale

16. Doniphan


Population: 1,010
Median Income: $49,500 (39th Best)
Median Home Value: $125,500 (13th Best)
More on Doniphan: Data| Homes For Sale

17. Syracuse


Population: 2,084
Median Income: $49,844 (38th Best)
Median Home Value: $111,000 (21st Best)
More on Syracuse: Data| Homes For Sale

18. Albion


Population: 1,553
Median Income: $44,779 (53rd Best)
Median Home Value: $107,300 (26th Best)
More on Albion: Data| Homes For Sale

19. Cambridge


Population: 1,153
Median Income: $42,557 (60th Best)
Median Home Value: $76,900 (64th Best)
More on Cambridge: Data| Homes For Sale

20. Sutton


Population: 1,679
Median Income: $53,333 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $94,600 (39th Best)
More on Sutton: Data| Homes For Sale

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 20 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. Pawnee City
  2. Red Cloud
  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 1,891 $77,727 $167,300
2 Springfield 1,516 $64,242 $128,600
3 Waverly 3,686 $82,500 $157,000
4 Bennington 1,608 $71,058 $189,500
5 Pierce 1,963 $55,813 $93,400
6 Arlington 1,322 $69,342 $147,600
7 Aurora 4,459 $58,567 $110,300
8 Battle Creek 1,264 $70,000 $127,800
9 Grant 1,280 $52,917 $86,800
10 O’neill 3,664 $46,250 $106,100
11 Louisville 1,032 $57,500 $123,400
12 Milford 2,389 $46,583 $148,200
13 Ceresco 1,000 $66,250 $135,900
14 Sutherland 1,490 $67,431 $110,500
15 Hartington 1,764 $41,528 $105,800
16 Doniphan 1,010 $49,500 $125,500
17 Syracuse 2,084 $49,844 $111,000
18 Albion 1,553 $44,779 $107,300
19 Cambridge 1,153 $42,557 $76,900
20 Sutton 1,679 $53,333 $94,600
21 Yutan 1,069 $62,109 $122,100
22 Waterloo 1,030 $55,938 $126,500
23 Stromsburg 1,162 $54,671 $85,700
24 Eagle 1,019 $61,136 $116,400
25 Woodland Park 1,745 $61,310 $95,600
26 Pender 1,102 $53,333 $90,600
27 Gothenburg 3,521 $59,696 $104,100
28 Wahoo 4,508 $52,612 $132,200
29 St. Paul 2,285 $44,837 $104,500
30 Auburn 3,361 $51,740 $111,500
31 Wakefield 1,537 $54,830 $76,900
32 Minden 2,911 $48,370 $117,100
33 Atkinson 1,395 $43,065 $76,400
34 North Bend 1,310 $57,563 $87,800
35 Valentine 2,789 $45,750 $110,500
36 Broken Bow 3,512 $43,156 $86,700
37 Imperial 2,029 $52,935 $96,400
38 Ashland 2,455 $56,186 $123,600
39 Ponca 1,013 $52,727 $88,200
40 Tilden 1,184 $47,300 $67,900
41 Creighton 1,221 $44,485 $68,800
42 Laurel 1,144 $47,321 $87,000
43 Wisner 1,310 $43,958 $89,800
44 David City 2,861 $45,917 $104,400
45 Gibbon 2,081 $50,885 $115,300
46 Ainsworth 1,736 $36,815 $70,400
47 Friend 1,182 $55,357 $88,900
48 Ravenna 1,514 $47,938 $98,900
49 Neligh 1,513 $41,680 $74,800
50 Hebron 1,573 $42,054 $72,500
51 Fullerton 1,465 $38,942 $81,800
52 Kenesaw 1,036 $59,063 $98,700
53 Bridgeport 1,640 $43,622 $82,100
54 Dakota City 1,875 $55,476 $102,100
55 Weeping Water 1,147 $53,750 $130,700
56 Geneva 2,097 $48,026 $74,200
57 Alma 1,183 $42,500 $82,500
58 Tekamah 1,662 $45,313 $88,500
59 Wilber 1,756 $49,464 $95,700
60 West Point 3,343 $42,077 $109,400
61 Cozad 3,877 $40,735 $88,000
62 Burwell 1,296 $41,250 $69,500
63 Franklin 1,061 $43,017 $51,200
64 Oakland 1,416 $54,250 $83,300
65 Shelton 1,113 $52,917 $92,700
66 Gordon 1,634 $34,901 $69,300
67 Madison 2,634 $47,688 $83,900
68 Falls City 4,225 $41,618 $72,700
69 Plainview 1,155 $41,445 $63,900
70 Fairbury 3,816 $38,125 $60,400
71 Stanton 1,672 $52,955 $89,900
72 Ord 2,329 $40,774 $77,900
73 Valley 1,852 $51,905 $135,900
74 Wood River 1,436 $54,129 $97,300
75 Ogallala 4,592 $35,634 $91,300
76 Mitchell 1,673 $41,198 $90,000
77 Superior 2,045 $35,536 $52,400
78 Bayard 1,104 $41,810 $67,900
79 Crawford 1,016 $34,185 $60,600
80 Central City 2,892 $40,638 $77,800
81 Kimball 2,662 $37,917 $81,400
82 Tecumseh 1,574 $42,181 $73,900
83 Wymore 1,455 $35,772 $46,900
84 Red Cloud 1,115 $34,395 $48,500
85 Pawnee City 1,075 $29,904 $39,000

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