Fastest Growing Cities In Nebraska For 2020

We used data and science to determine the places in Nebraska everyone wants to move to today.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the fastest growing cities in Nebraska.

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Is being in an area that's growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Omaha and Lincoln, while others want peace and quiet like in Gretna and Holdrege, thank you very much.

But today we're going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts -- over the past five years, which cities in Nebraska have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census's American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Cornhusker State that have people climbing over each other to get in.

These are the 10 fastest growing cities in Nebraska for 2020 according to the most recent census data:

What's the fastest growing city in Nebraska for 2020? Based on the most recent ACS data, Ralston ranks as the fastest growing city in Nebraska. If you happen to be a resident of Ralston, you're probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you're surprised--and you're wondering why these places are kind of a big deal--keep reading. We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in Nebraska are growing like weeds.

And if you already knew these places were happening, check out the best places to live in Nebraska or the Fastest Growing States In America.

For more Nebraska state reading:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Nebraska For 2020

Ralston, NE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,314
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Population 2010: 5,961
Percent Growth 22.7%
Absolute Growth: 1,353
More on Ralston: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Ralston is a city in Douglas County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 5,943 at the 2010 census. Ralston is surrounded on three sides by the city of Omaha, and by Sarpy County on the south side.

Gretna, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,037
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Population 2010: 4,164
Percent Growth 21.0%
Absolute Growth: 873
More on Gretna: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Gretna is a city in Sarpy County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 4,441 at the 2010 census.

Omaha, NE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 465,112
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Population 2010: 407,334
Percent Growth 14.2%
Absolute Growth: 57,778
More on Omaha: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River. Omaha is the anchor of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, which includes Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha. According to the 2010 census, Omaha's population was 408,958, making it the nation's 44th-largest city; this had increased to 446,970 as of a 2016 estimate. Including its suburbs, Omaha formed the 60th-largest metropolitan area in the United States in 2013, with an estimated population of 895,151 residing in eight counties. The Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, Nebraska-IA Combined Statistical Area is 931,667, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 estimate. Nearly 1.3 million people reside within the Greater Omaha area, comprising a 50-mile radius of Downtown Omaha, the city's center.

La Vista, NE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,077
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Population 2010: 15,044
Percent Growth 13.5%
Absolute Growth: 2,033
More on La Vista: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

La Vista is a city in Sarpy County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 15,758 at the 2010 census. The city was incorporated on February 23, 1960.

Lincoln, NE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 280,849
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Population 2010: 253,035
Percent Growth 11.0%
Absolute Growth: 27,814
More on Lincoln: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Lincoln is the capital of the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. The city covers 93.46 square miles with a population of 280,364 in 2016. It is the second-most populous city in Nebraska and the 71st-largest in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the state called the Lincoln Metropolitan and Lincoln-Beatrice Combined Statistical Areas. The statistical area is home to 348,720 people, making it the 105th-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Kearney, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,273
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Population 2010: 30,214
Percent Growth 10.1%
Absolute Growth: 3,059
More on Kearney: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Kearney is a city in and the county seat of Buffalo County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 30,787 at the 2010 census. It is home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The westward push of the railroad as the Civil War ended gave birth to the community.

Grand Island, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 51,187
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Population 2010: 46,975
Percent Growth 9.0%
Absolute Growth: 4,212
More on Grand Island: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Grand Island is a city in and the county seat of Hall County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 48,520 at the 2010 census.

Papillion, NE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,466
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Population 2010: 18,829
Percent Growth 8.7%
Absolute Growth: 1,637
More on Papillion: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Columbus, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,992
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Population 2010: 21,640
Percent Growth 6.2%
Absolute Growth: 1,352
More on Columbus: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Platte County, in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. The population was 22,111 at the 2010 census.

Schuyler, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,301
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Population 2010: 5,931
Percent Growth 6.2%
Absolute Growth: 370
More on Schuyler: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Schuyler is a city in Colfax County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 6,211 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Colfax County. The city is named after former Vice President of the United States, Schuyler Colfax.

How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Cornhusker State for 2020

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the beginning of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Current Population
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to Current (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)

We ranked all 32 Nebraska cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Cornhusker State.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Current Population - Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Here's a graph of the cities in Nebraska with the largest percent increase in population:
Fastest Growing Cities in Nebraska Graph For 2020

Click to enlarge

These Places Grew Up So Fast In Nebraska, You Know?

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in Nebraska are led by Ralston which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.

It'll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We'll be here to let you know!

These places have been growing (or shrinking) the slowest (fastest):

  1. Blair
  2. North Platte
  3. Chadron

For more Nebraska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Nebraska For 2020

Rank City Growth Population Population 2010
1 Ralston 22.7% 7,314 5,961
2 Gretna 21.0% 5,037 4,164
3 Omaha 14.2% 465,112 407,334
4 La Vista 13.5% 17,077 15,044
5 Lincoln 11.0% 280,849 253,035
6 Kearney 10.1% 33,273 30,214
7 Grand Island 9.0% 51,187 46,975
8 Papillion 8.7% 20,466 18,829
9 Columbus 6.2% 22,992 21,640
10 Schuyler 6.2% 6,301 5,931

How Is The Area In ?

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.