THE 10 MOST AFFORDABLE Places To Live In Nebraska For 2020


We used data and science to determine which places in Nebraska go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Nebraska.

If you've never visited Carhenge in Alliance or caught an astronomy show at the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland, then you've not witnessed what 1.9 million Nebraskans already know; they have some of the most affordable fun to be had in America.

Coincidentally, Nebraska has some of the most affordable places to live in the country as well, and HomeSnacks is here to unravel where you can live in Nebraska on a budget for 2020.

How did we create the ultimate guide to maneuvering Nebraska's most affordable places to live? We took a look at the US Census and the cost of living data for the Cornhusker State. We were especially interested in home and rental prices. Our conclusion, Nebraska should be one of our fastest growing states based on the amount of work available and its higher than normal wages, but housing is currently difficult to find.

Now, don't let the housing shortage deter you: they are working on it. More importantly, when you do decide to take the Nebraska plunge, you're going to need to know where your money will go the furthest.

The places on our most affordable Nebraska list boast great home prices, safe neighborhoods, and lots to do. Any one of these cheaper Nebraska places would be a great place to enjoy life while saving money. Want to know more? We suggest you crank some Maroon 5, grab a basket of Nebraska's famous Rocky Mountain oysters, and keep reading.

There are definitely some affordable Nebraska places on our list that will surprise you, however, there can be only one number most affordable for 2020. What's the cheapest place to live in Nebraska? If you want to get the most bang for your Nebraska buck, you're going to want to choose Schuyler, the cheapest place in the Cornhusker State.

To see how your favorite Nebraska city compared, take a look below. If you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Nebraska and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Nebraska For 2020

Schuyler, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,301
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (1st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 78.7x (10th cheapest)
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.

The median income in Schuyler comes in at $54,798 and the median home value is $85,800 for 2020.

Alliance, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,313
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 85.1x (5th cheapest)
More On Alliance: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Alliance is a city in Box Butte County, in the northwestern part of the state of Nebraska, in the Great Plains region of the United States. Its population was 8,491 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Box Butte County.

The median income in Alliance comes in at $51,932 and the median home value is $109,800 for 2020.

Sidney, NE

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,732
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 82.3x (7th cheapest)
More On Sidney: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Sidney is a city and county seat of Cheyenne County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 6,757 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Sidney comes in at $58,784 and the median home value is $113,900 for 2020.

South Sioux City, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,994
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.7x (11th cheapest)
More On South Sioux City: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

South Sioux City is a city in Dakota County, Nebraska, United States. It is located immediately across the Missouri River from Sioux City, Iowa, and is part of the Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,353, making it the 14th largest city in Nebraska.

The median income in South Sioux City comes in at $53,199 and the median home value is $111,400 for 2020.

Lexington, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,067
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.4x (21st cheapest)
More On Lexington: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Lexington is a city in Dawson County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 10,230 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Dawson County. Lexington is located in southern Nebraska, on the Platte River, southeast of North Platte. It sits along the route of U.S. Route 30 and the Union Pacific Railroad. In the 1860s it was the location of a stop along the Pony Express.

The median income in Lexington comes in at $53,701 and the median home value is $87,800 for 2020.

Mccook, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,580
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.8x (13th cheapest)
More On Mccook: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

McCook is a city and county seat of Red Willow County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 7,698 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Mccook comes in at $44,473 and the median home value is $99,800 for 2020.

Holdrege, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,476
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (12th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 90.4x (2nd cheapest)
More On Holdrege: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Holdrege is a city in Phelps County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 5,495 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Phelps County. The Nebraska Prairie Museum is located in Holdrege.

The median income in Holdrege comes in at $51,615 and the median home value is $117,500 for 2020.

York, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,859
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (15th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 80.5x (8th cheapest)
More On York: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

York is a city in, and the county seat of, York County, Nebraska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,766. It is the home of York College and the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women.

The median income in York comes in at $54,724 and the median home value is $125,000 for 2020.

Crete, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,050
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.8x (32nd cheapest)
More On Crete: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Crete is a city in Saline County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 6,960 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Crete comes in at $44,469 and the median home value is $94,100 for 2020.

Papillion, NE

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 20,466
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 90.8x (1st cheapest)
More On Papillion: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Papillion comes in at $80,853 and the median home value is $180,700 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Cornhusker State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Nebraska
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Nebraska to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 32 places in Nebraska that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Nebraska according to the data is Schuyler. You can download the data here.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Nebraska Cheapskate

If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Nebraska, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Nebraska for 2020.

Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Nebraska according to the data:

  1. Lincoln
  2. Omaha
  3. Wayne

For more Nebraska reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In Nebraska?

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Schuyler 4.0 6,301 1.6x 78.7x
2 Alliance 5.67 8,313 2.1x 85.1x
3 Sidney 7.33 6,732 1.9x 82.3x
4 South Sioux City 8.33 12,994 2.1x 73.7x
5 Lexington 8.33 10,067 1.6x 69.4x
6 Mccook 9.0 7,580 2.2x 72.8x
7 Holdrege 9.33 5,476 2.3x 90.4x
8 York 13.33 7,859 2.3x 80.5x
9 Crete 13.67 7,050 2.1x 57.8x
10 Papillion 13.67 20,466 2.2x 90.8x

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.