10 Best Places To Live In Nebraska For 2019


Here are the cream of the crop in the Cornhusker State.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Nebraska.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Where are the best places in the state of Nebraska?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They're the places in Cornhusker State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don't trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Nebraska.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it's hard to argue against.

After analyzing 30 places in Nebraska, we came up with this list of the best places.

Well, it looks like you should check out Papillion if you're thinking of moving to Nebraska -- it's the best the Cornhusker State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Nebraska.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Nebraska reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Nebraska For 2019

Papillion, NE

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 19,520
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $167,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (7th best)
More on Papillion: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Papillion had the 7th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (2.8%) and the 8th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

Papillion is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it's like to live there.

La Vista, NE

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 17,064
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $141,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (8th best)
More on La Vista: Real Estate | Data | Photos

La Vista ranks 2nd on our list of best places to live in Nebraska thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Nebraska that we examined.

People have been flocking to La Vista over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

Gretna, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,047
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $170,200 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (5th best)
More on Gretna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gretna has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Nebraska. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Gretna is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Gretna residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Seward, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,133
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $143,900 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (14th best)
More on Seward: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking a similar route to the top ten as many others on this list, Seward ranked highly for adjusted median income (3rd), crime (1st), and unemployment (14th).

With a population of 7,133 it was one of the smaller in the top ten and its government website actually goes to pains to say that it's a "community though not a city".

But don't listen to what they say people of Seward, you can be anything you want.

Blair, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 8,007
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $142,900 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.6% (4th best)
More on Blair: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 1.6% of Blair residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 4th closest of any city in Nebraska.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Blair also ranked well for crime (2nd) and median income ($47,980).

Sidney, NE

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,875
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $125,700 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (6th best)
More on Sidney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Sidney, everyone loves to call Sidney home! The median home value is the 13th highest in Nebraska.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 6th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Cornhusker State.

Sidney should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

Kearney, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 32,709
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $159,400 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (11th best)
More on Kearney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let's take a look at why Kearney is a great place to call home for 2019.

There's low crime in Kearney, and the residents here are gainfully employed (3.6% unemployment rate).

You can make Kearney your home for only $159,400 which won't be too hard on a $51,333 household salary.

Holdrege, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,545
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $105,500 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.1% (1st best)
More on Holdrege: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We think the motto in Holdrege should be "Everything is greater in Holdrege," and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Holdrege has some of the highest home values in Nebraska, and they're going up fast. Additionally, Holdrege only has 950.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Holdrege a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Columbus, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 22,668
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $126,700 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (22nd best)
More on Columbus: Real Estate | Data | Photos

It's obvious why Columbus ranks 9th in the state for best places to live: they have the 22nd lowest unemployment rate and the 12th highest home values.

Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Columbus a great place to live.

Gering, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 8,401
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $118,700 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (18th best)
More on Gering: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gering is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 10th best place in Nebraska?

Homes are priced around $118,700 and residents have the 16th shortest commute in Nebraska.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Nebraska

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Lincoln with a population of 273,018 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities -- Populations over 5,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 30 cities, 85 towns, and 396 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Nebraska

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Nebraska across a number of criteria from one to 30, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Nebraska".

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Nebraska? That would be Papillion.

If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Nebraska.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Papillion at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Nebraska

If you're looking at areas in Nebraska with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Papillion made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Nebraska for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In Nebraska

  1. Hickman (Pop. 1,891)
  2. Springfield (Pop. 1,516)
  3. Waverly (Pop. 3,686)
  4. Bennington (Pop. 1,608)
  5. Aurora (Pop. 4,459)
  6. Arlington (Pop. 1,322)
  7. Sutherland (Pop. 1,490)
  8. Battle Creek (Pop. 1,264)
  9. Ceresco (Pop. 1,000)
  10. Pierce (Pop. 1,963)

Best Small Towns To Live In Nebraska

  1. Loomis (Pop. 419)
  2. Hadar (Pop. 273)
  3. Wann (Pop. 81)
  4. Lakeview (Pop. 317)
  5. Yankee Hill (Pop. 378)
  6. Roca (Pop. 195)
  7. Malcolm (Pop. 408)
  8. Washington (Pop. 114)
  9. Glenwood (Pop. 473)
  10. Henderson (Pop. 971)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Nebraska according to the data:

  1. Lexington (Pop. 10,090)
  2. Schuyler (Pop. 6,171)
  3. Scottsbluff (Pop. 14,937)

For more Nebraska reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Nebraska?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Papillion 19,520 2.8% $167,200
2 La Vista 17,064 3.2% $141,600
3 Gretna 5,047 1.8% $170,200
4 Seward 7,133 3.7% $143,900
5 Blair 8,007 1.6% $142,900
6 Sidney 6,875 2.2% $125,700
7 Kearney 32,709 3.6% $159,400
8 Holdrege 5,545 1.1% $105,500
9 Columbus 22,668 5.4% $126,700
10 Gering 8,401 4.5% $118,700

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *