These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Nebraska

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

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Where are the best places in the state of Nebraska? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 32 most populated cities in the Cornhusker State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a Nebraska city.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Here are the 10 best places to live in Nebraska:

  1. Seward
  2. Papillion
  3. Chalco
  4. La Vista
  5. Kearney
  6. Sidney
  7. Ralston
  8. Blair
  9. Columbus
  10. Lincoln

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Nebraska for making a place home.

The worst city to live in Nebraska? Beatrice. More on that later.

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How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?

In order to rank Nebraska’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for Nebraska

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Strong schools
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High incomes
  • High home prices
  • Lots of sunny days a year
  • Low crime
  • Low cost of living

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Nebraska, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. The cost of living numbers below are based on a national average of 100. Anything below that is more affordable.

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1. Seward

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,937
Crime Index: 38
Cost Of Living Index: 91

When you look at the data, the small city of Seward is the best place to live in Nebraska. It’s home to Concordia University. Bonus: It has a huge 4th of July festival every year.

2. Papillion

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,618
Crime Index: 58
Cost Of Living Index: 99

Papillion is on the southern edge of Omaha. It’s relatively safe and affordable as well.

3. Chalco

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,916
Crime Index: 60
Cost Of Living Index: 90

Chalco is another place that’s a great option for those who want to live in the greater Omaha area. It’s a lot closer to Omaha than Papillion is.

4. La Vista

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,185
Crime Index: 59
Cost Of Living Index: 89

La Vista is a little safer and more affordable than some of the other southern Omaha suburbs listed here.

5. Kearney

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,932
Crime Index: 89
Cost Of Living Index: 91

Kearney is very affordable and relatively safe, but more dangerous than some other cities here. It’s located on the southern part of the state, away from any large Nebraska cities.

6. Sidney

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,768
Crime Index: 53
Cost Of Living Index: 84

Sidney is a small city way out near the Colorado state line. It’s very safe and affordable, but the nearest ‘big’ city of Scottsbluff is a long distance away.

7. Ralston

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,330
Crime Index: 62
Cost Of Living Index: 88

Ralston is essentially connected to Omaha on three sides, but considered a separate city.

8. Blair

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,979
Crime Index: 64
Cost Of Living Index: 87

Blair is a small, cute city on the northern fringes of the Omaha metro area. It’s right on the Missouri River, near the Iowa state line.

9. Columbus

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,110
Crime Index: 72
Cost Of Living Index: 86

Columbus is the most affordable city on this list, but it’s a big of a haul away from any major city.

10. Lincoln

Best Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 259,218
Crime Index: 115
Cost Of Living Index: 91

Lincoln is one of the best ‘big’ cities in America in terms of quality of life. You’ll see a lot more dangerous elements here, however, just like with any major metro area.

There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Seward is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Nebraska residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Lexington
2nd Worst: Scottsbluff
Worst: Beatrice

We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Nebraska if you want to read that story.

Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Nebraska

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Seward 1 6,937 38 91
Papillion 2 19,618 58 99
Chalco 3 10,916 60 90
La_Vista 4 16,185 59 89
Kearney 5 30,932 89 91
Sidney 6 6,768 53 84
Ralston 7 6,330 62 88
Blair 8 7,979 64 87
Columbus 9 22,110 72 86
Lincoln 10 259,218 115 91
Plattsmouth 11 6,518 62 84
Bellevue 12 51,293 79 90
Holdrege 13 5,492 67 82
Wayne 14 5,630 77 83
Schuyler 15 6,141 79 81
Crete 16 6,989 78 83
Hastings 17 24,960 82 82
Nebraska_City 18 7,287 61 84
Fremont 19 26,282 92 110
York 20 7,807 67 83
Alliance 21 8,516 79 82
Omaha 22 412,689 114 88
Mccook 23 7,681 77 80
Norfolk 24 24,079 90 87
Gering 25 8,431 75 85
North_Platte 26 24,695 106 83
Grand_Island 27 48,548 115 89
Chadron 28 5,846 95 83
South_Sioux_City 29 13,257 79 83
Lexington 30 10,191 98 80
Scottsbluff 31 14,971 115 82
Beatrice 32 12,386 104 84

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