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:
- Papillion (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- La Vista (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gretna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Seward (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Blair (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sidney (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Kearney (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Holdrege (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Columbus (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gering (Photos | Homes For Sale)
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.
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Nebraska
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Nebraska
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live 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’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Papillion is a wonderful place to live in this state.
The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!
While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Papillion still holds its own in in Nebraska.
At an unemployment rate of 3.2%, everyone who wants a job can get one in La Vista. And the residents command high salaries ($59,401 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($141,600 each).
We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Nebraska. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
There’s two types of people who live in Gretna. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $170,200 home there.
Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Gretna is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Seward.
Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 14th lowest in Nebraska and the median income comes in at $61,338.
This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Blair is feeling the love as it ranks as the 5th best city to live in Nebraska for 2016.
It ranked highly because of its high incomes (17th overall) and low crime (2nd overall and one of the best in the top ten).
We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In Nebraska”.
Who doesn’t want to live in Sidney? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.
Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 2.2%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.
Expect to see more of Sidney in the news in the coming months.
Kearney 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 Kearney 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 Kearney residents to work is significantly higher than average.
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Holdrege. Statistically the 15th safest place in the state, there were only 8 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It’s really beautiful in Holdrege, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $44,914 a year, and homes are valued at more than $105,500.
What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?
Columbus has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Columbus had the 7th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $53,857.
Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.
Well, I guess technically 4.5% of Gering residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 18th 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, Gering also ranked well for crime (4th) and median income ($52,484).
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 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Nebraska
- Hickman (Pop. 1,891)
- Springfield (Pop. 1,516)
- Waverly (Pop. 3,686)
- Bennington (Pop. 1,608)
- Aurora (Pop. 4,459)
- Arlington (Pop. 1,322)
- Sutherland (Pop. 1,490)
- Battle Creek (Pop. 1,264)
- Ceresco (Pop. 1,000)
- Pierce (Pop. 1,963)
Best Small Towns To Live In Nebraska
- Loomis (Pop. 419)
- Hadar (Pop. 273)
- Wann (Pop. 81)
- Lakeview (Pop. 317)
- Yankee Hill (Pop. 378)
- Roca (Pop. 195)
- Malcolm (Pop. 408)
- Washington (Pop. 114)
- Glenwood (Pop. 473)
- Henderson (Pop. 971)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Nebraska according to the data:
- Lexington (Pop. 10,090)
- Schuyler (Pop. 6,171)
- Scottsbluff (Pop. 14,937)
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Nebraska
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Nebraska For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Nebraska
- 10 Safest Places In Nebraska
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Nebraska
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Nebraska