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:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Nebraska
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Nebraska
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family 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 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
Papillion is another gem in Cornhusker State. The unemployment rate here is 7th lowest in the entire state at 2.8%. Other factors that make Papillion so desirable is the solid education and home prices.
Homes are valued at $167,200, and parents earn a combined $77,339 a year
There’s nothing like the American dream.
There’s two types of people who live in La Vista. 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 $141,600 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. La Vista is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
The tiny town of Gretna may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.
The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Nebraska residents know, Gretna is a great central spot for making the most of life.
In Seward, everyone loves to call Seward home! The median home value is the 5th highest in Nebraska.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 14th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Cornhusker State.
Blair makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Nebraska mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.
And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 1.6% of folks are jobless, you can bet Blair residents are glad to live where they do.
Let’s take a look at why Sidney is a great place to call home for 2019.
There’s low crime in Sidney, and the residents here are gainfully employed (2.2% unemployment rate).
You can make Sidney your home for only $125,700 which won’t be too hard on a $57,609 household salary.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Kearney one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.
They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Kearney.
Looks like little Holdrege might be a hidden gem in Nebraska. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($105,500) and crime is really low (15th lowest in the state).
Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.
The Town of Columbus consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Columbus ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Columbus are the 12th most expensive in the state of Nebraska, with the average home worth a whopping $126,700. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Columbus if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Columbus residents have the 7th highest income in the state, and the 12th lowest crime numbers in Nebraska.
Gering 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 Gering 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 Gering residents to work is significantly higher than average.
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
- 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:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Nebraska
- 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