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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.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Nebraska for 2019:
- 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
The 10 Best Places To Live In Nebraska For 2019
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 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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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'.
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.
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