Worst Small Towns In Nebraska For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in NE are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Nebraska.

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Most Americans have never been to Nebraska. However, as the people who live there know, Nebraska is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Nebraska has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Cornhusker State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 89 of Nebraska's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Nebraska where you'd never want to live:

These are the worst small towns in Nebraska for 2020:

  1. Red Cloud
  2. Terrytown
  3. Pawnee City
  4. Tecumseh
  5. Harvard
  6. Ogallala (Photos)
  7. Gordon
  8. Kimball (Photos)
  9. Wymore
  10. Superior

So what is the worst small town to call home in nebraska for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Red Cloud is the worst small town to live in Nebraska.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Nebraska has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Nebraska or the worst places to live in Nebraska.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Nebraska For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,118
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $49,000 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (30th worst)
More on Red Cloud:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,160
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $82,100 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (3rd worst)
More on Terrytown:  Data

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,062
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $65,800 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (41st worst)
More on Pawnee City:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,794
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $73,400 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (37th worst)
More on Tecumseh:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,176
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $76,800 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (10th worst)
More on Harvard:  Data

Ogallala, NE

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,561
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $100,200 (51st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (11th worst)
More on Ogallala:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,726
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $57,200 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (52nd worst)
More on Gordon:  Data

Kimball, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,762
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $78,000 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (6th worst)
More on Kimball:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,438
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $47,500 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (59th worst)
More on Wymore:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,929
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $61,100 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (66th worst)
More on Superior:  Data

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

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Nebraska, 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, solid education, 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 determined the worst small towns to live in Nebraska for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 89 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Nebraska

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Cornhusker State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Nebraska, according to science:

  1. Springfield (Pop. 1,344)
  2. Bennington (Pop. 1,839)
  3. Hickman (Pop. 2,146)

For more Nebraska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Nebraska

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Red Cloud 1,118 3.5% $49,000
2 Terrytown 1,160 9.3% $82,100
3 Pawnee City 1,062 2.9% $65,800
4 Tecumseh 1,794 3.2% $73,400
5 Harvard 1,176 6.3% $76,800
6 Ogallala 4,561 5.4% $100,200
7 Gordon 1,726 2.4% $57,200
8 Kimball 2,762 7.2% $78,000
9 Wymore 1,438 1.9% $47,500
10 Superior 1,929 1.5% $61,100
11 Crawford 1,116 2.3% $59,000
12 West Point 3,327 5.3% $108,500
13 Benkelman 1,015 2.0% $74,600
14 Broken Bow 3,522 5.2% $87,500
15 Oakland 1,506 4.3% $85,700
16 Mitchell 1,827 4.7% $93,900
17 Fairbury 3,711 2.6% $60,600
18 Madison 2,301 4.2% $87,000
19 Plainview 1,350 7.1% $75,600
20 Tekamah 1,824 4.8% $89,400
21 Wood River 1,444 11.3% $97,400
22 Bridgeport 1,700 9.7% $89,100
23 Falls City 4,176 3.1% $64,200
24 Ord 2,284 2.6% $87,400
25 Central City 2,893 4.6% $87,200
26 Cambridge 1,281 1.6% $67,500
27 Fullerton 1,459 0.3% $77,800
28 Bayard 1,013 3.6% $69,700
29 Shelton 1,201 7.5% $92,500
30 Ainsworth 1,722 0.5% $74,500
31 Ravenna 1,512 3.7% $97,900
32 Cozad 3,832 2.5% $88,300
33 Genoa 1,075 4.9% $72,200
34 Laurel 1,047 4.4% $87,300
35 Geneva 1,997 1.7% $85,100
36 Wisner 1,258 3.2% $96,300
37 Kenesaw 1,132 8.0% $108,400
38 Woodland Park 1,653 4.0% $106,100
39 Arapahoe 1,206 2.0% $81,700
40 Stanton 1,642 4.5% $94,100
41 Gibbon 2,072 3.2% $123,200
42 Neligh 1,548 3.8% $81,900
43 Valentine 2,777 2.9% $125,700
44 Franklin 1,041 0.0% $62,500
45 Creighton 1,194 2.9% $84,200
46 Atkinson 1,418 0.9% $91,900
47 Sutton 1,606 1.2% $103,000
48 Dakota City 1,919 6.5% $113,100
49 Hebron 1,694 0.7% $76,000
50 Valley 2,703 3.2% $234,800
51 Tilden 1,136 1.3% $72,400
52 Auburn 3,322 2.7% $91,100
53 Imperial 1,857 2.8% $138,400
54 Wakefield 1,533 3.1% $87,200
55 Ponca 1,009 2.7% $89,900
56 Gothenburg 3,482 0.9% $105,700
57 St. Paul 2,451 4.1% $117,200
58 Burwell 1,239 0.3% $83,200
59 Blue Hill 1,028 3.3% $106,600
60 Stromsburg 1,136 2.5% $85,200
61 Wilber 1,790 6.6% $119,400
62 Pender 1,164 1.3% $95,300
63 Wahoo 4,487 3.5% $141,800
64 David City 2,831 3.3% $109,200
65 Minden 2,890 0.0% $132,300
66 Alma 1,378 0.0% $100,400
67 Hartington 1,611 0.4% $108,500
68 Elm Creek 1,160 0.5% $100,900
69 North Bend 1,324 2.0% $102,200
70 O'neill 3,631 1.1% $112,100
71 Friend 1,133 4.1% $122,400
72 Milford 2,327 1.7% $149,300
73 Ashland 2,447 2.0% $149,700
74 Grant 1,342 2.0% $97,900
75 Battle Creek 1,339 2.7% $140,700
76 Sutherland 1,561 1.6% $106,300
77 Ceresco 1,054 4.9% $136,000
78 Syracuse 2,110 0.0% $123,400
79 Albion 1,501 1.4% $120,100
80 Arlington 1,534 3.2% $164,600
81 Aurora 4,481 1.8% $132,700
82 Waverly 3,804 3.0% $165,000
83 Pierce 1,910 0.8% $99,500
84 Bennet 1,049 0.6% $152,700
85 Doniphan 1,020 0.0% $137,500
86 Louisville 1,199 0.5% $142,200
87 Springfield 1,344 1.5% $137,900
88 Bennington 1,839 0.4% $205,800
89 Hickman 2,146 1.9% $191,300

How Is The Area In ?

7 thoughts on “Worst Small Towns In Nebraska, 2020

  1. Oh, but we are laughing all the way out to our adirondacks on our stone patios looking out over the lake and beautiful trees below, with a wonderfully complex red in hand, a little Diana Krall on the Bose, watching deer and other wildlife, comfy in front of the warm fire, just slightly smug about our well disguised little secret…à votre santé!

    1. Amen to that!! 🙂 I was born an raised in Nebraska too. Cant think of a better place to be ♡ they can keep their metro’s…i prefer the finer things in life..like fresh air and clean living!! 😉

  2. Wilsonville is pretty innocent! Most of the people there are retired or too old to work… Its like a giant retirement home. Everyone that lives in Wilsonville is happy!

  3. There isn’t two post office in wilsonville. There is an old building and the current post office is located in the old school. I grew up in wilsonville and resent your snide comments about our wonderful town. There may not be a lot of jobs available right in town but you know what else we don’t have…….a lot of DRAMA! It’s peaceful and a tight knit community. So to whoever made this list….I salute you with my middle finger!

  4. I don’t a agree with Steele City being the worst small town in Nebraska to live. I live in Steele City and you will not find a more quiet and friendly town to live in. We do not have hardly any crimes in Steele City and no violent crimes
    I would suggest to whoever made up this list to come to my great town and see for themselves. BECAUSE THEY ARE FLAT WRONG

  5. Brock should be #1. I was robbed numerous times…broke into garage to cook there dope..poison my dogs and me one dog didn’t make it..cops in nemaha county would not do anything about it I am Very lucky to get out alive..they took everything I worked for..I now live in mini van but I am alive..my advice stay away from this area its BAD!!!

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