These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Nebraska For 2019


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 . This is our fourth 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 2019:

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

So what is the worst small town to call home in Nebraska for 2019? 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.

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 2019

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 2013-2017 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.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,138
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $48,800 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (40th worst)
More on Red Cloud:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,253
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $75,700 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (5th worst)
More on Terrytown:  Data

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,088
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $54,900 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 0.9% (78th worst)
More on Pawnee City:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,073
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $71,900 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (11th worst)
More on Harvard:  Data

Kimball, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,717
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $81,400 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (10th worst)
More on Kimball:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,588
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $75,700 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (26th worst)
More on Tecumseh:  Data

Ogallala, NE

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,573
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $97,700 (55th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (29th worst)
More on Ogallala:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,491
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $48,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (52nd worst)
More on Wymore:  Data

West Point, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,324
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $103,300 (59th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (32nd worst)
More on West Point:  Data | Photos

Cozad, NE

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,872
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $89,100 (40th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (50th worst)
More on Cozad:  Data

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. 1,391)
  2. Bennington (Pop. 1,611)
  3. Hickman (Pop. 2,079)

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 1,138 2.9% $48,800
2 Terrytown 1,253 7.3% $75,700
3 Pawnee City 1,088 0.9% $54,900
4 Harvard 1,073 5.7% $71,900
5 Kimball 2,717 5.8% $81,400
6 Tecumseh 1,588 3.9% $75,700
7 Ogallala 4,573 3.7% $97,700
8 Wymore 1,491 2.3% $48,100
9 West Point 3,324 3.4% $103,300
10 Cozad 3,872 2.5% $89,100
11 Gordon 1,686 1.5% $64,500
12 Madison 2,388 4.5% $85,100
13 Mitchell 1,702 6.4% $94,800
14 Superior 1,912 1.1% $54,100
15 Plainview 1,343 8.6% $67,600
16 Broken Bow 3,516 4.3% $90,100
17 Crawford 1,070 1.7% $62,200
18 Bridgeport 1,747 7.9% $83,900
19 Bloomfield 1,011 0.0% $65,600
20 Ord 2,367 2.2% $82,800
21 Oakland 1,508 5.2% $82,800
22 Falls City 4,185 2.7% $69,800
23 Wood River 1,515 11.4% $88,700
24 Fairbury 3,765 2.7% $59,900
25 Tekamah 1,767 5.1% $90,300
26 Shelton 1,178 8.5% $91,600
27 Neligh 1,530 3.3% $78,500
28 Arapahoe 1,083 4.2% $77,700
29 Geneva 2,115 2.3% $73,100
30 Creighton 1,225 2.8% $72,100
31 Ainsworth 1,731 0.7% $72,100
32 Ravenna 1,516 5.5% $95,900
33 Gothenburg 3,510 3.1% $99,200
34 Minden 2,886 2.6% $125,600
35 Laurel 1,093 6.3% $86,000
36 Bayard 1,061 1.1% $69,200
37 Wisner 1,180 3.2% $90,500
38 Franklin 1,045 1.1% $58,300
39 Central City 2,903 4.0% $76,600
40 Hebron 1,546 1.9% $68,700
41 Burwell 1,282 2.8% $68,900
42 Imperial 1,836 2.6% $123,300
43 Woodland Park 1,738 2.7% $97,600
44 Genoa 1,038 3.8% $78,100
45 Fullerton 1,563 0.4% $81,100
46 Dakota City 2,053 6.9% $110,300
47 Valley 2,007 5.3% $157,400
48 Wakefield 1,490 3.9% $81,400
49 Stanton 1,744 4.5% $92,900
50 St. Paul 2,376 5.8% $109,000
51 Cambridge 1,206 2.0% $73,400
52 Pender 1,189 2.3% $91,800
53 David City 2,834 3.4% $106,500
54 Kenesaw 1,074 4.5% $98,200
55 Wilber 1,844 5.4% $99,100
56 Tilden 1,083 1.4% $66,100
57 Gibbon 2,171 1.8% $122,700
58 Auburn 3,336 5.6% $97,500
59 Alma 1,341 0.3% $84,100
60 Stromsburg 1,139 2.1% $83,300
61 Milford 2,358 1.7% $149,300
62 Sutton 1,659 0.6% $95,700
63 Atkinson 1,463 0.8% $87,700
64 O’neill 3,635 1.7% $108,300
65 Valentine 2,778 4.4% $116,200
66 Wahoo 4,491 3.9% $135,500
67 Weeping Water 1,072 3.0% $127,000
68 Elm Creek 1,036 0.4% $88,900
69 Grant 1,292 1.8% $90,100
70 North Bend 1,300 1.5% $96,700
71 Ashland 2,430 2.9% $139,200
72 Waterloo 1,010 3.5% $132,300
73 Hartington 1,701 0.0% $108,600
74 Friend 1,186 3.3% $125,000
75 Albion 1,561 1.9% $112,700
76 Syracuse 2,081 1.3% $109,900
77 Yutan 1,014 3.0% $122,300
78 Louisville 1,078 2.7% $131,600
79 Battle Creek 1,380 1.6% $136,700
80 Pierce 1,942 0.9% $96,700
81 Aurora 4,469 1.4% $130,500
82 Henderson 1,011 0.0% $111,600
83 Waverly 3,743 2.9% $158,800
84 Sutherland 1,601 1.3% $104,000
85 Arlington 1,365 2.0% $157,100
86 Doniphan 1,059 0.0% $130,200
87 Springfield 1,391 1.2% $134,000
88 Bennington 1,611 1.5% $185,200
89 Hickman 2,079 1.5% $180,000

7 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Nebraska For 2019

  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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