These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Nebraska For 2018


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

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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 317 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:

  1. Macy
  2. Nemaha
  3. Miller
  4. Blue Springs
  5. Haigler
  6. Alexandria
  7. Guide Rock
  8. Oakdale
  9. Madrid
  10. Winnebago

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.

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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 crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 317 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.

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1. Macy


Population: 874
Median Income: $20,500
Median Home Value: $30,800

2. Nemaha


Population: 135
Median Income: $29,444
Median Home Value: $37,500

3. Miller


Population: 172
Median Income: $21,875
Median Home Value: $45,500

4. Blue Springs


Population: 351
Median Income: $31,607
Median Home Value: $35,000

5. Haigler


Population: 137
Median Income: $19,464
Median Home Value: $49,400

6. Alexandria


Population: 169
Median Income: $35,625
Median Home Value: $18,100

7. Guide Rock


Population: 203
Median Income: $35,469
Median Home Value: $21,300

8. Oakdale


Population: 313
Median Income: $29,722
Median Home Value: $20,700

9. Madrid


Population: 257
Median Income: $43,125
Median Home Value: $60,000

10. Winnebago


Population: 725
Median Income: $28,750
Median Home Value: $30,500

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. Best: Roca
  2. 2nd Best: Malcolm
  3. 3rd Best: Woodland Hills

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Safest Places In Nebraska
  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nebraska
  • These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Nebraska
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Nebraska

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Macy 1 874 $30,800
    Nemaha 2 135 $37,500
    Miller 3 172 $45,500
    Blue Springs 4 351 $35,000
    Haigler 5 137 $49,400
    Alexandria 6 169 $18,100
    Guide Rock 7 203 $21,300
    Oakdale 8 313 $20,700
    Madrid 9 257 $60,000
    Winnebago 10 725 $30,500
    Walthill 11 739 $28,200
    Broadwater 12 163 $19,600
    Bloomington 13 158 $27,900
    Edison 14 169 $27,100
    Decatur 15 387 $49,300
    Talmage 16 285 $44,300
    Farwell 17 125 $37,500
    Rushville 18 905 $53,700
    La Platte 19 124 $10,000
    Nickerson 20 323 $61,000
    Lynch 21 210 $25,300
    Table Rock 22 278 $33,200
    Trenton 23 534 $48,500
    Craig 24 208 $34,000
    Shubert 25 182 $53,000
    Bartley 26 345 $55,200
    Humboldt 27 867 $44,500
    Linwood 28 106 $39,000
    Bruno 29 146 $58,600
    Elk Creek 30 115 $30,000
    Holbrook 31 215 $44,400
    Chapman 32 244 $68,900
    Terrytown 33 978 $57,200
    Ohiowa 34 157 $28,100
    Arthur 35 138 $55,000
    Rulo 36 185 $33,700
    Beaver City 37 595 $41,200
    Brock 38 127 $51,100
    Newport 39 118 $31,500
    Orleans 40 404 $49,100
    Davenport 41 317 $45,700
    Orchard 42 531 $45,300
    Verdon 43 143 $29,000
    Mason City 44 223 $43,100
    Lyman 45 416 $47,200
    Rosalie 46 206 $34,300
    Stratton 47 354 $38,400
    Morse Bluff 48 165 $83,300
    Rockville 49 125 $43,500
    Dunbar 50 191 $76,700
    Niobrara 51 328 $69,500
    Comstock 52 103 $37,100
    Milligan 53 326 $54,100
    Taylor 54 140 $33,200
    Dawson 55 138 $35,000
    Lewellen 56 205 $50,000
    Barneston 57 100 $44,400
    Edgar 58 415 $62,100
    Howard City 59 190 $38,800
    Oconto 60 157 $50,000
    Wauneta 61 792 $59,000
    Union 62 193 $75,000
    Palisade 63 388 $50,300
    Harvard 64 967 $68,000
    Snyder 65 353 $60,000
    Sunol 66 107 $46,700
    Dix 67 244 $67,500
    Nelson 68 514 $46,900
    Sargent 69 570 $37,500
    Marquette 70 214 $53,900
    Brunswick 71 163 $72,500
    Merna 72 372 $63,500
    Inman 73 101 $32,500
    Long Pine 74 266 $46,900
    Octavia 75 132 $54,100
    Ashton 76 181 $43,800
    Campbell 77 315 $36,300
    Grafton 78 151 $36,500
    Culbertson 79 652 $57,300
    Upland 80 195 $39,100
    Leshara 81 101 $83,300
    Palmer 82 642 $61,700
    Du Bois 83 124 $48,000
    Chambers 84 293 $40,900
    Hardy 85 137 $18,000
    Butte 86 320 $34,500
    Creston 87 157 $42,500
    Pilger 88 303 $65,500
    Herman 89 238 $70,500
    Big Springs 90 501 $70,300
    North Loup 91 331 $61,900
    Wolbach 92 250 $32,500
    Alda 93 581 $84,800
    Venango 94 176 $39,800
    Oxford 95 824 $53,800
    Jansen 96 153 $37,500
    Clarks 97 352 $45,400
    Ericson 98 136 $55,700
    Paxton 99 575 $61,600
    Polk 100 336 $49,500

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    7 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Nebraska For 2018

    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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