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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 90 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Nebraska for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Kimball 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 2022
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $81,400 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (7th worst)
More on Terrytown: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $66,400 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (3worst)
More on Gordon: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $90,000 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (29th worst)
More on Tecumseh: Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $94,700 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (5th worst)
More on Oakland: Data
8. Falls City
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $72,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (30th worst)
More on Fullerton: Data
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 12)
Median Home Value: $69,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (46th 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 2022
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 2016-2020 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 - 90 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:
- Waverly (Pop. 3,941)
- Bennet (Pop. 1,088)
- Hickman (Pop. 2,432)
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Nebraska