Article Table Of Contents
Most Americans have never been to Nebraska. In fact, many couldn't even tell you exactly where it is on a map. However, as the people who live in the midwest know, Nebraska is an awesome state. In fact, when we ran our rankings on the worst states to live in America, Nebraska came in 2nd last right after Iowa.
It's a pretty nifty state.
But is it all roses there? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Nebraska has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst places to live there. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
But after analyzing 30 cities with more than 5,000 people, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Nebraska:
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.
We understand there's a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Nebraska? That would be Grand Island.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Nebraska
- Cheapest Places To Live In Nebraska
- Most Dangerous Cities In Nebraska
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nebraska For 2020
Grand Island, part of Hall County, is the worst place to live in Nebraska for 2020.
Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $52,642, and crime 5th worst in Nebraska.
Additionally, the poverty level is 14.2% in Grand Island.
Scottsbluff is the 3rd most dangerous place in Nebraska. Here, you have a 1 in 30.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime every year. Can you imagine? In a small city in the middle of Nebraska, and you have to deal with stupid criminal activity.
Income levels are the 2nd lowest in the state, and the unemployment rate is the 2nd highest in Nebraska.
If you want to do anything 'fun', you have to drive 90 miles to Cheyenne.
Crete ranks as the 3rd worst place to live in Nebraska for 2020.
While the unemployment rate is high (but not terrible), crime is a real factor here. It's the 13th most dangerous place you can live in Nebraska, according to the latest FBI numbers. If you live here, you have a high chance of being a victim each year.
Residents here earn about $44,469 a year. That's in the bottom half of what people in Nebraska normally make.
At least in Beatrice you can go to the movies or bowling if you want to get out of the barn yard for an evening. However, don't forget to lock your door when you're out and about. Beatrice has the 10th highest crime ranking in the state.
Every year that you're in Beatrice city limits, you have a 1 in 42.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and tractor tires. There were also 33 violent crimes here in 2020. That means rapes and attacks.
For a small city in Nebraska, that's a lot.
Beatrice also has a very low rated public school system when you consider the amount of money spent on students, and the number of students per class.
Income levels are also far below average in Beatrice, which is about 45 minutes south of Lincoln.
Omaha is the 2nd most dangerous place in the state of Nebraska. That's part of the reason it's the 5th worst place in Nebraska.
The fact remains, that when you're within Omaha city limits, you have a 1 in 28.5 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Omaha also has the 10th highest unemployment rate in the state at 4.7%? Or that homes are only valued at $151,100?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Omaha.
The unemployment rate in Plattsmouth is a sky high 5.1%, which is the 7th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Plattsmouth is $49,609. That means 9.6% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn't horrible here, but you have a 1 in 57.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within city limits every year.
If you live in Fremont, you're either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn't matter, because science says it's the 7th worst place to live in the state.
You've got the 11th highest crime rate in Nebraska, which saw 59 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 49.5 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 447 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Fremont.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. Fremont sports the state's 6th highest unemployment rate (5.5%), and families bring in a combined $48,644 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $123,600.
Most of the rest of the cities on this list deserve to be on here due to their high crime numbers. North Platte is the most dangerous city in Nebraska, according to the FBI. Residents had a 1 in 23.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's really high for Nebraska, but not even the highest in the state.
Home values are the 11th cheapest in the state, and income levels are almost as low as you can get. Households in North Platte bring in just under $49,622 a year annually.
Welcome to Hastings, Nebraska, where 1 in 30.1 people is without a job, and families bring in a combined $47,528 a year.
Crime is the 4th highest in Nebraska, where you have a 1 in 30.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime, and every year, you have a 1 in 488 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered when you're within Hastings city limits.
Lexington is one of the poorest cities in the state of Nebraska. This city has 6.3% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $53,701 a year.
Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. Lexington has the 27th highest crime rate in Nebraska. While the numbers aren't staggering (Nebraska is a relatively safe place when you compare it to the rest of the country), it's still undesirable when you consider that there are far safer (and more stimulating) places to make your home in the Cornhusker State.
How we determined the worst places to live in Nebraska for 2020
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered -- leaving 30 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 30 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".
Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Nebraska -- Grand Island. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Nebraska. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Nebraska
If you're looking at areas in Nebraska with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Grand Island ranks as the worst city to live in Nebraska for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Nebraska:
- Seward (Pop. 7,151)
- Holdrege (Pop. 5,476)
- La Vista (Pop. 17,077)
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Nebraska?