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:
- Scottsbluff (Photos)
- Crete (Photos)
- Grand Island (Photos)
- Lexington (Photos)
- Omaha (Photos)
- Beatrice (Photos)
- Schuyler (Photos)
- Hastings (Photos)
- Plattsmouth (Photos)
- North Platte (Photos)
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 Scottsbluff.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Nebraska
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Nebraska
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Nebraska
How we determined the worst places to live in Nebraska for 2019
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 — Scottsbluff. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Nebraska.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Scottsbluff is the 11th most dangerous place in Nebraska. Here, you have a 1 in 29.2 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.
When you’re looking at science and data, Crete is the worst place you can live in Nebraska. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 3.1%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $94,100, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 56.2 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.
Crete is a far drive south from Louisville.
When you’re looking at science and data, Grand Island is the 3rd worst place you can live in the state of Nebraska. Let’s see why.
First off, the crime here is really high, in comparison to the rest of Nebraska. Grand Island is the 11th most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 29.2 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.
Homes here average $130,200, which is the 19th lowest in the state. You can defend ‘cheap living’ all you want, but the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Grand Island.
Income levels are just about $51,627, the 16th lowest in Nebraska.
When you add it all up, Grand Island really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.
Things are starting to get progressively more ‘modern’ and in line with what you expect in a great state such as Nebraska when we get to Lexington. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 6.8% (which is really high), and the median income is $49,881. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.
If you live in Omaha, 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 5th worst place to live in the state.
You’ve got the 2nd highest crime rate in Nebraska, which saw 2,909 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 26.6 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 159 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Omaha.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. Omaha sports the state’s 10th highest unemployment rate (4.8%), and families bring in a combined $53,789 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $146,500.
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 11th highest crime ranking in the state.
Every year that you’re in Beatrice city limits, you have a 1 in 29.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and tractor tires. There were also 0.008039103041033707 violent crimes here in 2019. 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.
Schuyler, NE needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 4.6%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 11th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 29.2 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
If you’re looking to live in Nebraska, Hastings might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Cornhusker State for 2019.
The average family earns $47,700 a year out here, and 13.8% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 4.5% of the population is out of work.
And when you consider the crime, it’s just crazy to think of how dangerous it is to live way out here. When you’re in Hastings, every year, you have a 1 in 29.2 chance of being robbed. Can you imagine? Perhaps it’s an economic factor, or the fact that the people out there are so isolated, but the fact remains, it’s the 11th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.
Plattsmouth ranks as the 9th worst city on this list.
Plattsmouth has the 11th highest crime rate in Nebraska, where residents have a 1 in 29.2 chance of being robbed every year. Homes are the 10th cheapest in the state ($114,100), and the uninsured rate here is far below average as well.
There’s probably not many people in Nebraska that would be surprised to see North Platte on this list. In fact, if North Platte wasn’t somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.
Here are the statistics. North Platte has the 11th worst crime rate in Nebraska. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 0.008039103041033707 violent crimes in North Platte in 2019. Residents here had a 1 in 184 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.
The home values in North Platte are the 11th cheapest in the state ($115,300), the unemployment rate is the 18th highest (3.5%), and the annual household income is 14th lowest in Nebraska, at $50,422. That’s basically at the poverty level for a family of four.
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, Scottsbluff ranks as the worst city to live in Nebraska for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Nebraska:
- La Vista (Pop. 17,062)
- Gretna (Pop. 5,045)
- Papillion (Pop. 19,478)
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Nebraska
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Nebraska
- 10 Safest Places In Nebraska
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Nebraska
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Nebraska