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 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
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Nebraska For 2019
Grand Island is one of the poorest cities in the state of Nebraska. This city has 5.8% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $51,627 a year.
Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. Grand Island has the 11th 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.
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.
While the median household income in Omaha is higher than other towns on this list, causing it to be lower down on the list of “worst cities”, Omaha still has the 10th worst unemployment rate in the state, as well as the 2nd worst crime index.
Therefore, though the average Omaha household brings in a higher income, there are fewer people working here than in other cities across the state. It doesn’t help that everyone has to be constantly worried about crime, either.
When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Crete is the 4th worst place you can live in the state of Nebraska. Let’s see why.
Residents who live in Crete, located in Saline County, have the 22nd most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level–per resident–and homes valued around $94,100, and you’ve got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Nebraska, that is.
The city of Schuyler is the 5th worst place you can live in the state of Nebraska in 2019.
It’s unlucky for Schuyler, which has the 11th highest unemployment rate (4.6%), the 19th lowest household incomes ($53,756) and the 4th lowest home prices in the state ($95,100).
Basically, a lot of people in Schuyler are out of work. And crime is certainly a factor here as well. Although it’s not one of the most dangerous places we’ll look at, it’s in the top 20%.
Add it all up, and this is truly one of the worst places you could live in Nebraska.
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 80 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.
Plattsmouth places 7th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Nebraska.
You can imagine it’s a pretty simple life down there. Which is fine, unless you look closely at the data.
Homes are the 10th cheapest in the state, and at $114,100, just about anyone with a pulse can buy a home here. However, the unemployment rate (4.8%) is the 10th highest in Nebraska, and income levels are far below the state average. And 9.6% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Would you have guessed that the area around Plattsmouth has one of the highest crime rates, per capita in Nebraska?
Lexington, part of Dawson County, is the 8th worst place to live in Nebraska for 2019.
Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $49,881, and crime 29th worst in Nebraska.
Additionally, the poverty level is 16.0% in Lexington.
Say what you want about how beautiful Hastings might be. The fact is that the economy here is one of the worst in the state.
The unemployment rate rankss 12th highest in the state at 4.5%. Homes are the 8th lowest priced ($108,900), and the median income per household is just a tad over $47,700.
The fact is most of the people who live here are having a hard time making ends meet, when you consider their earned incomes and lack of jobs.
Ralston is the 10th worst city in Nebraska for 2019. When you’re comparing other cities to Ralston, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.
Ralston is the 2nd most dangerous place in Nebraska, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 5.2%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($138,600), and residents earn just $55,837 a year.
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 — Grand Island. 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.
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 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)
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