The 10 Best Counties To Live In Nebraska For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Nebraska have the most for people looking to make the move to Nebraska.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Nebraska a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Nebraska.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Cornhusker State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Nebraska, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 93 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Cornhusker State for 2021.

Banner County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Nebraska. And you might want to avoid Thurston County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Nebraska, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Nebraska and the cheapest places to live in Nebraska.

The Best Counties To Live In Nebraska For 2021

1. Banner County

Biggest Place: Harrisburg

Population: 722
Median Income: $51,750 (58th best)
Median Home Price: $139,900.0 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.5% (10th best)
More on Banner County: Data

2. Seward County

Milford, NE

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Seward

Population: 17,171
Median Income: $70,389 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $168,200.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (38th best)
More on Seward County: PhotosData

3. Saunders County

Ashland, NE

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Wahoo

Population: 21,165
Median Income: $68,682 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $165,600.0 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (45th best)
More on Saunders County: PhotosData

4. Washington County

Blair, NE

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Blair

Population: 20,361
Median Income: $71,430 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $196,100.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (54th best)
More on Washington County: PhotosData

5. Sarpy County

Bellevue, NE

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Bellevue

Population: 181,232
Median Income: $82,032 (best)
Median Home Price: $195,300.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (6best)
More on Sarpy County: PhotosData

6. Hamilton County

Aurora, NE

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Aurora

Population: 9,215
Median Income: $64,210 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $154,300.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (63rd best)
More on Hamilton County: PhotosData

7. Pierce County

Foster, NE

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Pierce

Population: 7,144
Median Income: $64,511 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $132,700.0 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (42nd best)
More on Pierce County: PhotosData

8. Stanton County

Biggest Place: Stanton

Population: 5,957
Median Income: $63,986 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $119,500.0 (32nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (32nd best)
More on Stanton County: Data

9. Thomas County

Biggest Place: Thedford

Population: 645
Median Income: $59,432 (2best)
Median Home Price: $119,300.0 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.1% (19th best)
More on Thomas County: Data

10. Phelps County

Holdrege, NE

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Holdrege

Population: 9,100
Median Income: $59,040 (26th best)
Median Home Price: $134,000.0 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.7% (13th best)
More on Phelps County: PhotosData

How do you determine which Nebraska county is the best?

To give you the best county in Nebraska, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Nebraska across each of the criteria from one to 93, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In Nebraska”.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Cornhusker State.

Read on to see why Banner County is the best county, while Thurston County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Nebraska.

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Nebraska To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Nebraska can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Nebraska according to the data:

  1. Thurston County
  2. Pawnee County
  3. Sheridan County

For more Nebraska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Nebraska

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Banner County 1 722 $51,750 $139,900.0
Seward County 2 17,171 $70,389 $168,200.0
Saunders County 3 21,165 $68,682 $165,600.0
Washington County 4 20,361 $71,430 $196,100.0
Sarpy County 5 181,232 $82,032 $195,300.0
Hamilton County 6 9,215 $64,210 $154,300.0
Pierce County 7 7,144 $64,511 $132,700.0
Stanton County 8 5,957 $63,986 $119,500.0
Thomas County 9 645 $59,432 $119,300.0
Phelps County 10 9,100 $59,040 $134,000.0
Gosper County 11 2,013 $64,053 $127,000.0
Cherry County 12 5,779 $56,651 $116,000.0
Cass County 13 25,888 $71,846 $173,800.0
Cedar County 14 8,498 $61,869 $121,300.0
Holt County 15 10,177 $60,387 $114,100.0
Garfield County 16 2,001 $53,000 $105,100.0
Boone County 17 5,279 $54,979 $118,400.0
Kearney County 18 6,529 $60,266 $149,700.0
Perkins County 19 2,901 $65,543 $118,400.0
Loup County 20 605 $51,000 $112,500.0
Howard County 21 6,417 $59,348 $148,800.0
Butler County 22 8,029 $58,979 $117,300.0
Wayne County 23 9,332 $56,456 $137,200.0
Rock County 24 1,414 $56,250 $96,200.0
Keya Paha County 25 760 $56,500 $78,100.0
York County 26 13,745 $60,298 $135,200.0
Buffalo County 27 49,209 $59,431 $174,800.0
Chase County 28 3,783 $57,009 $133,300.0
Platte County 29 33,174 $62,305 $149,700.0
Cuming County 30 8,952 $56,768 $122,200.0
Valley County 31 4,206 $55,324 $110,400.0
Antelope County 32 6,341 $49,912 $82,000.0
Lancaster County 33 313,158 $60,527 $177,400.0
Otoe County 34 15,949 $59,167 $143,900.0
Cheyenne County 35 9,604 $53,871 $103,000.0
Fillmore County 36 5,547 $60,313 $80,100.0
Custer County 37 10,826 $52,184 $108,100.0
Logan County 38 927 $52,708 $110,300.0
Blaine County 39 477 $51,094 $75,700.0
Gage County 40 21,594 $53,110 $116,200.0
Lincoln County 41 35,263 $59,795 $139,400.0
Thayer County 42 5,057 $51,821 $71,400.0
Dawes County 43 8,810 $50,750 $125,200.0
Sioux County 44 1,219 $48,269 $117,700.0
Johnson County 45 5,161 $54,712 $94,400.0
Douglas County 46 560,617 $64,629 $169,800.0
Adams County 47 31,587 $53,023 $128,500.0
Harlan County 48 3,415 $49,835 $102,700.0
Wheeler County 49 783 $51,591 $97,800.0
Madison County 50 35,080 $53,188 $146,400.0
Nuckolls County 51 4,244 $43,388 $68,300.0
Garden County 52 1,864 $43,750 $81,800.0
Dixon County 53 5,719 $56,905 $94,700.0
Red Willow County 54 10,768 $48,808 $109,000.0
Merrick County 55 7,798 $55,649 $115,400.0
Knox County 56 8,426 $52,332 $95,900.0
Polk County 57 5,225 $67,719 $107,300.0
Colfax County 58 10,714 $58,872 $101,100.0
Greeley County 59 2,382 $47,869 $72,700.0
Frontier County 60 2,640 $54,659 $101,200.0
Burt County 61 6,510 $54,203 $100,400.0
Keith County 62 8,068 $50,735 $128,300.0
Dakota County 63 20,173 $59,231 $119,600.0
Mcpherson County 64 395 $48,125 $102,700.0
Dodge County 65 36,665 $54,085 $130,200.0
Hall County 66 61,265 $57,104 $146,000.0
Franklin County 67 2,987 $49,282 $71,300.0
Boyd County 68 1,937 $47,778 $73,000.0
Jefferson County 69 7,144 $44,510 $84,000.0
Nance County 70 3,544 $49,032 $78,300.0
Hayes County 71 893 $51,726 $80,900.0
Arthur County 72 427 $42,813 $111,300.0
Clay County 73 6,203 $57,173 $91,300.0
Webster County 74 3,537 $46,188 $78,400.0
Brown County 75 3,015 $43,098 $79,700.0
Nemaha County 76 6,973 $51,828 $106,300.0
Dawson County 77 23,733 $53,721 $102,600.0
Scotts Bluff County 78 36,074 $49,745 $128,100.0
Box Butte County 79 10,970 $54,004 $113,600.0
Furnas County 80 4,747 $48,838 $73,000.0
Sherman County 81 3,033 $50,781 $88,700.0
Saline County 82 14,270 $51,502 $99,300.0
Grant County 83 722 $46,500 $58,300.0
Hitchcock County 84 2,815 $49,962 $66,700.0
Morrill County 85 4,781 $46,194 $95,600.0
Hooker County 86 693 $41,125 $92,200.0
Richardson County 87 7,961 $47,917 $69,200.0
Dundy County 88 1,913 $41,716 $75,900.0
Kimball County 89 3,633 $53,403 $82,600.0
Deuel County 90 1,831 $47,287 $87,300.0
Sheridan County 91 5,231 $45,371 $72,300.0
Pawnee County 92 2,649 $46,452 $71,100.0
Thurston County 93 7,181 $51,034 $79,800.0
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in Nebraska.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.