The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Nebraska For 2021


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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the fastest growing cities in Nebraska.

Is being in an area that's growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Omaha and Lincoln, while others want peace and quiet like in Gretna and Holdrege, thank you very much.

But today we're going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts -- over the past five years, which cities in Nebraska have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census's American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Cornhusker State that have people climbing over each other to get in.

These are the 10 fastest growing cities in Nebraska for 2021 according to the most recent census data:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Nebraska For 2021

  1. Ralston
  2. Gretna
  3. Omaha
  4. La Vista
  5. Lincoln
  6. Kearney
  7. Grand Island
  8. Papillion
  9. Columbus
  10. Bellevue

What's the fastest growing city in Nebraska for 2021? Based on the most recent ACS data, Ralston ranks as the fastest growing city in Nebraska. If you happen to be a resident of Ralston, you're probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you're surprised--and you're wondering why these places are kind of a big deal--keep reading. We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in Nebraska are growing like weeds.

And if you already knew these places were happening, check out the best places to live in Nebraska or the Fastest Growing States In America.

For more Nebraska state reading:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Nebraska For 2021

1. Ralston

Ralston, NE

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,321
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Population 2010: 5,961
Percent Growth 22.8%
Absolute Growth: 1,360
More on Ralston: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

2. Gretna

Gretna, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,037
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Population 2010: 4,164
Percent Growth 21.0%
Absolute Growth: 873
More on Gretna: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

3. Omaha

Omaha, NE

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 475,862
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Population 2010: 407,334
Percent Growth 16.8%
Absolute Growth: 68,528
More on Omaha: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

4. La Vista

La Vista, NE

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 17,078
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Population 2010: 15,044
Percent Growth 13.5%
Absolute Growth: 2,034
More on La Vista: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

5. Lincoln

Lincoln, NE

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 283,839
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Population 2010: 253,035
Percent Growth 12.2%
Absolute Growth: 30,804
More on Lincoln: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

6. Kearney

Kearney, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 33,464
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Population 2010: 30,214
Percent Growth 10.8%
Absolute Growth: 3,250
More on Kearney: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

7. Grand Island

Grand Island, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 51,147
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Population 2010: 46,975
Percent Growth 8.9%
Absolute Growth: 4,172
More on Grand Island: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

8. Papillion

Papillion, NE

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 20,423
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Population 2010: 18,829
Percent Growth 8.5%
Absolute Growth: 1,594
More on Papillion: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

9. Columbus

Columbus, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 23,195
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Population 2010: 21,640
Percent Growth 7.2%
Absolute Growth: 1,555
More on Columbus: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

10. Bellevue

Bellevue, NE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 53,324
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Population 2010: 50,241
Percent Growth 6.1%
Absolute Growth: 3,083
More on Bellevue: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Cornhusker State for 2021

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the beginning of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Current Population
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to Current (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)

We ranked all 32 Nebraska cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Cornhusker State.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Current Population - Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Here's a graph of the cities in Nebraska with the largest percent increase in population:
Fastest Growing Cities in Nebraska Graph For 2021

Click to enlarge

These Places Grew Up So Fast In Nebraska, You Know?

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in Nebraska are led by Ralston which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.

It'll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We'll be here to let you know!

These places have been growing (or shrinking) the slowest (fastest):

  1. Chadron
  2. Alliance
  3. North Platte

For more Nebraska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Nebraska For 2021

Rank City Growth Population Population 2010
1 Ralston 22.8% 7,321 5,961
2 Gretna 21.0% 5,037 4,164
3 Omaha 16.8% 475,862 407,334
4 La Vista 13.5% 17,078 15,044
5 Lincoln 12.2% 283,839 253,035
6 Kearney 10.8% 33,464 30,214
7 Grand Island 8.9% 51,147 46,975
8 Papillion 8.5% 20,423 18,829
9 Columbus 7.2% 23,195 21,640
10 Bellevue 6.1% 53,324 50,241

How Is The Area In ?

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.