Nebraska December 29, 2017
Here Are The 11 Fastest-Growing Towns In Nebraska And Why
Nebraska has never been one of the country’s most populous states, and we’re fine with that. It keeps our favorite places uncrowded and pleasant. Our population is steadily growing, however – the state topped 1.9 million residents for the first time in 2016. All of those new Nebraskans have to go somewhere, and current Nebraskans are constantly migrating between towns in-state. These towns have seen the quickest gains in population in recent years.
The capital city has enjoyed steady growth, growing by approximately 5% between 2010 and 2014. As the home of UNL, the Huskers, and some of the coolest urban parks in the state, Lincoln is an especially popular destination for younger people.
Kearney's population just edged out Lincoln's in growth between 2010 and 2014, coming in at 5.1%. Like Lincoln, it's a college town, and the median age of residents is 29. The clothing retail chain The Buckle is headquartered here and Good Samaritan Hospital is the top employer.
A 2017 estimate puts this northeastern Nebraska village's population growth at 5.3%. In 2016 the United States Supreme Court ruled that Pender is within the boundaries of the Omaha Indian Reservation, ending a dispute dating back to 1999. The little town is quiet and peaceful, but near enough to Norfolk for residents to visit the city regularly.
Located in far northeastern Nebraska, Wynot has grown by 6% since 2010, according to a 2017 estimate. That's pretty significant for a town with a population of just 166 at the 2010 census. A low cost of living, low unemployment rate, and quiet overall atmosphere have likely contributed to the village's growth.
7. Grand Island
Grand Island enjoyed a 6.5% population growth between 2010 and 2014. The county seat of Hall County is the home of the Nebraska State Fair, and it enjoys its own regional airport. Grand Island really is a grand place to live, offering city amenities and a small-town atmosphere.
The state's largest city is growing by leaps and bounds, seeing a 6.9% population growth between 2010 and 2014. With world-class attractions and amenities, but a lower cost of living than larger U.S. cities, Omaha makes an attractive choice for young professionals, families, and retirees alike.
Papillion, an Omaha suburb, grew by 12% between 2010 and 2014. The quiet but rapidly growing town features some pretty popular destinations like Shadow Lake Shopping Center, Werner Park, Papio Fun Park, and Papio Bay Aquatic Park.
4. La Vista
Sarpy county's third-largest city - right behind Bellevue and Papillion - grew by 13.8% from 2010 to 2014. It's one of Nebraska newest cities, having been founded in 1959. This tight-knit community features a small-town atmosphere despite being located right in the middle of several larger cities.
Another Omaha suburb made the list with a 14% population increase between 2010 and 2014. Ralston is surrounded on three sides by Omaha and bordered by La Vista on the third, yet it maintains its own unique identity. It's the home of both the Omaha Lancers hockey team and the Omaha Beef indoor football team thanks to the Ralston Arena.
Are you surprised by this one? Hickman is located just south of Lincoln and, according to a 2017 estimate, has grown by a whopping 26% since 2010. A great school district, a slower pace of life, and a truly vibrant community seem to be driving the population spike. Hickman is dedicated to constantly improving life for residents, and it shows.
This sleepy Sarpy County city has seen some of the quickest growth in the state, expanding its population by about 30% between 2010 and 2014. Similar to other suburban locations on this list, Gretna seems to be attracting former city dwellers who are looking for a calmer location to raise families or start a career. The city's median age is 34.5 years, and with terrific schools and a thriving business climate it seems to be the ideal spot for families looking for small-town life with close proximity to larger cities.
Some readers will undoubtedly note that this isn’t the most scientific list ever created given that some of the data sets are from different time frames. Our goal here is simply to present an idea of population growth in the state.
It’s not at all unexpected that most of the growth is taking place in and around Nebraska’s major cities. Rural populations have seen steady decreases for quite a while now as more residents move away from the traditional farming and ranching industries. However, Nebraska’s population as a whole is still enjoying a healthy rate of growth.
Were you surprised by any of the towns on this list? If you’re in the market for a new place to live and want to experience some peace and quiet,
these are some of the most peaceful small towns in the state.