Is Nebraska a Good Place to Live? (10 Pros and Cons)

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The Perks And Pitfalls Of Living In Nebraska Explained

Are you wondering if Nebraska is a good place to live? If yes, I will address the question head-on and then support my answer with the most important pros and cons of living in Nebraska. Let’s get moving!

Is Nebraska A Good Place To Live?

Nebraska is an ideal place to live. The state provides a balanced lifestyle, combining affordability, urban convenience, plenty of job opportunities, and quality education. The state is great for residents seeking a fulfilling life removed from large, congested metropolitan areas.

Here’s how the state’s pros and cons stack up.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Nebraska: Side By Side Comparison

Living in Nebraska ProsLiving in Nebraska Cons
1. Low cost of living6. Seasonal weather extremes
2. Nice mid-sized cities7. Severe weather conditions
3. Limited urbanization8. Boring landscape
4. Plenty of jobs9. Limited entertainment options
5. Excellent school system10. Lacking diversity
Table 1: Pros and Cons of Living or Retiring in Nebraska

Next, let’s dive deeper into these perks and pitfalls of living in Nebraska. Then, you can decide if moving to Nebraska is right for you.

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Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Living In Nebraska: The Pros

1. Nebraska Offers A Cheap Cost Of Living

Living in Nebraska is affordable.

First, every budget category provides savings according to the MERIC cost of living index, where 100 equals the national average.

CategoryNebraska’s Cost Index
Health Care99.7
Table 2: MERIC Cost of Living Data Series (100 = U.S. Average)

Second, Nebraska’s median home price is 38% lower than the comparable nationwide figure (source: Redfin).

Finally, we use the Rakuten cash rebate app to save money on online purchases. You can sign up with Rakuten and earn money back, too.

To sum up, Nebraska is an excellent place to live when balancing your budget is a priority.

2. Nebraska Has Two Livable Mid-Sized Cities And Many Small Towns

Most people choose to live in Nebraska’s two largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln. They are the only two cities with over 60,000 residents and makeup nearly 40% of the state’s population. I have more information on these two cities at the end of this post.

The rest of the population favors the state’s many small towns and remote, rural living options.

3. Nebraska Has A Very Low Population Density

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Nebraska has a low population density, no matter where you choose to live in the state. Thus, one of the best things about living in Nebraska is you won’t have to worry about crowds, lines, or traffic congestion.

If you want remote rural living, move to Western Nebraska, where the state shares borders with Colorado and Wyoming. There, you will find an abundance of farmland and many small towns.

On the other hand, because of Omaha and Lincoln, southeastern Nebraska has more people and is more urbanized.

4. There Are Plenty Of Jobs And Economic Opportunities In Nebraska

After moving to Nebraska, you can access many jobs and economic opportunities.

First, the state’s unemployment rate is low, typically ranked in the top 5 of all states (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Next, Nebraska’s agricultural industry thrives because of the abundance of farmland and ideal weather conditions. The top agricultural commodities produced here include:

  • Ethanol
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Dairy
  • Livestock

Other industries are well-represented, including:

  • Military and defense
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Health care
  • Education

Nebraska is home to several Fortune 100 companies, including:

  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • Peter Kiewit Sons Construction
  • Mutual of Omaha Insurance

Finally, famed investor, businessman, and billionaire Warren Buffett has lived in Nebraska his entire life while working at Berkshire Hathaway’s Omaha headquarters.

5. Nebraska Has Excellent Educational Opportunites For Kids And Adults

benefits of living in NebraskaPin

Nebraska has a good school system and ranks highly for its educational standards (Source: U.S. News).

The state’s public schools measure up well for:

  • High-school graduation rates
  • Public-school funding
  • Quality of education
  • In-state college tuition

To further your education or keep the kids close to home for college, the University of Nebraska provides a top-notch higher education experience and comparatively reasonable in-state tuition.

Okay. That concludes my top advantages of living in Nebraska. Now it’s time for some of the worst things about living in Nebraska. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite topic: the weather.

Living In Nebraska: The Cons

6. Nebraska’s Weather Isn’t Anything To Write Home About

Nebraska experiences weather extremes. Thus, winters are very cold. Summers are extremely hot. The spring and fall seasons bring everything in between, typical for the Midwest United States.

Thus, your clothing must include all types of layers: heavy winter coats and hats for winter, lightweight shorts and shirts for summer, mid-weight jackets, and rain-repellent gear for when “the everything in between” happens.

In eastern Nebraska, across the border from Missouri, summer temperatures come with a heavy dose of humidity. So, move to Western Nebraska if you like a dryer, more arid environment.

7. Nebraska Is Prone To Destructive Weather Events

Nebraska has its fair share of weather emergencies.

For example, wind-driven snow creates blizzard-like conditions in the winter, shutting down the roads—meanwhile, seasonal spring rains and snowmelt cause flooding and property damage.

Worse yet, Nebraska ranks in the top 10 states for the average number of tornados yearly. The state is in the heart of Tornado Alley, where warm, humid air clashes with northern cold fronts, typically generating over 50 twisters annually.

Thus, after moving to Nebraska, create an emergency shelter plan and buy a good insurance policy to protect your home and autos.

8. Nebraska Is Burdened With A Boring Landscape

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Nebraska’s landscape is mainly flat and covered with farmland.

The state lacks mountains, oceanfront shores, many natural lakes, or lush forests to explore. Thus, your opportunities for scenic outdoor adventures are limited.

Nebraska’s nature enthusiasts have a few options. Here is what you will find:

Wooded bluffs along the Missouri River Valley in Eastern Nebraska. Small valleys and canyons to the south before entering Kansas. The Sandhills, nestled in the north-central part of the state. Finally, western Nebraska has vast prairies and majestic buttes, bluffs, and mesas.

Related reading for outdoor lovers: Explore Colorado living

But it gets worse as I continue with another one of the negatives of living in Nebraska.

9. Commercial Entertainment Options Are Lacking In Nebraska

Nebraska’s nightlife and entertainment scene is limited outside of Omaha and the entertainment district in Lincoln.

Nebraska college football, small-town bar life, and community events comprise the entertainment, nightlife, and social scene. There aren’t any professional sports teams here. And many of the smaller towns roll up the sidewalks by 5 pm.

10. The State Lacks Diversity

Nebraska is not a racially diverse state. For example, nearly 85% of the state’s population is white.

Furthermore, many residents share similar values, beliefs, and life goals. Thus, if you desire diverse thinking and liberal views, Nebraska may not be for you.

Okay. That’s all the significant pros and cons. Next, I have a few parting thoughts and some additional resources for your consideration.

Living In Nebraska: Wrap-Up And Resources

pros cons "The Cornhusker State"Pin

Hopefully, this discussion will help you answer some important questions. Such as…

1) Is Nebraska a good state to live in?


2) Should I move to Nebraska?

Because of the unique characteristics and nature of the state, most people will either like living in Nebraska or not. There isn’t a lot of middle ground. As the saying goes, love it or leave it!

If Nebraska living fits your requirements, here are a few thoughts on the state’s two most popular cities.

Living In Nebraska’s Two Largest Cities

Omaha, Nebraska

The Omaha metropolitan area is home to nearly one million people. The city is located on the Missouri River in the far eastern part of the state, across the border from the neighboring state of Iowa.

Most of Nebraska’s cultural options, including live music, plays, museums, and the symphony orchestra, are located here. Plus, Omaha has a restaurant scene that rivals much larger cities.

Omaha is home to some excellent colleges and universities, including:

  • Creighton University
  • The University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Clarkson College.

Omaha offers a central location and efficient transportation options. For air travel, there is Eppley International Airport. And the interstate highway system heads north, south, east, and west for easy travel out of town.

Living in Nebraska’s Omaha is an excellent option for those who desire an urban atmosphere.

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln is the state capital, located an hour southwest of Omaha. Living in Lincoln gives residents close access to everything Omaha has to offer.

The city is very tight-knit and family-friendly. Residents describe it as a big, small town with a population just shy of 300,000 people.

Lincoln is home to the University of Nebraska‘s flagship campus. Locals are crazy about the school’s college football team, so if you move to Lincoln, you will be surrounded by Husker football fans.

Adjacent to the university is downtown and the Railyard entertainment district, part of the historic Haymarket neighborhood. Since opening in 2013, the area has become one of the city’s best nightlife destinations.

Living in Nebraska’s Lincoln is a great choice for families seeking a tight-knit community and for students attending college.

More Reading About Living In Nebraska And Beyond

Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

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The Pros And Cons Of Living In Nebraska Explained