Nebraska is a midwestern state that is known for its corn husking and its dusty trails.
The Travel Bureau actually offers the tagline of “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”
It is important to know the pros and cons so that you can decide if the state has enough to make you happy enough to move there, either for work, to start a family, or even to retire.
- Pros of Living in Nebraska
- Cons of Living in Nebraska
- Pros and Cons of Living in Nebraska – Summary Table
- Nebraska Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
Pros of Living in Nebraska
You will find that there are a lot of pros to living in Nebraska, especially if you do not consider yourself to be a city-oriented kind of person.
Knowing all that the state has to offer can help you determine that the state is actually highly desirable.
1. Lots of Job Opportunities
More and more companies are moving to Nebraska so that they can offer employees more affordable living opportunities.
As such, you will find plenty of job opportunities.
In fact, the unemployment rate in Nebraska is lower than in many other states.
Several Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Nebraska, too.
This includes Werner Enterprises, Berkshire Hathaway, and HDR Engineering.
2. Cost of Living is Low
The cost of living is low in almost all areas – housing, groceries, utilities, and healthcare.
It means that it is considerably more affordable to live in Nebraska than in many other states around the nation.
Your money will go further, which is what will allow you to save money, pay down debt, and more.
It is also why more people are moving away from the big cities to explore what Nebraska has to offer.
3. Lots of Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities are abundant, and much of that is because of the many rural aspects of the state.
People get creative with how they spend their time.
Some will participate in pumpkin chucking in the fall while others will create corn mazes.
There are also tons of rivers – and it is not uncommon to see people in livestock watering tanks floating down them.
Snake River Falls, Nebraska National Forest, and Lake McConaughy are some of the other ways to explore the state’s stunning landscape.
4. People are Friendly
You will find a lot of small towns where everyone is happy to help everyone.
If you live in one of the smaller cities, you may even find that you begin knowing everyone’s name.
You will see familiar faces everywhere you go, and people are bound to greet you and engage in friendly banter.
No one is as stressed as those living in the big cities.
It helps to create a friendlier and more welcoming environment.
5. Healthcare is Affordable
The quality of life is high in Nebraska, and much of this is because of the family-friendly communities and the wide-open spaces.
Healthcare is also affordable, which leads to more people being both happy and healthy.
There are more clinics and hospitals per capita, and with a low population, it means that they are not subject to the overcrowding that you will find in big cities.
6. There are Big Cities and Rural Areas
You will find a great balance between city life and country life.
Whatever it is that you want to do, you will find it somewhere in Nebraska.
Omaha, for example, has a lot of museums, art galleries, and microbreweries.
The rural areas have farms, farmer’s markets, and country fairs.
You will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds without a long drive to experience the country and the city.
7. Lots of Festivals and Events Take Place
You will find all sorts of festivals and events taking place throughout the year.
Remember all of those wide-open spaces?
It turns out that they are perfect for carnivals, fairs, outdoor music festivals, and more.
There will always be something going on somewhere throughout the state.
There is the AppleJack Festival in September, the MAHA music festival in August, and the Nebraska Science Festival in April which are among some of the most popular events that draw people in from across the state and beyond.
8. Good Education Systems
There are some great schools in Nebraska.
In fact, one of the reasons they are so great is because there is a significant portion of property taxes that go to fund public schools.
The state consistently falls in the top 10 for education thanks to high test scores, SAT scores, and low dropout rates.
It’s also why more and more families are choosing to make Nebraska their home.
9. There is a Lot of History
The more time you spend in Nebraska, the more history you are likely to encounter.
It is where the first railroad to the Pacific was started.
You will find a lot of Sioux Indian history, complete with Chief Crazy Horse surrendering at camp Robinson.
Dozens of museums are dedicated to teaching you the history across the state, too.
Cons of Living in Nebraska
The cons of Nebraska can be overwhelming if you’re not aware of what the state has to offer.
Knowing what the state does not have should be a consideration as you explore all that there is to know.
It is best to know what you are getting yourself into before packing up for a move.
1. Taxes are High
While the overall cost of living is low, you will find that property taxes can be relatively high.
You will pay a lot for owning a home, even if the cost of the home is lower than elsewhere in the U.S. business taxes are relatively high, too, which can be difficult for small business owners to endure.
In general, Nebraska ranks as one of the least tax-friendly states because of the high property taxes as taxing Social Security benefits and other retirement income.
2. Not a Lot of Diversity
Nebraska is not one of the more diverse states in the United States.
The majority of people cling to wholesome Christian values, so LGBTQ populations are few and far between.
The demographics of the state say it all. 85% of the population is white.
The remaining 15% is divided between Black, Hispanic, and two or more races.
It can be difficult for people to be accepting of anything outside of the “norm,” so you’ll need to consider that based on who you are and what you want your kids to be raised around.
3. “Big” Cities Aren’t Very Big
The population of all of Nebraska is 1.9 million according to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau.
To put that into perspective, the population of Los Angeles is 3.9 million.
As such, even the biggest cities in the state are not that big.
The state’s capital, Lincoln, only has a population of 286,000.
Many of the cities are actually more like towns.
You can drive right through them without even realizing that you’ve moved from one city to the next because of the small feeling that they have.
4. There are Tornadoes
Tornadoes are relatively abundant in Nebraska.
People who have lived in the state their entire lives can usually tell you about some of the more horrific storms that they have seen at one point or another.
The further south you are, the more likely you are to encounter a tornado.
The most occur in the months of May and June – and 51 is the average per year.
5. Not All Roads are Paved
A significant part of Nebraska is still rural.
As soon as you leave the major cities, you may enter towns that only have a population of 5,000 or less.
As such, there are more people on tractors and trucks than anything else.
They are not collecting the same level of taxes as the big cities, so they are not concerned with paving the roads.
Various county roads may be only gravel – and they could span several miles.
6. Lots of Snow
Nebraska can become very white during the winter months.
The average amount of snow per year is 28 inches across the state – and some cities encounter more snow than others.
Areas like Norfolk can experience closer to 30 inches.
Snowstorms are relatively common throughout Nebraska, too, which means that you may get stuck in your home for days on end during January and February.
7. Seasonal Allergies are Abundant
Many people are susceptible to seasonal allergies – and the pollen count in Nebraska can be quite a lot.
The pollen season lasts from February through October, which means that many people will deal with allergies for a greater part of the year.
While there are things that you can do to ease allergies, it can be difficult for people with asthma and other health conditions.
8. There’s a Lot of Farmland
While farmland can seem like a good thing, it starts to look all the same when you are on a road trip through the state.
You may not see anything but green farms for miles on end.
If you’re used to driving through cities, it can be quite a dramatic difference.
It may also mean that you have to plan accordingly.
You could go for an hour or more without seeing gas stations or restaurants.
Pros and Cons of Living in Nebraska – Summary Table
|Pros of Living in Nebraska
|Cons of Living in Nebraska
|1. Lots of Job Opportunities
|1. Taxes are High
|2. Cost of Living is Low
|2. Not a Lot of Diversity
|3. Lots of Outdoor Activities
|3. “Big” Cities Aren’t Very Big
|4. People are Friendly
|4. There are Tornadoes
|5. Healthcare is Affordable
|5. Not All Roads are Paved
|6. There are Big Cities and Rural Areas
|6. Lots of Snow
|7. Lots of Festivals and Events Take Place
|7. Seasonal Allergies are Abundant
|8. Good Education Systems
|8. There’s a Lot of Farmland
|9. There is a Lot of History
Nebraska Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Nebraska Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: LOW
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
- MUGGING RISK: LOW
- TERRORISM RISK: LOW
- SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average housing cost in Nebraska?
The median home cost in Nebraska is around $205,200 – which is considerably lower than the median home cost in the U.S. of $291,700.
What is the minimum wage in Nebraska?
The state’s minimum wage is $9 per hour.
Which are the most populated cities in Nebraska?
There are only two cities that have populations in the six digits, which are Omaha and Lincoln.
What is the sales tax for the state?
The sales tax in Nebraska is 5.5%, which is lower than in many other states.
Depending on the city or county government you live in, an additional sales tax of up to 2% can be added.
What does the crime rate look like?
Nebraska is a relatively safe state to live in. It’s ranked #23 for property crime, and the crime rate is 3% lower than that of the U.S. as a whole.
Further, violent crime is only at a rate of 3.3 per 1,000 residents.
What are the top employers in Nebraska?
Some of the top employers in Nebraska include Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific, Cabela’s, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.