Nebraska Population 2018

1,932,549

Although it has an almost central location within the United States, Nebraska is located on the Midwest plains and has many landmarks that claim to be the gateway to the west. Like many states in the region, Nebraska enjoyed a population explosion in the second half of the 19th century due to the great California Gold Rush. In 2018, it was estimated that the state's population was 1.93 million.

It's estimated that the population of Nebraska in 2018 is now 1.93 million, up slightly from 1.82 million at the 2010 Census. Nebraska's growth rate is now 0.80%, which ranks 25th in the country.

The last nationwide census within the United States of America took place in 2010, and it was confirmed that 1,826,341 citizens were living in the Cornhusker State. Those figures represented a rise of 6.7% on the findings from the 2000 Census, which declared final numbers of 1,711,263. It is now estimated that these figures have climbed even further to a total population of 1,896,190, an increase of 3.8% since the last Census.

Nebraska Population Density and Area

Nebraska’s surface area covers approximately 77,354 square miles (200,520 square kilometers) and that makes this the 16th largest state in the US in terms of size. Based on 2011 population estimates, for every square mile of Nebraskan territory, there is an average of 23.8 people. Overall, Nebraska is only the 43rd ranked state in terms of population density.

Approximately one in three Nebraskans live in its two major cities, Omaha and Lincoln. 89% of Nebraska's cities have less than 3,000 people, which is on par with 5 other Midwestern states, but hundreds of towns in Nebraska have less than 1,000 residents. Many rural schools in the state have been forced to consolidate.

With over 530 villages and cities in the state, only one has a population of more than 300,000. Omaha has a population estimated at 443,885, while Lincoln, the capital city, has 277,348 residents. These are the only two cities with a population over 60,000.

53% of the 93 counties in Nebraska reported declining numbers between 1990 and 2000, and this trend has continued as more urban areas have experienced great growth. Between 2000 and 2010, Lincoln saw a 14.5% increase, while Omaha's population grew 6.3% in just 5 years.

Nebraska Demographics

Age/Sex, Race, Religion

The median age in Nebraska is approximately 36.2 years of age. The ratio of females to males is currently at approximately 50.3% females and 49.7% males.

The racial diversity in Nebraska's population is currently at 88% Caucasians, 4.7% African Americans, 2.3% two or more races, 2.1% Asian, 1.9% other races, and .8% Native North Americans.

In terms of religious preferences across the state, Nebraska weighs in with 75% Christian based faiths, 4% non-Christian based faiths, 20% are unaffiliated with any religion.

Nebraska Population History

Nebraska was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and became part of Louisiana (later Missouri) Territory. It was established as a territory in 1854, including extensive areas northwest and west of the present State; it underwent various reductions in area in 1861 and 1863. Nebraska was admitted as a State on March 1, 1867, with nearly its present boundaries. Its last significant boundary change was the transfer of an area from Dakota Territory in 1882.

Census coverage of Nebraska began in 1860 in the eastern part of the present State. The 1860 census of Nebraska Territory also included scattered forts and settlements in present-day Wyoming and the Dakotas west of the Missouri River. Other such settlements in the portion of the Territory included in present-day Montana were reported with Dakota Territory, and those in present-day Colorado were reported with Colorado Territory, although these two territories were not established until 1861. By 1890, census coverage included the entire State. For a discussion of possible errors in the 1890 counts for Nebraska, see Edgar Z. Palmer, The Correctness of the 1890 Census of Population for Nebraska Cities (Nebraska History, Vol. XXXII, no. 4, December 1951, pages 259-267).

Nebraska Population Chart

Nebraska Population History

Figures dating from 1860 show that the population of Nebraska at the time was just 28,841 but the Gold Rush was soon to have its effect. Just ten years later, those numbers had grown by over 325% to 122,993, and similar increases throughout the 1800s meant that the Nebraska population had reached one million by the start of the 20th century.

As the 1900s progressed, increases in percentage terms tended to stay within single figures on a census by census basis. There was an anomaly in 1940 when it was shown that numbers had actually dropped from those ten years earlier, but the overall picture was one of growth.

That steady, if unspectacular, growth has meant that the Nebraska population of 2016 is edging very slowly toward the two million landmark, although it's not quite there yet.

Nebraska Population Growth

The population of Nebraska is rising, even if that growth isn’t at the same rate as seen in other states across the country. At the next census in 2020, it will be interesting to see just how close the state’s numbers can stretch toward their next milestone of two million, although it's projected that the population in Nebraska will only reach .93 million by 2025.

Population Data via US Census

Nebraska Growth Rate

Nebraska Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
20201,957,4950.64%
20191,945,0220.65%
20181,932,5490.65%
20171,920,0760.65%
20161,907,6030.74%
20151,893,5640.67%
20141,880,9200.72%
20131,867,4140.68%
20121,854,8620.72%
20111,841,6410.64%
20101,829,9560.67%
20001,711,2630.81%
19901,578,3850.05%
19801,569,8250.57%
19701,483,4930.50%
19601,411,3300.63%
19501,325,5100.07%
19401,315,834-0.46%
19301,377,9630.61%
19201,296,3720.84%
19101,192,2141.12%
19001,066,3000.03%
18901,062,6568.91%
1880452,40213.91%
1870122,99315.61%
186028,8410.00%

Nebraska Facts

Nebraska Population in 2018Source: By Patrick Hawks [CC BY or CC BY 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Nebraska Population Density by County

Douglas County

  • Population561,620
  • Density1709.73 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20108.30%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State29.25%

Nebraska Population Growth Rate by County

When comparing data from the last Census in 2010 to estimates taken in 2015,this information shows that the counties in Nebraska have experienced population changes in both directions. As far as population growth during the 5-year period, only two counties showed significant growth. Banner County along the western border grew by 13.06%, while Sarpy County on the eastern border trailed behind with a still-respectable population growth of 9.98%. A handful of other counties showed a smaller rate of growth during this period, including Cherry, Grant, and Blaine Counties.

More counties in the state showed declining populations based on the data from 2010 and 2015. McPherson County posted the highest decline in population, with a recorded number of 11.55%. This is followed by Dundy County at 10.41%. All but two counties along the southern border registered decreases in population, including Kimball, Furnas, and Red Willow.

Population by Race

Race Population
White1,663,612
Black or African American89,718
Two or More Races45,571
Asian42,208
Some Other Race35,276
American Indian and Alaska Native16,012
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1,524

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table B03002

Nebraska Population Pyramid 2018

20,00040,00060,00080,000 Male Population20,00040,00060,00080,000 Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Nebraska Median Age

36.3


Total

35.2


Male

37.5


Female

Nebraska Adults

There are 1,424,102 adults, (278,598 of whom are seniors) in Nebraska.

Nebraska Age Dependency

65.3

Age Dependency Ratio

24.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41

Child Dependency Ratio

Nebraska Sex Ratio

Female

950,374

50.18%

Male

943,547

49.82%

Nebraska Households and Families

Nebraska Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1101

Nebraska Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married83.9%16.1%
All66%34%
Male54.9%45.1%
Non Family47.7%52.3%
Female44.5%55.5%

66.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Nebraska Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All748,4052.4666
Married378,8783.1183.9
Non Family265,4641.2547.7
Female73,1573.1844.5
Male30,9063.254.9

3.05

Average Family Size

2.46

Average Household Size

5.6%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.2%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Nebraska Households

Nebraska Education

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade50,0974.06%
9th to 12th Grade62,2695.05%
High School Graduate329,23226.68%
Some College288,68123.40%
Associates Degree126,11110.22%
Bachelors Degree251,18220.36%
Graduate Degree126,27010.23%

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White1,041,947987,525340,097
Hispanic94,45052,23810,479
Black50,53543,43310,476
Asian25,51219,70911,688
Other Race18,5319,8791,583
Multiple Races15,75013,5224,006
Native American8,4536,888903
Islander994805129

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.78%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 45.81%.

Nebraska Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$36,938$43,676$30,757
Less Than High School$24,346$27,080$19,157
High School Grad$30,236$36,321$23,257
Some College$34,912$42,849$27,774
Bachelors Degree$46,835$57,286$40,077
Graduate Degree$60,825$73,047$53,756

$36,938

Average Earnings

$43,676

Average Male

$30,757

Average Female

Nebraska Language

Nebraska Language by Age

Nebraska Language

88.82% of Nebraska residents speak only English, while 11.18% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 7.46% of the population.

Nebraska Poverty

Nebraska Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White1,471,138132,8199.03%
Hispanic193,35843,93322.72%
Black85,00324,34528.64%
Multiple43,9389,01120.51%
Asian40,6977,86819.33%
Other34,4667,15320.75%
Native15,3034,98532.58%
Islander1,40326919.17%

11.98%

Overall Poverty Rate

10.58%

Male Poverty Rate

13.36%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Nebraska

The race most likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is Native, with 32.58% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is White, with 9.03% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.71%. Among those working part-time, it was 17.97%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 19.91%.

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School23.49%
High School10.84%
Some College8.40%
Bachelors or Greater3.33%

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed36.26%
Male Unemployed30.35%
Female Employed8.00%
Male Employed5.65%

Nebraska Income

Nebraska Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$56,675$74,309
Families$72,191$89,487
Married Families$83,080$101,246
Non Families$32,822$43,711

Nebraska Marital Status

Nebraska Marital Status

Marriage Rates

53.1%

Overall Marriage Rate

54.1%

Male Marriage Rate

52.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Nebraska Married by Age and Sex

Nebraska Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45To54.

Nebraska Marital Status by Race


Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1201

Nebraska Veterans

Nebraska Veterans by War

122,311

Number of Veterans

112,166

Male Veterans

10,145

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam42,776
First Gulf War25,714
Second Gulf War22,065
Korea13,114
World War II6,188

Nebraska Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
65 to 7431,104
75+29,696
35 to 5429,191
55 to 6421,048
18 to 3411,272

Nebraska Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White113,8168.96%
Black5,0048.06%
Hispanic3,7793.20%
2 or More1,5337.36%
Other6993.04%
Asian6432.03%
Indian5805.70%
Hawaiian362.92%

Nebraska Veterans by Education

5.76%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.36%

Veteran Disability Rate

Nebraska Employment Status

Nebraska Employment by Age

69.9%

Labor Force Participation

66.9%

Employment Rate

3.8%

Unemployment Rate

Nebraska Employment by Race

Nebraska Employment by Education

Nebraska Nativity

Nebraska Citizenship Status

Data Sources
  1. Nebraska State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)