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.

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.

Nebraska Population Density

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.

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 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%
20161,907,603Infinity%
20161,881,259-0.65%
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

  • Bellevue, which was established in 1823, was Nebraska's first permanent white settlement.
  • Nebraska is one of the leading farming areas in the world.
  • Travelers on the Oregon Trail frequently wrote about Nebraska's landmark Chimney Rock.
  • Nebraska is the only state to have a unicameral legislature.
  • Arbor Day was first celebrated in Nebraska in 1872. On the first Arbord Day, approximately one million trees were planted in the state.
  • The 911 emergency system used in the US was developed and used in Lincoln.
  • The largest hand-planted forest in the US in the Nebraska National Forest, which covers over 140,000 acres.

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
White1,655,708
Black or African American88,388
Two or More Races43,653
Asian39,794
Some Other Race36,672
American Indian and Alaska Native15,739
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1,305

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Nebraska Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Nebraska Median Age

36.2


Total

35.1


Male

37.5


Female

Nebraska Adults

There are 1,412,826 adults, (270,901 of which are seniors) in Nebraska.

Nebraska Age Dependency

64.7

Age Dependency Ratio

23.8

Old Age Dependency Ratio

40.9

Child Dependency Ratio

Nebraska Sex Ratio

Female

945,324

50.25%

Male

935,935

49.75%

Nebraska Households and Families

Nebraska Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Nebraska Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married83.9%16.1%
All66%34%
Male55.8%44.2%
Non Family47.9%52.1%
Female44.9%55.1%

66.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Nebraska Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All741,5812.4766
Married373,9873.1183.9
Non Family262,8981.2547.9
Female74,3433.2244.9
Male30,3533.2255.8

3.06

Average Family Size

2.47

Average Household Size

5.5%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Nebraska Households

Nebraska Education

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade50,7084.15%
9th to 12th Grade63,2365.17%
High School Graduate330,62927.03%
Some College288,25323.56%
Associates Degree123,61910.11%
Bachelors Degree245,28820.05%
Graduate Degree121,4959.93%

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White1,039,410982,508331,359
Hispanic90,42248,8279,742
Black49,10941,89110,349
Asian24,01318,49810,790
Other Race19,1719,8191,632
Multiple Races14,78712,6363,878
Native American8,3076,678809
Islander768646127

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.53%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 44.93%.

Nebraska Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$35,831$41,996$29,805
Less Than High School$23,176$25,999$18,216
High School Grad$29,224$35,456$22,244
Some College$33,437$41,676$26,958
Bachelors Degree$45,340$55,533$37,943
Graduate Degree$59,474$72,264$52,138

$35,831

Average Earnings

$41,996

Average Male

$29,805

Average Female

Nebraska Language

Nebraska Language by Age

Nebraska Language

88.97% of Nebraska residents speak only English, while 11.03% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 7.36% of the population.

Nebraska Poverty

Nebraska Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White1,470,399137,0479.32%
Hispanic187,01845,91324.55%
Black83,79925,32830.22%
Multiple41,8868,68820.74%
Other35,9147,82521.79%
Asian38,2597,39619.33%
Native15,0335,64037.52%
Islander1,18816613.97%

12.42%

Overall Poverty Rate

11.06%

Male Poverty Rate

13.77%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Nebraska

The race most likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is Native, with 37.52% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is White, with 9.32% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.79%. Among those working part-time, it was 18.47%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 20.32%.

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School24.77%
High School10.87%
Some College8.59%
Bachelors or Greater3.49%

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed37.05%
Male Unemployed32.33%
Female Employed8.27%
Male Employed5.76%

Nebraska Income

Nebraska Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$54,384$71,166
Families$69,207$85,571
Married Families$79,938$97,006
Non Families$31,490$42,104

Nebraska Marital Status

Nebraska Marital Status

Marriage Rates

52.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

54.0%

Male Marriage Rate

51.6%

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 35To44.

Nebraska Marital Status by Race

Nebraska Veterans

Nebraska Veterans by War

127,340

Number of Veterans

117,241

Male Veterans

10,099

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam43,642
First Gulf War26,067
Second Gulf War22,046
Korea14,339
World War II7,605

Nebraska Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 5431,177
75+30,906
65 to 7429,991
55 to 6423,186
18 to 3412,080

Nebraska Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White118,4619.37%
Black5,2608.69%
Hispanic3,8413.38%
2 or More1,5397.81%
Other8023.41%
Indian7557.52%
Asian4711.58%
Hawaiian525.62%

Nebraska Veterans by Education

5.88%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.36%

Veteran Disability Rate

Nebraska Employment Status

Nebraska Employment by Age

70%

Labor Force Participation

66.8%

Employment Rate

4.2%

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)