Nebraska Population 2024

1,988,698

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. 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 Area and 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.

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 Gender and Religion Statistics

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.

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 Boundary, Census, and Statehood 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.

Nebraska Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Nebraska was:

  • White: 83.55%
  • Two or more races: 5.14%
  • Black or African American: 4.78%
  • Other race: 3.08%
  • Asian: 2.48%
  • Native American: 0.92%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.06%

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.

Nebraska Population Growth

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 Projections

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.

In 2004, data showed that about 4.8% of Nebraska's diverse population was made up of foreign-born residents. The state has the largest Czech American and non-Mormon Danish American population in the entire nation. Thurston County has a significant American Indian majority population.

Between 2000 and 2010, Nebraska also saw an increase of over 77% in its Hispanic and Latino population. According to data from 2011, 31.0% of Nebraska's population under the age of 1 were classified as minorities. Some analysts believe that the Hispanic and Latino population of the state could triple by the year 2050.

The largest ancestry groups in the state are German (38.6%), Irish (12.4%), English (9.6%), Mexican (8.7%) and Czech (5.5%). This makes German-Americans by far the largest group in Nebraska.

Nebraska Growth Rate

Nebraska Population Rank

Nebraska Population 2024

Nebraska Facts

Population

50K

100K

150K

200K

250K

300K

350K

400K

450K

500K

550K

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.

Nebraska Population by County

Population by Race

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Race
Population
Percentage (of total)
White1,630,37683.55%
Two or more races100,2145.14%
Black or African American93,3584.78%
Other race60,0413.08%
Asian48,3792.48%
Native American17,9370.92%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander1,1750.06%

White

Two or more races

Black or African American

Other race

Asian

Native American

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Nebraska Population by Race

Nebraska Population Pyramid 2024

Nebraska Median Age

36.7

Total

35.9

Male

37.5

Female

Nebraska Adults

There are 1,465,570 adults, (305,771 of whom are seniors) in Nebraska.

Nebraska Age Dependency

68.3

Age Dependency Ratio

26.4

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41.9

Child Dependency Ratio

Nebraska Sex Ratio

Female972,61749.84%
Male978,86350.16%

Nebraska Population by Age

Nebraska Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Household Type
Count
Average Size
Owner
Renter
All766,8872.4866.833.2
Married382,8433.1684.915.1
Non Family278,6191.2548.151.9
Female70,5003.34852
Male34,9253.1655.144.9

3.1

Average Family Size

2.48

Average Household Size

66.8%

Rate of Home Ownership

Married

Male

Female

NonFamily

owner

renter

Nebraska Households and Families

Male

Female

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Education Attained
Count
Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade47,9423.76%
9th to 12th Grade57,6644.52%
High School Graduate326,34525.59%
Some College286,33222.45%
Associates Degree136,85710.73%
Bachelors Degree274,66421.54%
Graduate Degree145,51111.41%

Less Than 9th Grade

9th to 12th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Associates Degree

Bachelors Degree

Graduate Degree

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Race

High School Graduation Rate

Bachelors Rate

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Race
Total
High School
Bachelors
White1,051,7361,002,589370,878
Hispanic108,06168,93815,193
Black55,27048,01611,402
2+ Races42,11133,75710,933
Other Race31,60019,1433,939
Asian30,34923,08613,610
Native American9,1587,3011,200
Islander709563167

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 95.33%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 44.84%.

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Race

All

Male

Female

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Name
Average
Male
Female
Overall$43,626$51,328$36,421
Less Than 9th Grade$30,643$34,816$23,279
High School Graduate$34,294$41,413$26,681
Some College$40,386$50,328$32,070
Bachelors Degree$53,735$64,608$45,728
Graduate Degree$68,217$80,228$62,592

$43,626

Average Earnings

$51,328

Average Male

$36,421

Average Female

Nebraska Earnings by Educational Attainment

Nebraska Language by Age

Only English

Spanish

Other Indo-European Languages

Asian and Pacific Island Languages

Other Languages

Nebraska Language

88.16% of Nebraska residents speak only English, while 11.84% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 7.74% of the population.

Nebraska Language

Nebraska Poverty by Race

rate

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Name
Total
In Poverty
Poverty Rate
White1,477,763118,9048.05%
Hispanic218,69739,41418.02%
Black88,96719,91322.38%
Multiple97,49414,93615.32%
Other57,92411,42119.72%
Asian47,1495,68212.05%
Native16,9703,90523.01%
Islander1,13827223.9%

10.29%

Overall Poverty Rate

9.2%

Male Poverty Rate

11.39%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Nebraska

The race most likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is Islander, with 23.9% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is White, with 8.05% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.27%. Among those working part-time, it was 15.58%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 18.59%.

Nebraska Poverty

rate

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Rate
Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade20.75%
High School11.15%
Some College7.63%
Bachelors or Greater3.4%

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Education

rate

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Rate
Poverty
Female Unemployed31.05%
Male Unemployed25.15%
Female Employed6.88%
Male Employed4.81%

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Nebraska Income by Household Type

Households

Families

MarriedFamilies

NonFamilies

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Name
Median
Mean
Households$66,644$87,815
Families$85,162$106,469
Married Families$97,545$120,148
Non Families$38,672$51,399

mean

median

Income by Household Type

Nebraska Marital Status

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Marriage Rates

52.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

52.9%

Male Marriage Rate

51.1%

Female Marriage Rate

Nebraska Married by Age and Sex

male

female

Nebraska Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Nebraska Marital Status by Race

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Nebraska Marital Status

Second Gulf War

First Gulf War

Vietnam

Korea

World War II

111,873

Number of Veterans

101,210

Male Veterans

10,663

Female Veterans

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War
Veterans
Vietnam38,769
First Gulf War27,669
Second Gulf War25,556
Korea8,440
World War II2,267

Nebraska Veterans by War

count

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Age Group
Veterans
35 to 5428,656
65 to 7428,280
75+26,198
55 to 6419,515
18 to 349,224

Nebraska Veterans by Age

count

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Name
Veterans
% of Total
White101,5498.11%
Black4,7907.36%
Hispanic4,1193.05%
2+ Races3,2236.01%
Asian1,0612.93%
Other Race7071.77%
Native American5054.43%
Islander384.22%

Nebraska Veterans by Race

Nebraska Veterans by Education

Less Than 9th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Bachelors or Greater

5.97%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.05%

Veteran Disability Rate

Nebraska Veterans by Education

LaborForceParticipation

69.3%

Labor Force Participation

66.6%

Employment Rate

3.3%

Unemployment Rate

Nebraska Employment by Age

LaborForceParticipation

Nebraska Employment by Race

LaborForceParticipation

Nebraska Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

64.75%

Born in Nebraska

92.56%

Native Born

7.44%

Foreign Born

4.36%

Non Citizen

3.08%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

92.56% of Nebraska residents were born in the United States, with 64.75% having been born in Nebraska. 4.36% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Nebraska Place of Birth

  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)

Sources