Nebraska Population 2021

1,952,000
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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: 87.06%
  • Black or African American: 4.83%
  • Two or more races: 2.63%
  • Asian: 2.38%
  • Other race: 2.10%
  • Native American: 0.92%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.07%

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

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Nebraska Population Rank

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Nebraska Population 2021

Nebraska Facts

Douglas County

  • Population581,199
  • Density1769.33 per sq km
  • Growth Since 201012.08%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State29.77%

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 Growth Rate by County

Douglas County

  • Population581,199
  • Density1769.33 per sq km
  • Growth Since 201012.08%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State29.77%

Nebraska Population Density by County

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White1,666,87087.06%
Black or African American92,4064.83%
Two or More Races50,3862.63%
Asian45,6552.38%
Some Other Race40,2532.10%
American Indian and Alaska Native17,6730.92%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1,3270.07%
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Nebraska Population by Race

Nebraska Population Pyramid 2021

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Nebraska Median Age

36.5


Total

35.5


Male

37.5


Female

Nebraska Adults

There are 1,440,460 adults, (294,069 of whom are seniors) in Nebraska.

Nebraska Age Dependency

67

Age Dependency Ratio

25.7

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Nebraska Sex Ratio

Female

959,621

50.12%

Male

954,950

49.88%

Nebraska Population by Age

Nebraska Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Nebraska Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married84.1%15.9%
All66.1%33.9%
Male53.2%46.8%
Non Family47.7%52.3%
Female46.4%53.6%

66.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Nebraska Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All759,1762.4566.1
Married381,1463.1284.1
Non Family275,2681.2647.7
Female70,7103.246.4
Male32,0523.1653.2

3.06

Average Family Size

2.45

Average Household Size

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Nebraska Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade47,8333.82%
9th to 12th Grade59,7024.77%
High School Graduate326,59426.11%
Some College285,48722.82%
Associates Degree132,18510.57%
Bachelors Degree262,61420.99%
Graduate Degree136,61110.92%
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Nebraska Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White1,046,090994,989357,010
Hispanic100,10660,04512,050
Black53,37346,23311,364
Asian28,12221,75213,318
Other Race21,08512,2191,890
Multiple Races17,64815,4744,959
Native American9,1707,553999
Islander77561191

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 95.12%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 47.36%.

Nebraska Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$40,341$47,224$32,487
Less Than High School$26,610$31,204$20,127
High School Grad$31,488$38,657$24,695
Some College$37,348$46,021$30,342
Bachelors Degree$50,424$60,978$42,926
Graduate Degree$63,653$76,298$57,074

$40,341

Average Earnings

$47,224

Average Male

$32,487

Average Female

Nebraska Earnings by Educational Attainment

Nebraska Language by Age

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Nebraska Language

88.54% of Nebraska residents speak only English, while 11.46% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 7.49% of the population.

Nebraska Language

Nebraska Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White1,471,860124,3888.45%
Hispanic202,20741,06920.31%
Black87,77021,92424.98%
Multiple48,4589,21519.02%
Other38,7517,75320.01%
Asian44,0907,63317.31%
Native16,8744,67927.73%
Islander1,21731926.21%

11.11%

Overall Poverty Rate

9.89%

Male Poverty Rate

12.32%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Nebraska

The race most likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is Native, with 27.73% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Nebraska is White, with 8.45% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.56%. Among those working part-time, it was 16.81%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 19.08%.

Nebraska Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School22.15%
High School10.96%
Some College7.95%
Bachelors or Greater3.32%

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed34.43%
Male Unemployed29.09%
Female Employed7.48%
Male Employed5.25%

Nebraska Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Nebraska Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$61,439$80,208
Families$78,212$97,347
Married Families$89,705$109,700
Non Families$35,499$46,805
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Income by Household Type

Nebraska Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

52.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

53.7%

Male Marriage Rate

51.9%

Female Marriage Rate

Nebraska Married by Age and Sex

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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

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Nebraska Marital Status

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117,466

Number of Veterans

107,493

Male Veterans

9,973

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam41,750
First Gulf War25,974
Second Gulf War23,270
Korea10,822
World War II4,408

Nebraska Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 7430,938
75+28,423
35 to 5428,067
55 to 6419,970
18 to 3410,068

Nebraska Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White108,8888.55%
Black4,9157.63%
Hispanic3,7973.04%
2 or More1,5546.70%
Asian8502.46%
Indian6355.78%
Other5882.20%
Hawaiian363.54%

Nebraska Veterans by Race

Nebraska Veterans by Education

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5.61%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.67%

Veteran Disability Rate

Nebraska Veterans by Education

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69.7%

Labor Force Participation

67%

Employment Rate

3.3%

Unemployment Rate

Nebraska Employment by Age

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Nebraska Employment by Race

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Nebraska Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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64.67%

Born in Nebraska

92.80%

Native Born

7.20%

Foreign Born

4.40%

Non Citizen

2.81%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

92.80% of Nebraska residents were born in the United States, with 64.67% having been born in Nebraska. 4.40% 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