Swimming Pool

Many mid-sized Nebraska cities are thriving, some trying to recover from stagnation

Where to live, work and raise a family are some of the most important decisions people make. Data shows that some Nebraskans choose to plant their roots in certain mid-sized cities but not in others.

Why this is so depends on a few factors that impact a medium-sized city’s ability to recruit and retain employees.

Steve and Cathy Wadas moved to Columbus in eastern Nebraska about 30 years ago when Steve took a job as an electrical engineer in the Nebraska Public Power District.

According to Steve, the location made the decision easy.

“My wife comes from Bellevue, so the subway. And I’m from Ord,” Wadas said. “And Columbus is almost right in the middle.”

Cathy stays at home to take care of her 10-year-old son who is in fourth grade. Cathy says Columbus is great for raising a family.

“Columbus has more of a Midwest feel — a more family feel,” Wadas said. “Bellevue, on the other hand, is simply very mobile and doesn’t have the feeling of permanence like Columbus.”

The latest census data shows that the population of Columbus has grown from 22,111 people in 2010 to 24,028 in 2020. That’s the third-highest growth rate of any “micropolitical” city in Nebraska. Small towns are cities with 10,000 to 50,000 inhabitants.

However, not all similarly sized cities in the state have had the same success.

More than three hours west, North Platte had the sharpest decline among microcities. From 2010 to 2020, the population dropped from 24,733 residents to 23,390.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button