The Best Places to Live in Nebraska

The best places to live and buy a home in Nebraska are Seward, Aurora, Gretna, Lexington, Sidney, and Schuyler.
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on May 06, 2022
A low cost of living, affordable house prices, low rent, and great schools make cities like Seward, Gretna, and Aurora some of the best places to live and buy a house in
With some of the country’s lowest crime rates, the lowest unemployment rate, and unbeatable natural beauty, Nebraska is a great place to live—but how do you choose where to settle down amongst the Cornhusker State’s 530 incorporated places?
To help you in this process,
auto and
home insurance
comparison app,
has put together this guide breaking down the best places to live and buy a home in Nebraska, that’s subdivided into three distinct categories based on your considerations as a prospective renter or homeowner.
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What makes a good place to live?

Figuring out where you want to live can be a difficult process, especially when there are so many factors to consider. Whether it's grocery and gas prices, the local climate, violent crime rates, or the cost of living—a lot goes into deciding where to live.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of six Nebraskan towns: Seward,
, Sidney, Lexington, and Aurora. This list includes everything from big cities to small towns, and we’ve considered the following factors for each:
  • Cost of living
  • Healthcare
  • Quality of schools
  • Median home price
  • Median household income
  • Crime rates
  • Average commute times
  • FEMA risk index ratings
Keeping these in mind, we’ve narrowed down the best places to live in Nebraska and subdivided them into three categories: the best places for families, the most affordable places, and the best places to purchase a home and settle down.

The best places for families to live in Nebraska

When it comes to starting or relocating a family, the most important factors to consider while deciding where to live are education, community life, and the local crime rate. When we put these variables at the forefront, two cities stand out: Seward and Gretna.


Location: Seward County, Nebraska
Population: 7,176
Median household income: $68,642
Median home price: $158,700
Famous for its annual
Fourth of July celebration
, Seward is a city well-loved by its residents, fostering a sense of unity and community with all who make their home there. Favorable home prices, a highly rated public school system, and diverse job opportunities are just some of the reasons why Seward is one of Nebraska’s ideal cities for families.
Close proximity to
, Nebraska means you’re never too far away from the conveniences you need without being subject to the hustle and bustle of urban living.
What’s more, Seward is one of the safest places to live in Nebraska and safer than the majority of cities and towns across the country! Violent crime and property crime are rare occurrences here, making it a great place to start and raise a family.


Location: Sarpy County, Nebraska
Population: 5,037
Median household income: $83,103
Median home price: $185,500
Originally founded by Scottish and Irish immigrants in the late 1800s, the town of Gretna takes its name from Scotland’s Gretna Green.
Located near
, Gretna offers residents a small town, suburban feel despite being just minutes away from a major metropolitan center. Gretna features affordable home prices, an exceptional school district, and a well-formed sense of community, making it a great place for families.
Moreover, the chance of your family falling victim to crime in Gretna is significantly lower than the state average, making Gretna one of the safest communities in Nebraska—in fact, it’s safer than 60% of the state!

The most affordable places to live in Nebraska

Cost of living is one of the most important things to consider when figuring out where to live. On average, Nebraska’s cost of living is lower than the national average, but some areas in the state can be much higher—especially if they have quality schools and low crime rates.
To help those on a budget navigate these variable living costs, we’ve determined the following three cities to be among Nebraska’s more affordable places to live, based on average commute times and the overall cost of living.


Location: Colfax County, Nebraska
Population: 6,284
Median household income: $63,625
Median home price: $102,800
As Nebraska’s first “cowtown” founded in 1870, Schuyler is a town whose economy primarily centers around agriculture and livestock farming. But even if you aren't in the industry, you’ll enjoy an extremely low cost of living, low median home prices, and a plethora of affordable rent options.
And though you may grow tired of driving past Schuyler’s many cattle farms, ranches, and agricultural fields, you won’t have to stare at them for long—the town’s average commute time is less than 20 minutes one way, meaning you’ll save a bit on gas, too.


Location: Cheyenne County, Nebraska
Population: 6,451
Median household income: $51,880
Median home price: $101,800
With extremely low median home prices, a low cost of living, and monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment averaging about $700, Sidney is one of the cheapest places in Nebraska to live and work.
And if you’re concerned about fuel or transportation costs chipping away at your budget, don’t worry: the average commute time in Sidney is less than 12 minutes one way, meaning you won’t have to spend too much time (or money!) on the road each day.
What’s more, Sidney isn’t lacking in
free or affordable attractions
: there are several outdoor gardens, parks, and hiking trails, along with several museums and other historic sites to visit.


Location: Dawson County, Nebraska
Population: 10,069
Median household income: $55,913
Median home price: $114,500
Having a cost of living 18% lower than the national average, Lexington is a city where affordable housing and rental options abound.
With median home prices a fair bit lower than the state average and rent for a one-bedroom apartment averaging under $900, Lexington is a city perfect for those without a lot of money to spare—and it’s a hub of cultural diversity in a state sometimes lacking in that department.
And if you thought Lexington couldn’t get any better, just wait: the average commute time is only 14 minutes one way, so there’s no chance of fuel eating up a large portion of your monthly expenses!
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Best places to buy a house in Nebraska

For those looking to live in Nebraska for the long term and put down roots, it’s important to consider local housing markets and climates before buying a house. To make things easier, we’ve come up with a list of three ideal towns—all of which have agreeable housing market conditions and FEMA Risk Index ratings.


Location: Hamilton County, Nebraska
Population: 4,497
Median household income: $61,269
Median home price: $143,400
As one of Nebraska’s charming small towns, Aurora offers residents a semi-rural living experience, with the majority of all residents owning their houses—and with such a favorable housing market, who can blame them?
Moreover, Aurora has a relatively low FEMA risk index rating of 9.00, with the worst hazards being drought, hail, and strong winds—all fairly common risks no matter where you live, so you won’t have to deal with absurd insurance premiums.
It might be a good idea to install a security system if you decide to buy a house in Aurora, though, because while violent crime is almost nonexistent, the same cannot be said for theft and burglary.


Location: Seward County, Nebraska
Population: 7,176
Median household income: $68,642
Median home price: $158,700
Now, we know Seward was already mentioned, but it’s simply too good not to include twice!
You already know that Seward has great schools and a low crime rate, but the city also has median home prices far below the national average.
When it comes to climate and natural disasters, Seward has a relatively low FEMA risk index of 8.21, lower than both the Nebraska state average of 9.43 and the national average of 10.6, with the worst hazards being hail and ice storms. This means homeowners can expect fewer weather-related repair costs and lower insurance premiums than most of the state.


Location: Sarpy County, Nebraska
Population: 5,037
Median household income: $83,103
Median home price: $185,500
Just like with Seward, we simply can’t say enough good things about living in Gretna!
Median home prices are a bit higher here, but so is the median household income. That said, you’ll have to buy quickly because Gretna’s housing market is fairly competitive.
Despite having a FEMA index rating of 9.19 and a relatively moderate chance of tornadoes and winter storms, Gretna is one of the better places in Nebraska to settle down. Even if disasters occur, homeowners will be happy to know that the town has very high community resilience and builds back strong.

How to find affordable home and auto insurance in Nebraska

Whether you decide to live in Seward or Aurora, licensed
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