Nebraska's Population Climbing Toward Two Million Mark

Nebraska keeps growing at a steady pace, inching toward the two-million mark in population. Nebraska grew by about 11,700 people last year,  now with a record state population of 1.93 million.

David Drozd, research coordinator with the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, says Nebraska ranks 20th among the states in population growth.

“During the 2000s we were often in the low 30's on those annual population growth-rate numbers. So, to be right around number 20 and above our best comparison states of Iowa and Kansas, just puts a feather in our cap to show that we’re doing relatively well,” Drozd tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Not all was good news coming from the United States Census Bureau. About 3,300 Nebraskans left the state, many looking for jobs after their employers made changes.

“The relocation of ConAgra, the Cabela sale, Ft. Calhoun nuclear power plant being decommissioned and a few others,” Drozd says.

The numbers come from the Census Bureau’s count between July of 2017 and July of this year. The state population has increased for 31 consecutive years. The last population loss came in 1987, when agriculture found itself in crisis.

Notes compiled by Drozd show that nine states lost population last year. New York and Illinois lost the largest number of residents, but neighboring Wyoming also saw a population declein of about 1,200 people. Overall, the U.S. increased by 0.62% in the last year, now with a population of 327,167,434. It is the lowest annual growth rate for the U.S. since World War II ended in 1945.

The really good news in the report, according to Drozd, is that it now seems almost certain Nebraska will keep its three Congressional districts.


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