Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics (September 14, 2022)

Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Drive down any rural highway in our state and you will quickly conclude that we are a collection of small towns and villages, with a few larger cities thrown in. Some of them are thriving while others are not. You might ask yourself, why the difference? To fully appreciate this current situation, you need to think back to how our state developed.

Our state has 530 incorporated places with 89% of these communities having fewer than 3,000 people. Nebraska is not alone in this fact, with our neighboring states of Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa in the same situation. We are part of the Great Plains and are linked by our settlement history of the Great Plains.