CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version



Published in Research Report 10-2 of the Center for Applied Rural Innovation (2010) pp.0-47. Copyright © 2010 Center for Applied Rural Innovation, University of Nebraska


Recent community level Census data show that most small communities in Nebraska have experienced population decline since 2000. However, most larger communities have experienced population growth during this same time period. In addition, small rural communities in Nebraska have experienced a decline in retailing activity in the past few decades. The Internet has also impacted retail shopping behaviors, allowing customers to purchase goods and services online that they normally purchased from businesses in their community. Given these conditions, how do rural Nebraskans feel about their community? Are they satisfied with the services provided by their community? Are they planning to move from their community in the next year? Have these views changed over the past fifteen years? Are rural Nebraskans purchasing the majority of their households’ retail goods and services in their own community? How often do rural Nebraskans buy goods and services using the Internet? How have rural Nebraskans’ purchasing behaviors changed during the past ten years? Does their purchasing behavior differ depending on their region, age, income, or size of community? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions.

This report details 2,797 responses to the 2010 Nebraska Rural Poll, the fifteenth annual effort to understand rural Nebraskans= perceptions. Respondents were asked a series of questions about their community and retail shopping. Trends for some of these questions are examined by comparing data from the fourteen previous polls to this year=s results. In addition, data from the retail shopping questions will be compared to data collected in 2000. For all questions, comparisons are made among different respondent subgroups, that is, comparisons by age, occupation, region, etc.