CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version



Nebraska Rural Poll Research Report 14-2, September 2014.


Copyright 2014 University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


There is a common perception that rural areas are generally safer compared to urban areas. Furthermore, state crime rates in smaller communities showed a smaller increase over the past year than did rates in larger communities. However, many changes are occurring in rural Nebraska. Given all that, how worried are rural Nebraskans about crime in their community? Do they believe crime has increased in their community? Have these perceptions changed over the past eleven years? Do their opinions differ by their region, the size of their community or other demographic characteristics? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions. This report details 1,943 responses to the 2014 Nebraska Rural Poll, the nineteenth annual effort to understand rural Nebraskans’ perceptions. Respondents were asked a series of questions about crime. Trends for some of the questions are examined by comparing data from the 2003 Rural Poll to this year’s results. In addition, comparisons are made among different respondent subgroups, that is, comparisons by age, income level, region, etc. Based on these analyses, some key findings emerged.